Java News from Friday, July 16, 2004

James Strachan has released beta 6 of Groovy, a JVM hosted scripting language that strikes me as a little baroque and a tad Perl-like. Not that the syntax lookes like Perl. It just that Groovy looks like feature after feature has been glued on to a foundation of sand. I don't feel an overall sense of design here. There's no overarching vision for what a language should look like that I can discern. There are lots of features to like in the language (and quite a few to dislike: I'm sorry, but operator overloading is simply a bad idea, as C++ proved once and for all; and we've known for at least 30 years that having both = and == in a language is a mistake; adding === to the mix doesn't help.); but even the features that do seem like a good idea when considered individually don't feel like they fit together. It just isn't as clean a language as Java or Python. :-(

I'm not at all surprised to something like this coming from Strachan, who's always been an advocate of the more-is-more school of design. Witness the overwhelming complexity of his dom4j compared to the relative simplicity and unified vision of the JDOM API from which he forked it. Myself, I'm a developer who believes less is more and follows the principles of "When in doubt, leave it out" and "There should be exactly one way to do it", so it's probably not a surprise that I don't like SGML, dom4j, or Groovy and that I do like XML, JDOM, and Java. But if you're the sort of developer who thinks Larry Wall is a more talented designer than James Gosling, maybe you'll like Groovy too. De gustibus non disputandum est.

Picture of a Cat, Tomcat logo

The Jakarta Apache Project has released Tomcat 5.0.27, an open source servlet container for the Apache web server and the official reference implementation of the Java Servlet API and Java Server Pages (JSP). Tomcat 5.0 implements version 2.4 of the Java Servlet API 2.4 and version 2.0 of Java Server Pages. 5.0.27 is a bug fix release.

Michael Fuchs has posted version 0.58 of his DocBook Doclet that creates DocBook SGML and XML documents from JavaDoc. This release adds support for index tag entries and fixes some bugs.

Stefan Reich has posted beta 6 of SuperVersion, a single user version control system suitable for small projects, as opposed to multiuser, server-based systems like CVS and subversion.