Embace Java, kill the noise and add some sugar

Eclipse Xtends olive branch to Java

Chris Mayer

Developers says it compiles to readable Java code

The Eclipse Foundation rather quietly brought out a new language this week in Xtend – insisting that it wasn’t yet another alternate language added to the JVM but would embrace Java and modernise it.

The subproject from the XText project is slightly different from the plethora of other available options (Scala, Clojure etc) by compile to straight readable Java code, resembling its syntax. Xtend will come with the latest Eclipse IDE support and relies purely on the JDK library. The standard IDE features will crossover too such as colouring, refactoring and so on.

The people behind the new language state that Xtend’s raison d’etre is to ‘kill the noise’ by addressing the common bugbear of writing Java – reducing redundant code but keeping it static.

Xtend will also create advances or as they call it ‘add some sugar’. Closures are finally on the agenda with Xtend, as well as extension methods, greater support for multi-line string literals and an improved Switch expression. All of which are detailed further on the Xtend homepage.

This nifty intro video really highlights what Xtend is and what it plans to do…

Xtend Intro from Xtext Team on Vimeo.

Streamling seems to be the order of the day here – a noble cause. It may not seem like a huge development in the grand scheme of things, but small changes don’t half make a developers life easier in the long run, and it shall be interesting to see how many adopt Xtend and Xtext as an alternative.

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