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Posted by editor on February 16, 2009 at 4:30 AM PST

Keeping nice little language changes in play

There's probably a class of developers for whom the most welcome change in JDK 7 will be the small language changes delivered by Project Coin. Eschewing the grand, world-changing concepts like annotations or generics (how the heck did both of those end up in the same release anyways?), Project Coin is looking for the small language changes that will make a lot of people happy without a lot of work. Examples that are clearly being considered as part of this package include the ability to use strings in switch statements, and combining multiple exception types into one catch. It's not hard to imagine the target audience here is the long-time Java developer who's been set in his or her ways since sometime around Java 1.4, and has been bugged by the absence of some of these for a long time... and who doesn't particularly want something like closures, because they're not necessarily interested in adopting a whole new programming paradigm (or thinks "if I'm going to try that, why not just try it on a different JVM language?").

In an update on where Project Coin is and what it's looking for, Joe Darcy has has posted slides from his JDK talks at FOSDEM 2009, in the blog FOSDEM 2009: OpenJDK 6 and Project Coin. "I was pleased to attend and speak at my first FOSDEM conference this year. The classroom setting of the Free Java Developer Room was certainly different than the cavernous session halls of JavaOne! My talks were on OpenJDK 6 and Project Coin." The slides are available as PDFs: OpenJDK 6: Where are we now? Where are we going? and Project Coin: Small Language Changes for JDK 7.

The Project Coin PDF is an important read for anyone with a favorite change they're longing for, as it illuminates the perhaps unappreciated costs of these changes, and emphasizes the criteria that will be used to evaluate potential changes: small in specification, implementation, and testing, yet still useful. Note, for example, that page 28 lists 162 feature requests... and page 29 shows just 7 of them being promising candidates for Project Coin.

Still, if you're a long-time Java developer, you might well have a little nitpick with the language that wouldn't be that difficult to set right in JDK 7. What do you think?

Also In Java Today, Kirill Grouchnikov announces a new animation library with a long history in Introducing Trident - animation library for Java applications. "Trident is the next evolutionary step of the animation layer that drives the animations in applications powered by Substance look-and-feel. The underlying animation engine has been in development and production use over the last two years, but the API was heavily oriented towards the UI delegates in custom look-and-feels. One of main goals of Trident is to preserve the power, performance and expressiveness of the existing animation engine, while at the same time providing a set of simpler APIs for use in application code."

"The first problem you encounter when trying to use NetBeans IDE to extend GlassFish is that GlassFish, while extendable (hurray), is only extendable via OSGi bundles. And NetBeans IDE doesn't let you create OSGi bundles. Or... doesn't it?" Geertjan Wielenga unveils NetBeans' new OSGI support in the Javalobby article Extending GlassFish v3 via the NetBeans Platform's OSGi Support. To try it out, read NetBeans and OSGi on the NetBeans Wiki, then excecute the Mercurial command hg Fabrizio Guiduichi also discusses Netigso in his blog NetBeans and OSGi

The recently-non-overloaded Joshua Marinacci appears again in today's Weblogs, with a blog
Introducing the JFXStudio. "Today I'm pleased to announce a new experimental site a few of us have been working on called the JFXStudio. It's a site specifically for sharing your JavaFX creations. . The JFXStudio is not meant to be an app-of-the-day kind of site, or a showcase for polished apps. It's a place where you can show off your doodles and works in progress."

Speaking of JavaFX, Osvaldo Pinali Doederlein has been working with it and offers an early review in
JavaFX 1.1 released, some first impressions. "Sun just made available JavaFX's first significant update, including JavaFX Mobile FCS (sort of - for developers, anyway). I did a quick check, some good news and some bad news..."

Finally, Markus Karg notes
Release 1.0 of WebDAV Support for JAX-RS. "The WebDAV Project has just published the first binary release of "WebDAV Support for JAX-RS". Just two months after coding the first pieces, the team provided a library that fits nicely into the JAX-RS eco system and provides complete WebDAV 1.0 compatibility."

This week's Spotlight is on Duke's Choice Awards 2009, nominations for which are now being accepted. "Every year the world's biggest Java technology event, the JavaOne conference, culminates with the the Duke's Choice awards. The awards celebrate extreme innovation in the world of Java technology. They are granted to the best and most innovative projects using the Java platform. A global search is on to find the coolest Java technology innovations on the planet. Don't miss this opportunity to be recognized as one of the Java developer community elite at JavaOne, in San Francisco. The primary judging criteria for this prestigious award is innovation putting small developer shops on an equal footing with multi-national giants." The deadline for nomiations is March 27.

In today's Forums, ivan_g_s reports promising results with the next-generation garbage collector in
Re: 6u14-b01 is available. "Wow! The new GC is really much better. Doing a certain benchmark to compare the old and new GCs, I really experienced that G1 doesn't "stop the world". I was testing an intepreter. It allocates a lot of short-lived objects, when testing recursions. I tested it several times as I couldn't believe my eyes. The benchmark results using G1 are so homogeneous (and also a lot faster)."

Apparently interested in the behavior of the current GC, demonduck follows up in the thread Re: Garbage collection and -verbose:gc give no garbage collection output. "I've read somewhere that it's best to write "dumb" code and not try to manage the JVM too much. I guess that is appropriate for me to do in my applet and not call System.gc() -- doesn't seem to do much anyway. I know stderr and stdout both go to the Java Console. I use them all the time. After all the work done on the new plugin and the new garbage collector and the emphasis for Java finally turning toward the desktop, it seem like sending gc messages to the Java console would be appropriate. You must be correct saying gc output is lost because I sure don't see any. That's too bad because it would be interesting to see."

arajmony reports Java types not getting created for certain Simple types in Metro. "While using XJC I see that it does not generate types for enums/simple types whose restriction is based on types like int,float,integer etc. But in case of "string" the java type gets generated. why is this descrepancy? Is there a way to force JAXB to generate java types for such enum/simple types as well."

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Keeping nice little language changes in play