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From Matt Benson <>
Subject Re: New Sandbox Component Proposal: Commons JSON
Date Thu, 30 Apr 2009 15:59:18 GMT

--- On Thu, 4/30/09, Christian Grobmeier <> wrote:

> From: Christian Grobmeier <>
> Subject: Re: New Sandbox Component Proposal: Commons JSON
> To: "Commons Developers List" <>
> Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009, 9:55 AM
> > Why do you consider a dependency
> on Antlr a negative (the runtime is 148k), JSON is a
> formally defined language after all.
> I don't know a person face to face who actually can handle
> antlr. Its
> a cool tool, but if you need to create a patch for your
> json lib, it
> can be hell. Plain java is understood by every java
> developer (well,
> most ;-)).

I don't know about folks you (or I) know face-to-face, but I know that several ASF committers
and members have popped up around the ANTLR lists over the years, including, off the top of
my head, myself, Torsten, O.Ziegermann, H.L. Ship, and probably others.  I personally am quite
comfortable with ANTLR 2.x but need to really take the time to play with ANTLR 3.  The argument
_for_ using parser generators is that those who use them feel the grammar is easier to digest
(it's smaller) than the equivalent Java code.  It's something else again to debug ANTLR parsers/treeparsers,
but it's far from impossible.  Once you get used to knowing what to look for it's actually
fairly easy.  I don't say any of this to disparage Yonik's work on Noggit (I've not looked
at it); I am just airing my understanding of the motivations for using grammars and parser
generators as opposed to hand-writing parsers.


> > I always scratch my head when I hear "there are
> dependencies!" when any application I create or use always
> has dependencies. I wonder how much redundancies and bug
> fixes would be removed if, for example, all Apache Java code
> (or even just the Commons code) went the other way and did
> depend on each other. You might argue we would end up in
> 'jar hell' but that might force us to better draw boundaries
> between components and fix bugs :)
> In maven age I don't feel bad with dependencies, but one
> json lib did
> depend on asm version 1 once, and hibernate upgraded to asm
> version 2,
> and that gave me nightmare. I ended up with opening my json
> package
> and copied all version 1 files into it with own package
> name. I
> recompiled, brought this to my repos and so on. This was
> hell (cause
> my customer didn't want to pay the time).
> For me json is so basic, that we can do everything without
> any
> dependencie. And a basic lib should not have any, I think.
> Thanks!
> Christian
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