Tuesday, January 01, 2008

JSR 294 Early Draft

The Early Draft Review of JSR 294 is now complete. Little seems to have changed since when I left the Expert Group. The main weakness from my perspective is that a class file must name its superpackage in order for the class to be a member of the superpackage. This means that you can't easily produce a program which runs on existing versions of Java but which will take advantage of superpackages when it runs on Java 7 and beyond.

Practically speaking, this means that superpackages will only be used in applications that are willing to restrict themselves to Java 7 and beyond. So I suspect that superpackages will not come into popular usage within the next few years.

Of course, this can be gotten round by using a custom class loader with some bytecode rewriting magic, but one of the reasons that JSR 277, and its progeny JSR 294, were introduced was to avoid application developers from having to create custom class loaders.

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