Last night was the monthly meeting of the Java Metroplex User’s Group, of which I belong and also serve on the board. I was both looking forward to and dreading the meeting. I dreaded it because we were holding yearly elections and I was afraid they would drag on and on and on. Boy was I pleasantly surprised at how smooth and quick things went. Congrats to the current board for such a smooth election and congrats to the newly elected board members.
The reason I was looking forward to the meeting was that this month’s speaker was Glenn Vanderburg. I have seen him speak at previous JavaMUG meetings and at last years Lone Star Software Symposium. His presentations are both strong technically and delivered with some humor.
Last night Glenn spoke on the new features coming with J2SE 1.5. He spent a large chunk of the presentation on generics, and then covered a number of the other 1.5 additions.
Here is what I think about the new features after hearing Glenn’s presentation. This will be brief:
1. generics- This is supposed to make things easier to type, but it will end up being more typing. Will I ever see another ClassCastException? Probably.
2. enum- We have a new keyword, it’s enum, but it should have been foreach (see below). I’m not sure how often I’ll use this. It might have put “switch” back on the map.
3. enhanced for loops- Drop the enum keyword and give me foreach, or add them both. No more grabbing iterators to spin through collections.
4. static imports- Cool! Most people last night didn’t seem to like this, but why? This definitely should save some keystrokes.
5. autoboxing- I got a little lost. I’m not sure when I’ll start using this. I’ll do some research here.
6. metadata- Looks to be more for tools vendors. See JSR-175 and JSR-181.
Here and here are two links from Sun’s Java site that discuss some of the new features in 1.5. I will also try to get a copy of Glenn’s presentation posted on the JavaMUG site.