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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Java and arch

From: Charles Duffy
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Java and arch
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2003 01:27:15 -0500

On Mon, 2003-10-20 at 00:32, Mark A. Flacy wrote:
> So "compile here, run everywhere" is an exceedingly desirable
> characteristic in my worldview. 

I'm not sure how "I take advantage of $FOO" translates into "$FOO is
worthwhile" (where in this case "worthwhile" means, among other things,
"worth the cost of substantially increased startup time of a CLI-based

> Umm hmm.  Of course, don't forget to add in the meta data in the source
> tree for those platforms that don't support user ids, group ids, permission
> bits, and symlinks on those platforms that don't support those things.  As
> well as tla commands to manipulate such things.

Why bother? If the current platform doesn't support the metadata, (1)
hardcode sane defaults for new files, and (2) add no metadata changes to
the generated patchset. It's not a perfect solution, but it's cheap and
should work at least 80% of the time.

> I don't think that a Java version of arch is a Bad Idea, but I *do* think
> that your vision of such a thing is hammering a square peg into a round
> hole. 

Maybe. Java has a fair bit to be said for it as a language alone,
however. Forever associating Java with a language *and* a bytecode is
perhaps a bit overreaching... Java-the-language can be useful at times
when Java-the-bytecode isn't, and vice-versa.

Things like increased exception handling, crash resistance, garbage
collection, a wide variety of available IPC mechanisms, several of which
take advantage of the language's introspection features... these are all
useful characteristics, and at least some subset of them could be useful
to arch (particularly to someone trying to make a long-running library
implementation of arch).

> If you are going to write something that requires glue code, then you might
> as well pick a language that supports what you are attempting to do.
> Python would be a good choice, IMO.  Even Perl would work, even though the
> very thought of such a thing makes my skin crawl.  (We all have our
> foibles; I happen to hate Perl.)

Not to worry; I have that same fault.

That said, however, I'd argue that Java has no lack of support for "what
I'm trying to do" -- perhaps the stock runtime library does, but that's
a separate issue.

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