Why MS-extensions?

Moses DeJong dejong at cs.umn.edu
Mon Jun 14 20:14:09 PDT 1999

On Tue, 15 Jun 1999, Maksim Lin wrote:

> Godmar Back wrote:
> > 
> >  Tim and his company support the MS-extensions in their custom edition.
> > While Tim can speak best for his company, let me point out two things:
> > 
> > + before we add those extensions (from what I can tell, we're talking about
> >   a microsoft directory in libraries/javalib and a few .c files that go
> >   in a shared library -- no changes or restrictions in the VM or the rest of
> >   the libraries), I'd rather see Tim add the new code generator or
> >   support for gcj.  There are indeed more pressing issues than adding support
> >   for Microsoft Java.

Unless "the code" is not in the best interest of the community.
I have yet to hear a good reason why the Microsoft extensions
to Java are a good thing.

> Plus I guess I should add that I respect the ethic of "he who writes the
> code gets to decide what gets written" so I have no problems with these
> extensions being added, I was just surprised given previous objections
> to including non-standard stuff in kaffe.
> > + Secondly, just what makes Microsoft Java better or worse than Sun Java?
> >   For us, that is, for the open source kaffe, the deciding factor as to
> >   whether to add or not add a given feature or API, should not be which
> >   company developed it, but whether there's people who really need and/or
> >   use it.  Plus, what its technical merits are.
> >   Do people use Microsoft Java a lot?  I don't know.  But if they
> >   did, it would be nice to support it in Kaffe.  Should Tim decide to offer
> >   the code for the public edition at some point, we can discuss the
> >   question of whether it's worth adding or not.  Then, people who want it
> >   can speak up and if nobody wants it, there's no reason to add it.

Not everything from MS is bad. I use PowerPoint and I like it a lot.
It does not crash as much as other MS software and it seems to do what
it should without a lot of extra fuss. I use it because there is no
free software option that gives me the same features and ability
to send a slideshow to other people. I have no reason to use MS-Java
because there is a perfectly good JNI system that provides a way to link
native code into a JVM. The other Microsoft extensions are just as
useless. Delagates are nothing more than syntactic sugar for a class
with a single method. There is no reason to put such a thing in the
Java language. I also think inner classes were a bad idea. The
solution is not to say, well Sun added a bad idea, Microsoft should be
able to as well. It is always good to be open minded, but how many
times does Microsoft need to lie, cheat, and steal before we should
stop trusting them?

Mo DeJong
dejong at cs.umn.edu

> I have to admit that I have been guilty of falling into the
> everything-MS=bad trap.  Since I admit to not knowing very much at all
> about the MS-java extensions, perhaps someone could entlighten me on
> what exactly they are & do - I haven't given them much thought until
> now, but since there will be an o-s JVM supporting them I guess I should
> be open-minded engough to actually learn what they are.
> >   Finally, may I remind people that there's currently no running version
> >   of Kaffe for Windows (minus maybe a non-windowing version that runs
> >   under Cygwin), so this discussion---like so many discussions on news outlets
> >   such as slashdot---is a bit premature and pointless anyway.
> > 
> >         - Godmar
> Agreed but as I said above people, are free to work on what they want
> to/need to have.  Personally I've been trying to get the gtk AWT stuff
> going because thats something I want for my own projects, I bet it's not
> a priority for other people, so I'm NOT complaining about Tim (or anyone
> else) working on the MS-extensions rather then something else.  
> And yes most of these discussions are pointless, but at least on this
> list the noise is pretty low and some decent discussion takes place.
> Maksim.
> -- 
> Remember Darwin; building a better mousetrap merely results in smarter
> mice.

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