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McEs, A Hacker Life
Saturday, May 28, 2005
 Language wars

The news about Apache Harmony project that brought a lot of traffic to the net, reminded me of the GNU Harmony project which is part of history now. Will Apache Harmony succeed to force Sun to adapt to Apache's license too, like GNU did with Qt?
ESR's Let Java Go letter from early 2004 is interesting. A few years ago, I was asked by a friend to implement the Iranian calendar for Java. I had a look at the Calendar and GregorianCalendar classes, and it turned out, the whole Calendar class is using a timestamp member variable which is key to the functionality of the class, but unfortunately the timestamp is not protected. It was in the default (package) scope, which meant that for my IranianCalendar class to work, it needed to be in the same package. I wrote the code that worked this way, but then the Calendar class is in the java.util package, and the Sun JVM does not let you put your classes in the java.util package. I was simply stuck. I handed in the code and told them to duplicate the Calendar class in a package of their own.

On the Mono front, I must confess Lluis's Mono is not mono-language post made it all too concise and clear that Mono is unavoidable. I just don't like to learn yet another module library. And also hoping that Fedora can ship Mono soon...

As for the GNOME 3 discussion, seems like GNOME wants to get out of the 2.x syndrome finally. Linux is stuck in 2.6 for now, and Python is making 3 more of a dream. I think GNOME 3 should simply be 2.x with Cairo and XCompose integrated, language wars settled, Evince finished, and Beagle landed.

Comments:
The JRE is not necessarily monolingual either.. I'm currently looking at two interesting languages that target the JRE, Scala and Nice. The former also targets .NET CLR, which is neat.

Both can use Java classes and be subclassed from Java. Scala is currently my favourite, it has a lot of functional programming features implemented, including tail-call optimization.
 
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