Language Neutrality and the Java Platform

by Brian Jepson

Roger Sessions, the author of the article, maintains that .NET has more inherent support for language neutrality than Java. Sessions' analysis indicates that there are no compilers for Java that support features such as cross-language polymorphism or cross-language exception handling. However, the analysis does not prove that such things are impossible.

Sessions offers five requirements for true language neutrality. I've seen nothing that indicates the Java platform was designed from the ground up for this, and I suspect that Sessions' conclusions are right. Before I embrace those conclusions, I'd like to hear specific details on where the JVM falls short of meeting Sessions' requirements. Such details would provide some guidance for anyone looking to implement a new language for the JVM or improve Java's support for multiple languages.

Anyone looking for a potential dissertation topic need look no further :-)