The 55 New Java 7 Features

Binary Literals
int mask = 0b101010101010;
aShort = (short)0b1010000101000101;
long aLong = 0b1010000101000101101000010100010110100001010001011010000101000101L;
(short)0b0000011111100000; }                    

Underscores in Numeric Literals

• Valid:

int mask = 0b1010_1010_1010;
long big = 9_223_783_036_967_937L;
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_BFFE;

• Invalid:
float pi1 = 3_.1415F;float pi2 = 3._1415F;
long ssn = 999_99_9999_L;
int x1 = _52;
int x1 = 52_;
int x2 = 0_x52;
int x2 = 0x_52;

Strings in Switch Statements

int monthNameToDays(String s, int year) {
switch(s) {
case "April": case "June":
case "September": case "November":
return 30;
case "January": case "March":
case "May": case "July":
case "August": case "December":
return 31;
case "February”:
Did you know it produces generally more efficient byte codes than an if-then-else statement? Case Sensitive!

Automatic Resource Management

try (InputStream in = new FileInputStream(src),
OutputStream out = new FileOutputStream(dest))
byte[] buf = new byte[8192];                                
int n;
while (n = >= 0)
out.write(buf, 0, n);
•New superinterface java.lang.AutoCloseable
•All AutoCloseable(throws Exception) and by extension IOException) types useable with try-with-resources
•Anything with a void close()method is a candidate
• JDBC 4.1 retrofitted as AutoCloseable too

Suppressed Exceptions
at Suppress.write(
at Suppress.main(
at Suppress.close(
at Suppress.main(
Throwable.getSupressed(); // Returns Throwable[]


try {
} catch (ClassCastException e) {
throw e;
} catch(InstantiationException |
NoSuchMethodException |
InvocationTargetException e) {
// Useful if you do generic actions
throw e;

More Precise Rethrow

public void foo(String bar)
throws FirstException, SecondException{
try {
// Code that may throw both
// FirstException and SecondException
catch (Exception e) {
throw e;
•Prior to Java 7, this code would not compile, the types in throws would have to match the types in catch –foo would have to “throws Exception”
•Java 7 adds support for this as long as try block calls all the exceptions in the throws clause, that the variable in the catch clause is the variable that is rethrown and the exceptions are not caught by another catch block.

Diamond Operator works many ways…

With diamond (<>) compiler infers type…
List<String>strList = new ArrayList<>();
List<Map<String, List<String>>strList =
new ArrayList<>();
Foo<Bar> foo = new Foo<>();
foo.mergeFoo(new Foo<>());

Varargs Warnings –Erasure

class Test {
public static void main(String... args) {
List<List<String>> monthsInTwoLanguages =
"Febbraio" ));
} warning:
[unchecked] unchecked generic array creation
for varargs parameter of type List<String>[]
1 warning
@SuppressWarnings(value = “unchecked”) // at call
@SafeVarargs // at declaration

Java NIO.2 –File Navigation HelpersSlide 1 of 2

Two key navigation Helper Types:
• Class java.nio.file.Paths
• Exclusively static methods to return a Path by converting a string or Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)
• Interface java.nio.file.Path
• Used for objects that represent the location of a file in a file system, typically system dependent.
Typical use case:
Use Paths to get a Path. Use Files to do stuff.

Java NIO.2 –File Navigation HelpersSlide 2 of 2

//Make a reference to a File
Path src = Paths.get(“/home/fred/readme.txt”);
Path dst = Paths.get(“/home/fred/copy_readme.txt”);
//Make a reference to a path
Path src = Paths.get(“/home/fredSRC/”);
Path dst = Paths.get(“/home/fredDST/”);
//Navigation /home/fredSRC -> /home/fredSRC/tmp
Path tmpPath = src.resolve(“tmp”);
//Create a relative path from src -> ..
Path relativePath = tmpPath.relativize(src);
// Convert to old File Format for your legacy apps
File file = aPathPath.toFile();

Java NIO.2 Features –Files Helper Class

• Class java.nio.file.Files
• Exclusively static methods to operate on files, directories and other types of files
• Files helper class is feature rich:
• Copy
• Create Directories
• Create Files
• Create Links
• Use of system “temp” directory
• Delete
• Attributes –Modified/Owner/Permissions/Size, etc.
• Read/Write
Files.move(src, dst, StandardCopyOption.ATOMIC_MOVE);
Files.copy(src, dst,

Java NIO.2 Directories

• DirectoryStream iterate over entries
    – Scales to large directories
    – Uses less resources
    – Smooth out response time for remote file systems
    – Implements Iterableand Closeablefor productivity
• Filtering support
    – Build-in support for glob, regex and custom filters
Path srcPath = Paths.get(“/home/fred/src”);
try (DirectoryStream<Path> dir =
srcPath.newDirectoryStream(“*.java”)) {
for (Path file : dir)

