Here are 7 of the new features that have been completed:
Language support for collections( Postponed to Java 8 )
- Automatic Resource Management
- Improved Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation (diamond)
- Underscores in numeric literals
- Strings in switch
- Binary literals
- Simplified Varargs Method Invocation
There is a lot more to Java 7 then just these language changes. I'll be exploring the rest of the release in future posts. One of the big debates is currently around Closures, which are a separate JSR.
Language support for collections
This has been postponed to Java 8! You could use my simple alternative until then.
Java will be getting first class language support for creating collections. The style change means that collections can be created like they are in Ruby, Perl etc.
You will be able to use:
These collections are immutable.
Automatic Resource Management
Some resources in Java need to be closed manually like InputStream, Writers, Sockets, Sql classes. This language feature allows the try statement itself to declare one of more resources. These resources are scoped to the try block and are closed automatically.
You can declare more than one resource to close:
To support this behaviour all closable classes will be retro-fitted to implement a Closable interface.
Improved Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation (diamond)
This is a particular annoyance which is best served with an example:
This is called the diamond operator: <> which infers the type from the reference declaration.
Underscores in numeric literals
Long numbers are hard to read. You can now split them up using an underscore in ints and longs:
Strings in switch
Currently you can only use numbers or enums in switch statements. String has been added as a candidate:
Java code, due to its C heritage, has traditionally forced programmers to represent numbers in only decimal, octal, or hexadecimal.
As quite a few domains are bit orientated, this restriction can introduce errors. You can now create binary numbers using an 0b prefix.
Simplified Varargs Method Invocation
When a programmer tries to invoke a *varargs* (variable arity) method with a non-reifiable varargs type, the compiler currently generates an "unsafe operation" warning. JDK 7 moves the warning from the call site to the method declaration. This will enable API designers to use varargs due to the reduction of warnings reported.
This one is slightly more involved so you are better off looking at the proposal.