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From Geir Magnusson Jr <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: Harmony and the future of Java
Date Sun, 26 Feb 2006 23:10:09 GMT

Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> Santiago Gala wrote:


>> Getting closer to topic, I wonder if someone can post here a 
>> subjective summary of the ideas on support for dynamic languages in 
>> future java. I'm concerned about the stagnation of jython (barely 
>> commits since 2.2a1) and I would also like to know how far is support 
>> for dynamic languages going to be.

It's my understanding that Sun et al has figured out there's a problem. 
  The dam was broken w/ the Groovy JSR, and if there isn't now, there 
will be a JSR at some point focused on support for dynamic languages on 
the JVM.

Groovy made some important people (like Graham Hamilton) either realize 
or admit that "Java" as we know it is fundamentally about the JVM and 
classlibraries, and how you produce your bytecode is secondary.  (i.e. 
if you write in Java, great!  if Groovy, great!)

>> In particular, things like smalltalk's primitive "anObject become: 
>> anotherObject", which will turn all references to an object to 
>> references to a different one seem difficult to mix with the static 
>> typing nature of java, and I would like to know more about the 
>> approach they are going to take for such kind of problems.
> I agree with you (and Ben) about the fact that monoculture brings 
> stagnation, but I don't think this is a good place for talking about 
> "java innovations".
> <hat type="project mentor">
> This project is about implement a JVM as specified by the JCP, of which 
> the ASF is part of.
> Changing and influencing that JVM spec is out of scope it if brings 
> incompatibilities that will preclude passing the certification stage.
> </hat>
> This said, it is not impossible for Harmony to be instrumental in 
> showing that additions to the JVM might be beneficial for the outside 
> world and therefore submit them for review to the JCP.
> There is *nothing* that prevents us from implementing harmony-specific 
> features, if this doesn't stop us from passing the TCK.

Right - I think that there are all sorts of things I'd like to see in 
Harmony, like good management, being able to checkpoint a JVM, serialize 
the goop, move it to another machine, and let it continue...  I'd also 
love to experiment with how a VM can assist with the problem of object 
persistence, disconnected object graphs, etc.

But this is done with the compatibility meme in mind, becuase w/o 
compatibility, we have a mess.


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