Java LanguageJava SE 7 Features


In this topic you'll find a summary of the new features added to the Java programming language in Java SE 7. There are many other new features in other fields such as JDBC and Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that are not going to be covered in this topic.


New Java SE 7 programming language features

Binary Literals

// An 8-bit 'byte' value:
byte aByte = (byte)0b00100001;

// A 16-bit 'short' value:
short aShort = (short)0b1010000101000101;

// Some 32-bit 'int' values:
int anInt1 = 0b10100001010001011010000101000101;
int anInt2 = 0b101;
int anInt3 = 0B101; // The B can be upper or lower case.

// A 64-bit 'long' value. Note the "L" suffix:
long aLong = 0b1010000101000101101000010100010110100001010001011010000101000101L;

The try-with-resources statement

The example reads the first line from a file. It uses an instance of BufferedReader to read data from the file. BufferedReader is a resource that must be closed after the program is finished with it:

static String readFirstLineFromFile(String path) throws IOException {
  try (BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(path))) {
    return br.readLine();

In this example, the resource declared in the try-with-resources statement is a BufferedReader. The declaration statement appears within parentheses immediately after the try keyword. The class BufferedReader, in Java SE 7 and later, implements the interface java.lang.AutoCloseable. Because the BufferedReader instance is declared in a try-with-resource statement, it will be closed regardless of whether the try statement completes normally or abruptly (as a result of the method BufferedReader.readLine throwing an IOException).

Underscores in Numeric Literals

The following example shows other ways you can use the underscore in numeric literals:

long creditCardNumber = 1234_5678_9012_3456L;
long socialSecurityNumber = 999_99_9999L;
float pi = 3.14_15F;
long hexBytes = 0xFF_EC_DE_5E;
long hexWords = 0xCAFE_BABE;
long maxLong = 0x7fff_ffff_ffff_ffffL;
byte nybbles = 0b0010_0101;
long bytes = 0b11010010_01101001_10010100_10010010;

You can place underscores only between digits; you cannot place underscores in the following places:

  • At the beginning or end of a number
  • Adjacent to a decimal point in a floating point literal
  • Prior to an F or L suffix
  • In positions where a string of digits is expected

Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation

You can use

Map<String, List<String>> myMap = new HashMap<>();

instead of

Map<String, List<String>> myMap = new HashMap<String, List<String>>();

However, you can't use

List<String> list = new ArrayList<>();

  // The following statement should fail since addAll expects
  // Collection<? extends String>

list.addAll(new ArrayList<>());

because it can't compile. Note that the diamond often works in method calls; however, it is suggested that you use the diamond primarily for variable declarations.

Strings in switch Statements

public String getTypeOfDayWithSwitchStatement(String dayOfWeekArg) {
     String typeOfDay;
     switch (dayOfWeekArg) {
         case "Monday":
             typeOfDay = "Start of work week";
         case "Tuesday":
         case "Wednesday":
         case "Thursday":
             typeOfDay = "Midweek";
         case "Friday":
             typeOfDay = "End of work week";
         case "Saturday":
         case "Sunday":
             typeOfDay = "Weekend";
             throw new IllegalArgumentException("Invalid day of the week: " + dayOfWeekArg);
     return typeOfDay;