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Sun's Java compiler tech lead speaks out

Posted by hiheiss on April 12, 2007 at 12:06 PM PDT

An interview, Meet Peter von der Ahé, Tech Lead for Javac at Sun Microsystems, I did with Peter, Sun's tech lead for javac, discusses the Kitchen Sink Language, the Java Compiler API, and new ways of thinking about generics, reification, type inference for local variables, and lots more. If you want to experiment with javac, check out the Kitchen Sink Language.

Peter has a lot to say:

-- Learning to use the Java Compiler API (JSR 199) "will provide a lot of
indirect benefits" to Java developers. Danny Coward commented: “For those
of you deafened by your screaming inner geek, roll up your sleeves and give
it a try."

-- Regarding generics: "Rather than trying to provide
reified types for all instances, why not simply accept that some
instances do not have reified type information, because they are
compiled with a 1.4.2 compiler, or for other reasons? This turns reification
into a best-effort problem: if you use a raw type, then no type information
is reified, but if you avoid raw types, you can take advantage of the additional
reified type information."

-- His proposal for an alternative to type inference for local variables
involves having the compiler provide the static factories.

Hope this triggers some interest.

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