What the hell do French private labour laws have to do with the public debt crisis in Greece?
The banks won't allow any flexibility about my working conditions when I ask for a mortgage to buy my house; doctors expect to be paid with no flexibility when I have to maintain the health of my family; bills needs to be paid inflexibly at the end of the month. So I have to confess that this concept of "flexibility" that we are importing from the US is starting to piss me off, because basically it means that workers, the weaker part of economy and the one that actually does the job, have to take on their shoulders the risk of entrepreneurship, which historically was the moral justification for investors to make money without working.
And hearing that this is necessity from politicians who sit on mountains of public money, and on behalf of CEOs who can earn one hundred times as much as their employees, and can take the citizenship of Monte Carlo to even avoid paying taxes on that much, is unbearable. Again, I'm not talking about the CEO of Mandriva, it's just a generic rant.
Instead, they chose the more sophisticated approach of type erasure - which added a lot of complexity, limitations, and even introduced the concept of compile-time warnings in the Java language - not because of backwards compatibility (adding new kinds of bytecode to the JVM is OK and it happens occasionally), but because they wanted indefinite interoperability between old code (which would see the collection objects “raw”) and new code (which would see the very same objects “generified”).
Now academics universally despise type erasure, but back then at least half of them thought that it was a good idea and you can still see it today if you search the web for their blog posts of the time, where they explained the tricks that they used to overcome the limitations of type erasure and why type erasure wasn't so bad after all.
The fact that you could go back do DOS isn't relevant to the definition of what is an operating system and what isn't. You could go back to DOS in Win9x, too. And you can shut down the OS and go back to the boot loader shell in many computer architectures, including the earlier models of IBM PC where you could go back to ROM BASIC.
Also consider the following example. What does this do?
c = a * b;
Is it a vector product? Is it a scalar product? Is it a scalar multiplication? I need to look at the types of a, b and c to figure out. A method name in place of a single character could tell me more.
Type erasure, on the other hand, is pure evil - to me, it's the representation of what happens when a pragmatic language ends up into the hands of computer scientists.
By the way, in Java all lists have the get() method with no exceptions (this includes Lists, HashMaps, Vectors) and all collections have the iterator() method with no exceptions. The At() method doesn't exist.
Besides, what if I’m using TLS? Are they going to require me to install rogue certificates just to make their inspection more comfortable? No thanks. Telecom companies had better learn already that with the advent of the Internet, their trade is to sell dumb pipes, competing with the others over the price of that service; the good times when they could milk their customers for “value added services” is over.