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Jack Beidler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Wed, 6 Jun 2001 15:17:08 -0400
text/plain (56 lines)
Regarding Terry Westley wrote:

> Some people should read the literature for design of other languages.
> Or, perhaps they just need to escape the NIH (not invented here) syndrome...
> >From <,4586,2769630,00.html>
>         Generics is controversial and has been widely debated inside and outside of Sun.
>         Gosling said the concept is so complicated that no two developers could agree on
>         exactly how it should be implemented. He and Sun Chief Scientist Bill Joy "got as
>         close to physical violence as we've gotten," he said, because Joy wanted to slip
>         Java for two or three years until Sun figured out generics. However, developers
>         converged on an answer about two years ago, and then Sun waited while the issue
>         wended its way through the Java Community Process. Gosling said reliability is
>         critical to Java because it raises developer productivity, allowing them to
>         "spend less of their lives fixing broken applications."
> --
> Terry Westley
> [log in to unmask]

It is a shame that the idiots in charge of Java don't have enough brains to look at the
generic/template models of Ada and C++.  I am currently working on a couple of papers with
two of my colleagues on Java's lack of template/generic capabilities. One of my colleagues is
a C++ guy and we have been comparing Ada generics and C++ templates with an eye towards how
we might like to see a generic/template feature implemented in Java.

The issue is much deeper than that.  How many students go through an undergraduate program
with any real software reuse experience (I can see it now, I am about to get flamed).  People
seem to claim as software reuse experience by just throwing any crap they want into a library
and presto they are doing reuse.

Granted, there are some pretty good libraries out there in C++ and Java, but I just did a
survey of CS 2 and CS 7 (Advanced data structures and algorithms) texts using C++.  Would you
believe that I could not find one book that uses C++ templates to encapsulate the basic data
structures?  If one of you know one, let me know.

Now keep in mind that just about all the Java book for these courses are "global replaces" of
the various author's C++ books and you can see that we are facing a generation of programmers
who have been raised on C++ and Java and have no real clue as to how to use a
generic/template for the construction of reusable software!

If the software industry is in trouble now, I have a pretty good clue where it is going to be
in the future as more and more schools dumb down there CS programs.

Jack Beidler
John (Jack) Beidler, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science
Computing Sciences Department
University of Scranton
Scranton, PA 18510
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