Comments on the straw man...

Mark Reinhold mr at
Wed Dec 16 11:45:19 PST 2009

> Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 11:17:51 -0800
> From: Neal Gafter <neal at>

> These are thoughts that occur to me on first reading of Mark's strawman.
> [ Many good questions, many of which are not answered
>   by any existing proposal ]
> ...
> 0. Overall impression.
> Overall, my impression is that this strawman sets a stake in the ground
> about how the language features might fit together without actually working
> it out or verifying that the ideas are mutually compatible.  It appears to
> address the simplest use cases only.  There is not enough detail to evaluate
> most of it.  A great deal of work will be required to turn the ideas into a
> coherent language specification, and that will likely require a significant
> revision of the initial ideas.  Many of my questions would be answered in
> the effort; it isn't clear what purpose was served by publishing the
> strawman.

Well, as you yourself say, the purpose was to set "a stake in the ground
about how the language features might fit together without actually
working it out."  So of course many details are missing.  I committed
publicly to initiate an open discussion, and publishing the straw-man
proposal seemed the best way to do that.

I could, alternatively, have waited and posted a more-complete proposal,
but that would no doubt have triggered cries of "NIH".  (Such cries have,
sadly, already been raised.)  I could have chosen one of the existing
proposals as a starting point but that would've been seen, rightly, as
heavy-handed.  Neither of these alternatives would have been a good way
to begin an effort to build consensus around the ultimate design.

It may well be that one of the existing proposals is a good starting
point, but I'd like to see some discussion of that topic before making
such a decision.

> Given the amount of language design work remaining and the short time frame
> (5-6 months to feature complete), does Sun plan to devote someone (or a
> team) with the appropriate skills (or who have the time to develop those
> skills) to the task?

Yes, of course.

- Mark

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