Monday, November 12, 2007

New Language Features for JDK7 - from the Java Community

A newsletter from Belgian Java User Group (BeJUG) landed in my Inbox yesterday, and boy, am I glad to see it. You can read it here. Basically, BeJUG is submitting the JSR for closures in Java, based on Neal Gafter's proposal. This is huge news for several reasons. Reason one, we need closures in Java NOW. Reason two, this is the first JSR filed by a Java Users Group, and also the first Java language JSR led outside of Sun Microsystems.

The second jolly good news in the same newsletter is that Google also submitted a JSR for a "collection of smaller language features". Smaller? They're proposing type inference, extension methods, catch for multiple exception types (Brian Goetz will be glad. Hell, me too!), and improved syntax for easing the catch-rethrow pattern. These ain't small in my book.

We need to realize that C# has had type inference, extension methods, object initializers, anonymous types, and lambda expressions for two years now. It'd be about time for Java to catch up with the times, and I'm really glad to see community finally taking initiative to make it happen and not waiting for Sun.

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