generic specialization design discussion

Doug Lea dl at
Sun May 5 11:07:01 UTC 2019

On 4/18/19 6:08 PM, John Rose wrote:
> ...
> There's another shoe that needs to drop here, another
> term which is *not* good enough, for us to bikeshed:
> "reference".  If we could get away with saying "value"
> and "reference" have a special meaning as adjectives,
> we could allow those terms, as nouns, to retain their
> standard meanings in the JVMS.
> Finally, we need to use the positive term inline
> and the positive term NI to construct the very
> useful type names formerly known as ValObject
> and RefObject.  Clearly, those names should be
> readable in code as "inline object" and "NI object".
> Now for a NI bikeshed color.  I think it is sufficient
> to use the term "identity" for NI.

Not having any better ideas after sitting on this a while, I agree.
Some usages are about referring to an identity, not the identity itself.
But I don't know any everyday terms for this that work ("allusion" is
sorta close but weird).


> Thus, we would have:
>  - inline classes and identity classes
>  - inline types and identity types
>  - the top types InlineObject and IdentityObject
>  - inline objects and identity objects
>  - inline values and identity values
>  - inline references and identity references
>  - informally, maybe "inlines" and "identities"
> (Or maybe something like InlineObj and IdentityObj
> or InObject and IdObject, if we feel the need to
> abbreviate.)
> What other colors are there for NI?

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