Gosling gets closure on Java

Dream realized

Java

James Gosling, the Father of Java, today gave his blessing to the latest attempt to simplify the programming language.

In his blog today, the Sun Microsystems vice president said he "absolutely" backs the proposal for putting closures into Java Developer Kit 7.0, the next version of Java.

Closures are the brainchild of Neal Gafter, former Java 1.5 and 5.0 co-designer with Sun and currently leading Google's Java efforts.

According to Gafter, closures - along with function types - would give developers greater expressiveness, simplifying the use of existing APIs and enable new APIs that are "currently too awkward to express using the best current idiom: interface and anonymous classes".

Gosling say closures represent the realization of a dream that was postponed in Java's early days and resulted in the invention of inner classes - "an uncomfortable compromise" that failed to provide the desired level of simplification. He notes criticism that closures are too complex ,but advises people to read "through all of what Neal has written".

However, the debate over simplifying Java is a marathon issue, and the decision to put more functionality into Java will be greeted by some as yet another complication. ®

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