Monday, March 08, 2004

Transferring scripting idioms to Java - introduction

I like the idea of using Ruby or Groovy for scripting utility programs. My main impediment to doing so is the fear that no one else on my development team would be able to work with the code. This means I tend to write utilities I plan to share in Java.
These utilities are not as clean or concise as those written in a more scripting oriented language but they get the job done.

I recently had a mini epiphany when I realized it’s not Java the language’s fault that the utilities are so verbose, rather it’s the base class libraries. Java’s heritage is as a system language not a scripting language and as such the standard classes are geared toward performance and fine grain control instead of productivity and conciseness.

So I asked myself what would a concise library for Java look like? I’ve been playing around with some ideas and so far I like what I’ve found. The results are not as concise or cool as Ruby or Groovy code but I think they are a lot nicer than what someone using standard Java class libraries would produce.

The core areas I’ve been focusing on are

  • 1.) File system processing,
  • 2.) Simplified file IO,
  • 3.) Simplified child process management.
  • 4.) Command line processing.
  • 5.) Console based UI..

    Over the next week I’ll try and use this topic as food for the blog and describe my ideas in more detail. I can’t post code just yet but I’m working on that too.

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