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Dance this Mess Around

Posted by editor on January 17, 2007 at 11:11 AM PST

Taking new language ideas out for a spin

Remember a few months ago when we linked to Elliotte Rusty Harold's blog RatJava, in which he suggested taking the open-source javac compiler and using it to support whatever new language features you like? Well consider the same idea with a different name and James Gosling and Peter von der Ahé behind it. That would be the Kitchen Sink Language project on

But what is the kitchen sink, beyond the obvious metaphor? The Artima interview Peter von der Ahé on the Kitchen Sink Language Project gets at some of the ideas behind creating the project:

It was originally James [Gosling]'s idea, and is something he mentioned a while ago when we started talking about open-sourcing the compiler. He wanted to be able to create a place where you could experiment easily with adding various language features. [That way], we can evaluate those features before we decide to propose them for inclusion in the standard through the JCP. When we decide to do something in the JCP, it's almost a done deal, and is often fully developed. So where is the room to experiment? That's exactly what we can do now that the compiler is open-source. We decided to set up a project so that anyone can join in.

As the community discusses JDK 7 proposals like closures and a new properties syntax, it's reassuring to know that these ideas can now be tested out before they get turned into formal JSR's (after all, James and Peter are the authors of the current closures proposal). Will that result in more practical JSR's, or in better support up-front for major syntax changes? There are a lot of reasons to like this idea and watch where it's going.

Also in Java Today,
authors Ali-Reza Adl-Tabatabai, Christos Kozyrakis, and, Bratin Saha take on the implications of multicore programming with a new concurrency model in the ACM Queue article Unlocking Concurrency: Multicore programming with transactional memory. "TM (transactional memory) provides a new concurrency-control construct that avoids the pitfalls of locks and significantly eases concurrent programming. It brings to mainstream parallel programming proven concurrency-control concepts used for decades by the database community. Transactional-language constructs are easy to use and can lead to programs that scale."

ZDNet blogger Ed Burnette argues against the iPhone's anti-Java stance in Jobs: No Java for you. "It will be a few months before the Apple iPhone is available to customers, and a lot can change between now and then. [...] But for now, it looks like application development on the iPhone will all be done in-house and it won't be done in Java. That would be a real shame."

Ludovic Champenois takes a look at Extending the jMaki Ajax framework with new components... in today's Weblogs. "What is the value of an Ajax components library if it cannot be extended either by you as a developer or external providers? Well, so far the jMaki framework was bundling an impressive collection of various components (dojo, Yahoo, Google, Scriptaculous, Spry, DHTML, Flickr, jMaki own components), and now you can install Add ons component libraries like the new jMaki Charting library which is based on the dojo charting APIs."

David Van Couvering points out his
Article on synchronizing local storage:
"I had promised a long time ago more information on the synchronization sample I did that showed how to run an events calendar offline and synchronize with Google Calendar. It's finally available, as an article on"

Finally, in New property syntax in JDK 7...yawn, ho-hum, John O'Conner looks at the current poll results and questions wonders what the fuss is about.
"A new syntax for properties? I don't particularly need it, and so far the poll results suggest that most of you don't need it either."

In today's Forums,
levidavies hopes to use Java for
A simple Bluetooth desktop program:
"What i am after is to read using Java hopefully and my bluetooth enabled laptop to read device names of in range bluetooth devices. All i want is the bluetooth device name etc and to then save to a text file etc. You know when you do a search on a bluetooth device it lists the current available devices around or on and lists their device name, this is what I am after but then save these to a txt file etc I do not want to send anything to these devices just simple read the device name and store."

rah003 offers a diagnostic rule-of-thumb in
Re: Downed Server (again?)
"The easiest way to figure out which webapp is causing problems is to run each of them on separate instance of tomcat on different port and just route the requests there based on request url although i could imagine why this would not be possible to do for you."

Finally, ivelin notes a recent
forums software upgrade:
"Just a note that the team updated the forum software, so that code snippets can nicely formatted with the [ code ] and [ / code ] tag. The team is also working on upgrading the forums software to allow features such as full text notifications."

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Taking new language ideas out for a spin