[armedbear-devel] Exception Handling

Mark Evenson evenson at panix.com
Thu Dec 17 23:28:44 UTC 2009

On 12/17/09 5:49 PM, Alessio Stalla wrote:

>> I'd also like any thoughts on the comparative advantages of using the JSS as
>> opposed to the native ABCL calls.
> I have never used JSS, and didn't even know it existed. I'm aware of
> an invoke.lisp with supposedly similar functionality but with the
> drawback of requiring an additional Java library. I also wrote my
> little, less powerful Java easy access layer for a project of mine,
> and I can say that having nicer syntax for Java calls improves code
> readability quite a lot. On the other hand, if you need the maximum
> efficiency (i.e. no more runtime dispatch than what Java itself does,
> plus the necessary reflection overhead), ABCL's native calls are the
> best choice.

'invoke.lisp' is the name of the main part of the JSS implementation, so 
they are different ways of saying the same thing.

JSS actually requires two additional JAR files to work, but both are 
actually checked into the JSS SVN repository, so there are dependable 
URIs that resolve to the necessary bytes which only need to be 
downloaded once per system you wish to deploy upon.  The 
'additional.jars' property of the Ant based build system can be used to 
more or less automatically include references to them on a local 
filesystem while following the ABCL SVN trunk, so once you have the JARs 
locally on a machine, have set the proper paths in 'build.properties', 
and referenced JSS via the 'jss.asd' file in the ASDF repo, things are 
pretty easy.

For my personal taste, the best thing about JSS is how the #" macro 
makes using Java more like Lisp by placing the method first in the 
s-expr so I find that using

   (#"toString" (new 'Foo))

rather than
   (let ((foo (jnew (jconstructor "some.long.package.name.Foo"))))
     (jcall (jmethod "toString" "some.long.package.name.Foo") foo))

just makes things a lot easier to parse mentally, especially once your 
code gets rather long.

There are some corner cases where using JSS gets a bit peculiar (like 
accessing Java Enums if I remember correctly), but overall I would 
definitely endorse it.

Alessio is completely correct that there is a fair amount of overhead in 
supporting JSS's #" macro as it dynamically searches the Java namespace 
for method resolution, but I never really ran into problems with that.

I also wrote most of the code I used JSS for before Alessio's layer 
existed, so my preference for JSS did not result from any comparison 
between the two.

However you choose to use ABCL, please let us know how things are going 
once you get some experiences to report.

"A screaming comes across the sky.  It has happened before, but there
is nothing to compare to it now."

More information about the armedbear-devel mailing list