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Posted by editor on December 9, 2008 at 7:22 AM PST

Bite-size changes for Java 7

Remember when it seemed like the only thing we knew for sure about Java 7 was that it would have closures? Wasn't there talk about not setting a Java 7 date until there was a firm closures proposal? I seem to remember us asking you guys and gals if that was a good idea. But now with Java 7's re-orientation around a modular JDK, and the setting of a 2010 target date for Java 7, it seems like the logjam that's held up planning for what can and can't make the next major version of Java has burst open.

Almost the antithesis of closures, there are a number of little changes that developers have long sought in the Java language. switch on strings, a catch statement that can specify multiple exception classes, chained invocations... all good stuff that sometimes seems lost in the shuffle because they're not big get-the-updated-O'Reilly-book-type changes.

With Java 7's date now set and its agenda forming, these small language change proposals are getting pulled together into a single to-do that may well get done.

In the blog Coming Soon: A JSR for small language changes in JDK 7, Joe Darcy announces, "I'm happy to announce that I'll be leading up Sun's efforts to develop a set of small language changes in JDK 7; we intend to submit a JSR covering those changes during the first half of 2009. However, before the JSR proposal is drafted and submitted to the JCP, we'll first be running a call for proposals so Java community members can submit detailed, thoughtful changes for consideration too." Joe has proposed an OpenJDK project to host discussion and implementation of the changes. Stephen Colebourne has posted some changes that might make the cut, and points out that's Kijaro project already hosts a productive sandbox for language experimentation.

In Java Today,
JavaFX engineer Josh Marinacci has posted A Note on Media in JavaFX, addressing JavaFX 1.0's support for dynamic media and where the platform is heading. "Head over to the Samples section to check out our media demos and see some of the players that we wrote. Then read the Media Browser Tutorial that will show you how to get started writing media apps. It's very easy to work with media in JavaFX. Even our marketing manager can do it!"

Unleash the JavaFX demos! Sun blogger morningstar kicks it old school with My First JavaFX Game: PAC MAN, playable as a WebStart application. "I recently spent some time in learning the JavaFX script programming. I was writing the classic game PAC MAN. Though it is still under development, 80% of the code is completed. People can play with it now. Source code will be released once I finish all the code."

In today's Weblogs, Cay Horstmann recounts
What Worked for Our Blackberry Project. "After many weeks of labor, my software engineering class is ready to deliver our BlackBerry project to Cinequest, the organizers of the San Jose Film Festival. Moviegoers will be able to check the schedule on their Blackberry devices, see when their favorite films are playing, and find out about the latest special events. Running a real project in an undergraduate course turned out to be a huge challenge. Here are some of the key practices that made the project successful."

In Take the poll: Will you be attending M3DD?, Terrence Barr asks "will you be attending the Java Mobile, Media, and eMbedded Developer Days, January 21-22, 2009? Please take our poll. Cheers, -- Terrence PS: We've added more Lightning Talks and updated the talk abstracts. Check it out."

Finally, Gary S. Weaver considers The Interaction-Flow-Service-Model Architectural Pattern. "There is one thing that I've overlooked until today, which is the importance of the division of the controller into application "flow(s)" and application "service(s)""

In today's Forums, balaarjunan asks about JavaFX's suitability for offline deployment in JavaFx - Desktop application. "I am planning to create a desktop application using JavaFx, the application should run offline, all the process will take place in the offline mode and once I connect to Internet, it should update it there in my server. Is it possible to create an offline Desktop application using JavaFx, say for eg a mail client like outlook or thunderbird."

jslott's announcement
Wonderland 0.5 Software License - Important Change should make it easier to extend Project Wonderland. "Beginning in Version 0.5, Sun has made a modification to the software license governing Project Wonderland. It will continue to be licensed under GPL v2 (as in 0.4), but we have added the "Classpath" Exception. In 0.5, we have better defined the module system and hope that everyone will extend the functionality of Wonderland by developing their own modules (which includes, among other things, custom cell types). In short, the GPL v2 + Classpath license will allow module developers to license their module code as they see fit. While changes to the Wonderland core libraries are still governed by the GPL v2 license terms, it is our eventual goal that everyone can develop the functionality they need in Wonderland by simply writing modules, and not have to modify the core libraries themselves."

abelmj expresses frustration with how GlassFish interacts with Swing clients, in
Re: EJB3 Remote Referece Thread Safe? "I agree with you, this issue should be marked as VERY IMPORTANT, but the problem is that "we", the weird developers that use swing clients to JavaEE facades, are "alone in the dark", because "they" just consider that web clients should be used forever, so the CORBA between our clients and the EJB container will be buried well deep. I'm so sad and I'm really down, because I bet for Glassfish, but this issue is one year long, and we can wait no longer, so we're almost sure moving to other application server."

Finally, Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart has posted a
Doodle poll on "second slot for TheAquarium Online". "We currently have a weekly slot for the TheAquarium online webinar (Thu 11am-1pm PT). This may not be enough: it is already scheduled until February, and I have two more that I want to squeeze in.< So, I need a second slot. We will not use it every week, but I want to choose a slot that works for as many people as possible. Thus, this poll. Please choose for a TYPICAL week, IGNORE the specific week mentioned in the poll. Choose ALL time slots that work for you. Please NOTE THE TIME ZONE."

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Bite-size changes for Java 7


So how do you go about adding suggestions? For example, I'd say that a big aspect of the 'no operator overloading' argument is that universal, sane places to add it are done 'by committee' and added to the language. Which puts me at a loss to explain why BigInteger and BigDecimal don't get special treatment. I could whip up a long diatribe including patches and demo javacs, but, I don't think such a simple suggestion really needs any of that. Would just obscure the basic point.