Posted by fabriziogiudici
on July 29, 2009 at 11:12 PM PDT
Project Lombok has been talked about at the JavaPosse mailing list. In short, it's a tool that hooks into the compiler for generating boilerplate code, driven by annotations, for things such as JavaBean bound properties. For more information, have a look at the project website.
Now, I'm a big fan of this kind of tools. I think that Java-the-language is mature and has reached the limit in the feature / complexity ratio; that is, any major improvement will ineluctably make it too complex, towards a direction that C++ has experienced fifteen years ago. Any new idea go to new languages, please. But tools such as Lombok could bring a lot of benefits into the language, just relying on the annotation support.
One of the most recurrent criticism about this approach is for poor integration with the IDE - e.g. auto-completion not working and such. For this reason, Lombok has got a plugin-or-such that hooks into Eclipse too. Of course, specific work is needed for every IDE, and the Lombok guys are also working on support for NetBeans, but none of them is a NetBeans guy, so they'd like to get some help. It's a thing that could fit well with the recent NetDEV initiative.
BTW, they'd like to support IDEA too, but being closed source, they don't know what to do. Roman, if you're listening and you think it's a good idea... do you think that something could be done?