Java 6 is very nice… but what’s so special about scripting support

OpenjdkLogo As any Java minded developer I also heard about the release of Java 6. While I could whine on about the fact that it is released and that it’s great, I don’t think that would add anything to the current buzz on the internet. I’d say read the release notes and your done with that. Don’t forget to click to the new features and enhancements page.

But I do want to share a little email discussion I had with a collegue. Java 6 has scripting support built in. Now scripting in a Java VM is nothing new. Then why the hell is everybody drooling over this scripting support in Java 6? The only real change is that it’s now possible to work through a standardized API. Before Java 6 it was already possible to do scripting in Java. My guess would be that most of the engines mentioned on this page could be used with earlier Java VM versions.

Oh and let me make a prediction. I am guessing that there is going to be a lot of talk about domain specific languages in Java, which will most likely be called DSL in a matter of weeks. 🙂

One cool thing I did find out about when plucking through the new features of Java 6: An Applet demonstrating a fully Scheme R5RS compliant Scheme implementation called SICS
Don’t know why but it made me smile. 😛

Gift drawing code

In response to Martin Wolf’s blog posting about a little bit of gift drawing code I’ve hacked up a little piece of code in about 30 minutes to see if I could do better in Java 5.

There is bound to be something wrong with it. (Let’s see what we can find. :))

package net.leenarts.sinterklaas;</code>

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.Comparator;
import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Map;
import java.util.TreeMap;

public class test {

	 * @param args
	 * @throws IOException
	public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {

		// Do nothing with input.

		BufferedReader sin = new BufferedReader(
				new InputStreamReader(;

		List<List<String>> names = new ArrayList<List<String>>();
		Map<String, List<String>> related = new HashMap<String, List<String>>();

		System.out.println("Please enter names of people for the draw."
				+ "\nPeople"
				+ "\nentered on one line seperated by whitespace are"
				+ "\nmarked as related. Confirm entry by pressing the"
				+ "\nreturn key. Entering an empty line finishes the"
				+ "\nentry procedure.");
		for (String line = sin.readLine(); line != null && line.length() > 0; line = sin
				.readLine()) {
			// Cut input up to individuals, related to each other.
			List<String> relatives = Arrays.asList(line.split("\\s{1,}"));

			// prevent doubles
			for (String relative : relatives) {
				if (names.contains(relative)) {
					System.out.println("The name \"" + relative
							+ "\" has already been entered,"
							+ " please try again.");

			// Store as relatives
			for (String relative : relatives) {
				related.put(relative, relatives);

			// And store the names

		Collections.sort(names, new Comparator<List<String>>() {
			public int compare(List<String> o1, List<String> o2) {
				if (o1.size() < o2.size()) {
					return 1;
				} else if (o1.size() > o2.size()) {
					return -1;

				return 0;

		// Now to perform the draw
		List<String> receivers = new ArrayList<String>();
		for (List<String> nameList : names) {
		List<String> namesList = new ArrayList<String>();

		Map<String, String> result = new TreeMap<String, String>();

		for (String name : namesList) {
			List<String> candidateReceivers = new ArrayList<String>(receivers);

			// People are only allowed to draw
			// someone unrelated and not themselves.


			result.put(name, candidateReceivers.get(0));

		System.out.println("Here are your results:");