Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Gosling hits 'Jackpot' with futuristic tools
started 3/21/2002; 8:19:32 AM - last post 3/22/2002; 12:52:13 PM
Ehud Lamm - Gosling hits 'Jackpot' with futuristic tools  blueArrow
3/21/2002; 8:19:32 AM (reads: 690, responses: 4)
Gosling hits 'Jackpot' with futuristic tools
During an interview in advance of the JavaOne developer conference in San Francisco next week, Gosling offered some details of a research group he is leading at Sun Labs, called Jackpot, which he said is "nosing around a bunch of issues," including an idea to build Java development tools that can visualize software code.

Anyone know what's this about?

I seem to recall that something like this was mentioned here, but I am not sure.

Posted to general by Ehud Lamm on 3/21/02; 8:20:13 AM

Adewale Oshineye - Re: Gosling hits 'Jackpot' with futuristic tools  blueArrow
3/21/2002; 9:16:30 AM (reads: 704, responses: 0)
I remember a talk Gosling gave at the UK Unix Users Group in London about a year and a half ago where he mentioned this idea. He was talking about the limitation of modern editors because they're limited to working with the source code. He said that he was interested in working on editing technologies that would allow programmers to "manipulate the abstract syntax tree" for a program. This is all based on memory but I seem to remember that he mentioned that the main difficulty was finding a representation that was accessible to the potential users and gave them the ability to make meaningful and more sophisticated changes.

His main point was that the source code is a pretty poor representation of the meaning of your program. After 50 years we should have tools that are substantially better than our forbears rather than ever-prettier text editors.

Does anyone know how this relates to the refactoring browsers that already exist or even the refactoring tool support that people like Martin Fowler talk about and which tools like IntelliJ Idea provide?

Chris Peterson - Re: Gosling hits 'Jackpot' with futuristic tools  blueArrow
3/21/2002; 10:37:54 PM (reads: 657, responses: 0)
This sounds a lot like Charles Simonyi's eternally vaporware Intentional Programming:

IP programs are encoded in a tree-like data structure where each node also has a graph-like pointer to the definition of the intention the node is an instance of.

Glenn Vanderburg - Re: Gosling hits 'Jackpot' with futuristic tools  blueArrow
3/22/2002; 8:21:52 AM (reads: 627, responses: 1)
The Jackpot project does not have a page at, but two of the researchers do:

Van De Vanter has a couple of publications listed that are related to the project.

Ehud Lamm - Re: Gosling hits 'Jackpot' with futuristic tools  blueArrow
3/22/2002; 12:52:13 PM (reads: 637, responses: 0)
Look interesting. Thanks.