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Registered: Jun 2001
Posts: 37

new java language features

At JavaOne, James Gosling announced that two new features will soon be added to the Java language: assertions and generics.

These features are both significant and signal a trend that Sun is listening closely to the suggestions input to the Java Community Process (JCP). The suggestions are called Java Specification Requests (JSR).

JSR-41 calls for the addition of a new keyword, assert, to be added to the language in the JDK 1.4 timeframe. Similar to C++, this feature can be used to check that boundary conditions are satisfied during program execution. It seems that the authors also had Eiffel in mind with this feature since it is close to pre-conditions. However, the JSR warns against using this feature for argument checking because this should be part of a method's contract and not subject to disablement like assertions.

For more details, see the following web page: A Simple Assertion Facility.

Generics should be familiar to former C++ programmers since they behave very similar to templates. This feature is intended to remove the need to cast many of the results of methods in the Collection classes. For instance, when getting an object from a List, you have to cast the object to its appropriate type before using it. Generics remove the need to cast while maintaining type safety. See
JSR-14 and a description of GJ, a proposal for this JSR, for more information. This feature isn't expected until JDK 1.5...

Anyone for multiple inheritance?

Last edited by wellington on 06-08-2001 at 04:19 AM

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