Java is one of the most popular programming languages used by approximately 9 million software and website development companies and individual developers and running on 7 billion devices globally. Since its inception in 1995, it has undergone several updates and enhancements. Its latest version, Java 8, was released two years ago which was graciously embraced and adopted by the community. It includes some important features that are worth taking a note of for Java developers.
5 Best Java 8 Features For Developers:
1 - Lambda expressions:
Lambda expressions or closures are highly popular in functional programming. It is considered as one the best ways to write the code. Java, until now, didn’t support lambda expressions. Consequently, developers had to use the anonymous boilerplate classes with lambdas which was tedious and hard-to-maintain during Java web application development. However, using lambda expression is simple. All you have to do is use comma-separated parameters or collection list and use the symbol “->” in the body.
Here’s an example to understand the lambda expression syntax:
Arrays.asList(“k”,”l”,”m”).forEach( m -> System.out.println(m));
3 - Date/time APIs:
The new Date/time API is another great feature in Java 8. It heavily borrows from Joda time, which was used by Java developers to make up for the lack of support. The whole API was rewritten from scratch due to its complex nature that made developers go haywire and the design flaw in Joda which compelled the implementers to look for a simpler solution. But the new APIs are both powerful and easy-to-use.
Here’s an example of the new Date/time API:
LocalDateTime a1 = LocalDateTime.now(); // this will return current date and time.
LocalDate.parse(“02:53:15”); // Simple string input
4 - Stream API:
Another great addition in Java 8 is the Stream API that allows developers to work with Collections. The Stream API and lambda functions facilitate functional programming in Java and enable programmers to write more meaningful code. It helps developers easily work with collections and accordingly manipulate them, such as filtering, counting, etc. The lambda functionality lets you write a simpler code but make sure you do not confuse Stream API with InputStream and OutputStream. Take a look at a simple example below:
List myList =
Arrays.asList(“k1”, “l1”, “m2”, “m3”, “j4”, “j4”, “j1”, “m1”);
.filter(s -> s.endsWith(“1”))
Output: j1, k1, l1,, m1
5 - Concurrent Accumulators:
Running the code thread safely is one the major challenges for developers. An average developer is often unable to implement a thread safe accurately as there are various scenarios to look for, such as the need to update numeric counters which are accessed by multiple threads. But with Java 8, you can use concurrent accumulator class to tackle the counters effectively in a thread safe manner.
The new features in Java 8 will allow you to write a simple yet effective code while maintaining the code quality. Which other Java 8 features do you think are noteworthy? List them down in the comments below.