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How I learned about Java's lack of type erasure the hard way

3 December 2011 (programming language android java)

This week, I started playing around with the Android platform. I've been eyeing Yeti, an ML dialect that compiles to JVM and features structural typing. Even though I only have very limited experience in ML (mostly just reading the snippets in the Okasaki, and having helped Maya once with some F# code), it has to be better than Java, right?

After getting the hang of Yeti (integrating it into Android's ant build system, writing Hello World, etc.) I wanted to write something more substantial to evaluate the language for serious use. However, yesterday evening I started getting weird errors as soon as I started creating non-trivial closures in member functions. This is the chronicle of how I tracked down the problem with just some rudimentary Java knowledge and lots of reverse engineering.

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