[JSR308] Can we agree on our goals?

Gary T. Leavens leavens at cs.iastate.edu
Fri Feb 2 18:46:44 EST 2007

Hi Brian,

My statements are based on the analysis of a graduate student in my
group (Kristina Boysen), who has looked at what is needed to support
all of JML into annotations.  My only reason for being on this list at
all see if adding those things to Java is sensible.  So you are right,
I don't think I'm leading us down a slippery slope.  However, the
reason is not because I'm unaware of my latent desires for language
features.  No, it's because the addition of (loop) statments to the
current proposal is exactly enough.

Can you show me a simple example of statment or loop annotations that
you find problematic?

On Fri, 2 Feb 2007, Brian Goetz wrote:

>> For my part, I would be very happy with adding the ability to have
>> annotations on types and statements (or even just loop statements).
>> I'm not personally trying to use any kind of strategy to lead us down
>> a slippery slope towards annotations on all possible syntactic
>> categories.  I think if Java programmers can annotate declarations,
>> types, and (loop) statements, that will be plenty.
> No one ever THINKS they are leading the way down a slippery slope.  It is 
> rarely part of anyone's "strategy", except for the truly subversive.  The 
> road to hell is paved with good intentions!  But if you are not constantly 
> vigilant that you will in fact do so anyway, that's where you're going.
> Statements of the form "I don't need annotations on everything, I just need 
> them on X" begs to dance down the slippery slope; different constituencies 
> will have different visions of X, and we end up with X, Y, Z, and Q, and THEN 
> another JSR to add everything else...
> One doesn't have to spend much time with this list to find more items from 
> the gallery of slippery slopes.

         Gary T. Leavens
         Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University
         229 Atanasoff Hall, Ames, Iowa 50011-1041 USA
         http://www.cs.iastate.edu/~leavens  phone: +1-515-294-1580

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