Posted by brucechapman
on December 17, 2007 at 1:54 PM PST
The closures controversy is attracting a number of commenters who seem to be opposed to any new java language features that are not completely understandable in less than one minute. While all this conservative energy is being directed at the closures proposals, there is possibly a larger threat to the values these folk hold to.
Neal Gafter's latest blog on closures has attracted two or three comments from people wanting to object to generics, and a number of other conservative commenters voicing an objection to closures. Josh's JavaPolis presentation makes a valid point that these opinions cannot be ignored.
I have invested some time getting my head around some (but not all) of the closures proposals. I don't know whether I find that easier or harder than your average practitioner, but with a little effort I can now relatively easily read and comprehend most example code.
I have also invested some time getting my head around the early draft of JSR-308 and there are parts (like method receivers) of that which I just can't get my head around. Maybe I'm thick, or maybe the spec does not do a good job of explaining what is fundamentally a good idea, or maybe the idea is fundamentally wrong. I don't yet know.
What I do know is that closures is not the only language proposal out there that can make a java program look foreign to those who can't or won't put in the effort required to internalize them. JSR-308 makes closures look simple, and its a lot closer, in terms of the JSR lifecycle, to becoming a part of the java language specification.
To all those who are voicing opinions against language changes that make java more complex, have you read the JSR-308 early draft? And have you sent your comments to the expert group?