Thursday, October 18, 2007

Boy, I sure am getting in some trouble for leaving that teaser post on value objects and never coming back to it! That should teach me a lesson!

The worst part is that I've been avoiding blogging anything at all, because I keep thinking that I have to finish that topic up before I can say much else.

So: you'll get the conclusion to that when you get it. :-) I hope you'll find it was worth waiting for.

So what's up right now? Man, I am tired! I've really been busting ass here trying to get more and more of our collectiony goodness polished and pushed out to the open-source project. (Sometimes I do those two things in one order, sometimes in the other.)

A couple of things just went out. First, I've finished a major reworking of crazybob's ReferenceMap. (Ever wonder how Bob and I collaborate, on things like this, and Guice? One, he writes amazing, amazing shit. Two, I take his shit and I fuck with it. Big time. That's about how it goes.)

I have to tell you, I am really, really proud of ReferenceMap -- the kind of proud you are of something you know you only helped across the last mile, but still. I really think this thing is a beauty.

So what is it? It's the complete generalization of the concept in WeakHashMap; you tell it whether you want to use strong, soft or weak references for keys, and whether you want strong, soft or weak references for values. It does the rest; all nine combinations.

Was Bob the first person ever to think of this? Probably not. I think Apache Commons made theirs around the same time he first made this. But regardless, and I mean no offense to my Apache friends, I'm pretty sure this is the best implementation of this concept you're gonna find. It's fully concurrent -- it implements the ConcurrentMap interface and is backed by a ConcurrentHashMap. Reclaiming of entries happens concurrently as the garbage collector gets to them -- no extra cost to your application threads. And, of course, it's fully generified -- expect no less from anything in our library.

So try it out. Read the source if you're into that kind of thing. Let us know what you think. We're working on more related stuff... to come.

Next up, Cliff Biffle and I (again, mostly Cliff!) wrote a concurrent implementation of Multiset. We like to call it, ConcurrentMultiset. I won't urge you to run out and read it over, though, since I'm knee-deep in the middle of a huge ground-up revision to the Multiset API and documentation which will have ripple effects throughout all the Multiset implementations. When I'm done, you'll know, cause I'll show up here one day talking about how great multisets are all of a sudden.

I feel great these days about where the Google Collections are and where they're heading. I think when we get to 1.0 we're going to have a product you won't want to live without. I hope so, anyway -- and I guess it's that hope that keeps me at work past 11 on nights like this!


swankjesse said...

Sweet! More fodder for my blog about how awesome Google's Java infrastructure is!

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