Skip to main content

Joe Darcy: Syntax Sin Tax

Joe Darcy talks about Project Lambda Syntax Sin Tax:

In various forums, recent discussion about Project Lambda have commented on, and often noted in dismay, the current syntax for lambda expressions in the initial prototype.

"Don't panic!" is advice as valid for work on language evolution as on any other endeavor.

Since syntax is the easiest aspect of a language change to form an opinion on, it is the aspect of language changes most susceptible to bikeshedding.

While syntax is an important component of language changes, it is far from the only important component; the semantics matter too!

Fixation on the syntax of a feature early in its development is premature and counterproductive.

Having a prototype to gain actual experience with the feature is more valuable than continued informed analysis and commentary without working code.

I believe this diagram included in a talk on the Project Coin language change process holds for language changes in Java more generally...

Community: OpenJDK