Project Coin: For further consideration...
By darcy on Mar 24, 2009
In the first three weeks of Project Coin over two dozen proposals have been sent to the mailing list for evaluation. The proposals have ranged the gamut from new kinds of expressions, to new statements forms, to improved generics support. Thanks to all Java community members who have sent in interesting, thoughtful proposals and contributed to informative discussions on the list!
While there is a bit less than a week left in the call for proposals period, there has been enough discussion on the list to winnow the slate of proposals sent in so far to those that merit further consideration for possible inclusion in the platform.
First, Bruce Chapman's proposal to extend the scope of imports to include package annotations will be implemented under JLS maintenance so further action is unnecessary on this matter as part of Project Coin. Second, since the JSR 294 expert group is discussing adding a module level of accessibility to the language, the decision of whether or not to include Adrian Kuhn's proposal of letting "package" explicitly name the default accessibility level will be deferred to that body. Working with Alex, I reviewed the remaining proposals. Sun believes that the following proposals are small enough, have favorable estimated reward to effort ratios, and advance the stated criteria of making things programmers do everyday easier or supporting platform changes in JDK 7:
Strings in switch, Joe Darcy
Improved Exception Handling for Java, Neal Gafter
Automatic Resource Management, Josh Bloch
Improved Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation, Jeremy Manson
Elvis and Other Null-Safe Operators, Written by Neal Gafter and submitted by Stephen Colebourne
Simplified Varargs Method Invocation, Bob Lee
As this is just an initial cut and the proposals are not yet in a form suitable for direct inclusion in the JLS, work should continue to refine these proposed specifications and preferably also to produce prototype implementations to allow a more thorough evaluation of the utility and scope of the changes. The email list should focus on improving the selected proposals and on getting any remaining new proposals submitted; continued discussion of the other proposals is discouraged.
The final list of small language changes will be determined after the call for proposals is over so proposals sent in this week are certainly still in the running! The final list will only have around five items so it is possible not all the changes above will be on the eventual final list.