Okay, so you know I do technology for a living. Most of it is not very interesting to me (I’m sick of all the Windows 8 hype… buy it or don’t buy it, whatever!).
But this JavaWorld article about Classfile is very cool. I’ve always loved compiler theory way back to my CORBA days, where we would parse Interface Definition Language (IDL) into Abstract Syntax Trees (ASTs) and generate C++ code. But I digress.
Classfile is a library that lets you roll up classfiles without using javac to do it. Why is this interesting? Well, you can (in theory) take any logical construct and express it on the JVM without writing Java language code. So, imagine creating an app that you speak natural language into, your instructions are translated into a classfile that is immediately executed on the JVM.
I think it would be super cool to create, say, presentations by simply speaking what you want displayed, and it appears:
Me: “New Presentation” (Presentation appears)
Me: “Create a shape and place it in the top left corner” (“What shape do you want?”)
Me: “Square” (Square appears in the top left corner)
Me: “Move shape down and to the right” (square moves down and to the right)
Me: “More” (square moves more down and more to the right)
Me: “Save” (“Where do you want to save it?”
Me: “Desktop” (presentation is saved to my desktop)
You get the idea. Language parsing has gotten really good. And apps like Siri are pretty cool, but at some point businesses will want to exploit the power of natural language processing and dynamic scripting to produce applications that power the business. And utilities like Classfile will provide the ability to remove the middle-man (the programming language) and go right to the JVM. I think THAT is cool.
Siri, remind me to look into this further.