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Those Three Days

Posted by editor on October 1, 2008 at 7:39 AM PDT

Surprising developments from the JVM Language Summit

Last week, Sun hosted the JVM Language Summit at its Santa Clara campus, billed as an "open technical collaboration among language designers, compiler writers, tool builders, runtime engineers, and VM architects."

With the event now over and participants blogging and podcasting the developments, it sounds like three remarkable days. The big news may be the disclosure in an interview with the Java Posse that Neal Gafter has joined Microsoft, a surprising turn for one of the "G"s in the BGGA closures-for-Java spec. But setting that aside, there appear to have been a number of great talks, and perhaps more importantly, some important discussions between the various parties working with different languages on the JVM. Tim Bray's blog about the event seems to hit the most important issue on the head:

Here’s the thing: all of these JVM-ized languages can call into existing Java APIs; not a surprise since that’s a big piece of the value proposition. Some are better than others; Groovy (and it seems Clojure) make the biggest deal about it.

But how about talking to each other? And how about Java calling Ruby or Clojure or Scala code? This is not an abstract issue, at least for me. I’ve been ripping the protocol-validation pieces of the Ape out from the generic-AtomPub-client pieces, and when I’m done I’ll have a bunch of Ruby code that would be super-useful for anyone building AtomPub client-ware.

Furthermore, it doesn’t do any Ruby metaprogramming voodoo or even have blocks in the API, just old-fashioned objects and methods. Plus it’s got code for handling all sorts of icky authentication corner-cases. Yeah, it’s in Ruby so it won’t be as fast as Java, but who cares, it’ll be stalled waiting for HTTP 99.5% of the time anyhow.

So, why should someone have to write this again in Java?

He notes that a group of "really senior people" is chewing over the issue, which falls apart in exactly the way you might expect:

Then someone says “I know, let’s form a working group and do a JSR!” whereupon the room dissolves in raucous laughter.

For more details about the conference's activities, check out Dalibor Topic's JVM Language Summit Roundup which compiles some of the most significant blogs about the conference. You can also look through the presentations on the conference's wiki.

And to catch a bit of the flavor of the conference, Java Posse #208 is a podcast report from the conference, featuring Charles Oliver Nutter, Neal Gafter, Bill Pugh, and Christian Kemper in addition to the usual Posse members.

In Java Today,
Kirill Grouchnikov notes the revival of the DesignGridLayout project: "Jean-Francois Poilpret has taken over the development of DesignGridLayout project that has been in limbo for the last two years. Release 0.9 fixes all known bugs, along with refactoring the code to improve the API, complete Javadocs coverage for the public APIs, and changing the license from GPL to ASL 2.0. It is also available on the Maven site."

The GlassFish Awards Program has announced the winners for the first year of the program. Jitendra Kotamraju writes, "Congratulations to GAP winners, especially to : Jungwook Chae, Tatu Saloranta, Ernesto Jose Perez Garcia, Karel Kolman, Franke Markus, Ryan de Laplante who have contributed to GlassFish Metro web services and its sub projects. I also acknowledge that there are many others who contributed to metro community (you need to submit entries !). Thanks and congratulations to all."

Today's Weblogs section begins with Bruce Chapman's Named Parameters, "in which I discover a simple idiom for named parameters. Does this mean we don't need a named parameters language feature?"

Simon Morris throws down
JavaFX Script: the 100 Line Challenge. "Sometimes less is more. In the spirit of the '64k intros' I've been seeing how far I can push JavaFX with a minimum of code. Now I throw down the gauntlet -- does anyone else want to join me in the quest for the ultimate 'cheap thrill'?!?"

Finally, Roger Brinkley announces
M3DD - Call for Papers Closed (softly). "The Mobile, Media, and eMbedded (M3DD) call for papers is closed. (Well almost) Thus far we have 51 submission but I'm guessing there are few more out there. If so hurry up."

In today's Forums, morrisford explains the status of Project Wonderland's scripting module in
Re: Something maybe simple but essential. "The scripting support is now fully in a module and does not require any core WL support. That makes it possible to have the whole release in the 'module' that I will be putting into the module incubator place in the next few days. That will allow anyone running a source version to insert the scripting module into the wonderland-modules directory structure, compile and run. I have Windows, Ubuntu, Mac and Open Solaris environments and plan to create and host binaries for at least the first three as time permits."

Responding to news that Adobe still hopes to bring Flash to the iPhone, sfitzjava asks
So what is Sun doing about JavaME on the iPhone? "Well there has not been any real content posted here so I figured I might ask this question. With Adobe spending time and resources to put the Flash player on the iPhone and announcing it , where is Sun with porting Java SE or ME onto the iPhone? While Sun and Adobe have both had their respective VM products (Java/Flash) stated as items that will NOT be allowed or supported on the iPhone/Touch, it would seem that Adobe paid no heed to that warning. Has Sun done the same??? Last I heard some developers in their spare time jailbroke an iphone and had a PhoneME version running on it. Kudos to them. However what investment, pressure, talks or discussions has Sun been a part of with Apple to see if we (Java Mobile Developers) have a place in their app store or on the device?"

Finally, tarquin is looking for some serious
Java Swing Editor Components. "I'm after a Java Swing text editor component that supports undo and redo and, ideally, even line numbers and line selection/highlighting. I've fiddled with JTextArea, JTextEditor and googled for other stuff, but nothing is working for me. Any suggestions?"

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Surprising developments from the JVM Language Summit