A poem about poker and marriage

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Playing cards I bought on a trip I took to Toronto


My grandmother taught me and my siblings how to play poker and other card games when we were growing up. We’d play lots of different kinds of card games with her and my mom. Her favorite poker game was “Follow the Queen”. I miss my grandmother. She lived into her 90’s, and I have many wonderful memories of her growing up. She lived long enough to see me get married and have two children of my own. I’ve been happily married now for over 25 years. My parents have been happily married for over…

Consistency, clarity, and convenience of APIs driven by symmetry

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A window to San Francisco Bay

A dedication to API Symmetry

We have driven the evolution of the APIs in Eclipse Collections by responding to and meeting the needs of real use cases encountered in applications in Financial Services and other industries served by developers working in the open source community. We use symmetry to guide the design and implementation of Eclipse Collections. Our collective experience has shown us that symmetry is a good guide to improving the design of our APIs.

Mutable Converter Methods

We have had primarily mutable converter methods in Eclipse Collections since 1.0 of the product.

A poem about politics written in 1989

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FDR Memorial, Washington, D.C.


I wrote this poem in 1989 and it was published in my high school art and literary magazine. This is probably the only poem I have written about politics. The major events in 1989 would begin with the inauguration of George H. W. Bush in January as the 41st U.S. president, and end with the fall of the Berlin Wall, premier of The Simpsons on FOX and attempt to overthrow Manuel Noriega.

A Brush-Cut World

Someone’s head, caught in the mirror, Twisting and turning. Fierce comb putting all into place, Strays hoarded and fixed. But strays…

A poem about the quest for knowledge

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Can you find the Alligator?


This is a poem I wrote in 1988 that was published in my high school’s art and literary magazine. I hope you enjoy the poem, and my selection of pictures to go with it.

The Shadow of Life

When I was just an infant, My mind was as dark as night, An endless void of shadows, No perception of wrong or right. As I grew, I learned to love, To care, to hold, to learn, My thoughts began to set off sparks, And the shadows began to burn. Gradually a candle stood, Where shadows were only known…

Better late than never?

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A perfect dinner setting after 7 years of planning — Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

Self-service only

In 2004, I was an architect coding in Java at a large financial services firm. Java was missing most of the collection productivity features I had in Smalltalk, so I decided I would “Just do it” and started building the first utility classes in what would eventually become an open-source Java library called Eclipse Collections. I blogged about this a year ago.

Serving a full menu dinner every day for 40 years

Smalltalk has always had converter methods for its collection types. A converter method allows you to convert one type to another via an intention revealing method name. In Smalltalk, the converter methods all started…

My top 25 wish list for the future of Eclipse Collections development

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9 Years OSS, 5 years at Eclipse Foundation

Eclipse Collections has existed as an open source project on GitHub for a total of 9 years. Eclipse Collections has been a project at the Eclipse Foundation for 5 years. There have been 4 major versions of Eclipse Collections released, and there were 7 major versions of GS Collections prior to that.

The open source community has done a lot of work on this amazing library, and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed and continues to contribute their time, spirit and code. There is plenty…

When you’re in New York

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The Oculus in Lower Manhattan


This is another one of my poems that was published in my high school art and literary magazine in 1988. Enjoy!

Anything Can Happen

8:05… Waking up,
Getting Dressed,
Eating breakfast.
8:36… Leaving home,
In a rush,
Catching a bus.
9:45… Getting off the bus,
Running through Port Authority,
Catching a subway train.
9:57… It’s getting late,
Running down Chambers Street,
Breathing irregular.
10:01… Late for work,
Looking at bank,
Gasping for air.
10:01… Falling on ground,
With gaping mouth,
10:02.. “CUT!”
“OK folks, that’s a wrap.”

-Donald Raab

Converting from one type of collection to another

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Mind map image created by Kenji Hiranabe in Astah UML. Included here with his permission.

Converting from one type to another type

In Eclipse Collections there are many different collection types. There are Mutable and Immutable collection types. There are Object and primitive collection types. There are types of List, Set, Bag, Stack, Map, BiMap, Multimap. There are so many things you can do with all of the Eclipse Collections types and APIs. But how do you convert from one type to another?

To convert a collection to another type, find methods with the prefixto

Methods that begin with to will copy the contents of a collection to a specific type and will have…

In memory of Thomas Scully

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New York City at sunset after a storm

Gone too soon

In the fall of my senior year of high school, one of the nicest people I have ever met passed away. He was a student in my senior class and was a friend to everyone he knew. When the announcement of his untimely death rang out over the high school loud speakers, the entire senior class walked out of the school in tears. I recall driving that morning to a nearby park to sit by the lake and cry with friends. His life was full of promise, and he left this world much too soon…

A poem about the finality of life.

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Photo taken in Kauai, Hawaii with moon behind clouds


This is the first poem I ever wrote. It is about the sense of helplessness and loss of control everyone may feel in the final moments of their life. The poem was published in my high school literary magazine in 1987.

Heaven’s Gate

Here I am,
Moving? No.
Lost in time;
time so slow

A breath of wind,
too soon I fear.
Heartbeat withering,
for death is near.

Upon a table
troubled will.
Breathing rapid,
fighting still.

My life before me
in mind’s eye.
Nothing accomplished
before I die.

God have mercy on me I…

Donald Raab

Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library (http://www.eclipse.org/collections/). Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.

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