Java NIO.2 Symbolic Links

Path and Files are “link aware”
Path newLink = Paths.get(. . .);
Path existingFile = Paths.get(. . .);
try {
Files.createLink(newLink, existingFile);
} catch (IOException x) {
} catch (UnsupportedOperationException x) {
//Some file systems or some configurations
//may not support links

Java NIO.2 Walking A File Tree

• A FileVisitor interface makes walking a file tree for search, or performing actions, trivial.
• SimpleFileVisitor implements
preVisitDirectory(T dir, BasicFileAttributes attrs);
visitFile(T dir, BasicFileAttributes attrs);
visitFileFailed(T dir, IOException exc);
postVisitDirectory(T dir, IOException exc);
Path startingDir = ...;
PrintFiles pf = new PrintFiles(); // SimpleFileVisitor sub
// visitFile(Path p, BasicFileAttributes bfa) {
Files.walkFileTree(startingDir, pf);

Java NIO.2 Watching A Directory

• Create a WatchService “watcher” for the filesystem
• Register a directory with the watcher
• “Watcher” can be polled or waited on for events
• Events raised in the form of Keys
• Retrieve the Key from the Watcher
• Key has filename and events within it for create/delete/modify
• Ability to detect event overflows

NIO.2 Custom FileSystems

• FileSystems class is factory to FileSystem (interface)
• Java 7 allows for developing custom FileSystems, for example:
• Memory based or zip file based systems
• Fault tolerant distributed file systems
• Replacing or supplementing the default file system provider
• Two steps:
• Implement java.nio.file.spi.FileSystemProvider
• URI, Caching, File Handling, etc.
• Implement java.nio.file.FileSystem
• Roots, RW access, file store, etc.

NIO.2 filesystem provider for zip/jar archives

A fully-functional and supported NIO.2 filesystem provider for zip and jar files
Map<String, String> env = new HashMap<>();
env.put("create", "true");
// locate file system by using the syntax
// defined in
URI u= URI.create("jar:file:/foo/zipfs/");
try (FileSystem z = FileSystems.newFileSystem(u, env)) {
Path externalTxtFile = Paths.get("/foo/zipfs/Sample.txt");
Path pathInZipfile = z.getPath("/Sample.txt");
// copy a file into the zip file

Concurrency APIs JSR 166y -Phasers

• Phaser
• Barrier similar to CyclicBarrierand CountDownLatch
• Used for many threads to wait at common barrier point
• For example, use this to create N threads that you want to do something simultaneously –“start gun” metaphore
• How is Phaseran improvement?
• Dynamic add/remove “parties” to be sync’d
• Better deadlock avoidance
• Arrival “counting” and phase advance options, etc
• Termination api’s
• Tiering(tree structure)
• Rather than sync 100 threads, sync 2x50 then 2x.

Concurrency APIs JSR 166y -TransferQueue

• TransferQueueinterface
• Extension to BlockingQueue
• Implemented by LinkedTransferQueue
• Additional Benefits:
• Adds methods:
• transfer(E e), tryTransfer(E e), tryTransfer(E e, long timeout), hasWaitingConsumer(), getWaitingConsumerCount()
• Allows for smarter queues to be built –sidestep the data structure if it’s known there are consumers waiting.

Fork Join Framework -JSR 166y -Pools

• ForkJoinPool
– Service for running ForkJoinTasks
– aFjp.execute(aTask); // async
– aFjp.invoke(aTask); // wait
– aFjp.submit(aTask); // async + future
– ForkJoinPool(); // default to platform
– ForkJoinPool(int n); // # concurrent threads
– ForJoinPool(n,aThreadFactory,exHandler,FIFOtasks); // Create your own thread handler, exception handler, and boolean on task ordering (default LIFO)

Fork Join Framework -JSR 166y -Tasks

• ForkJoinTask
– The abstract base class for:
• RecursiveAction
– A recursive resultlesstask
– Implements compute()abstract method to perform calculation
• RecursiveTask
– Similar to RecursiveActionbut returns a result
ForkJoinPool p = new ForkJoinPool();
MyTask mt = new MyTask(n); // implements compute
while (!mt.isDone()) {/*THUMPER!*/ }

Fork Join Framework -JSR 166y -compute()

• RecursiveAction exampleto increment an entire array
protected void compute() {
if (hi -lo < THRESHOLD) {
for (int i = lo; i < hi; ++i) array[i]++; } else {
int mid = (lo + hi) >>> 1;
invokeAll(new IncrementTask(array, lo, mid),
new IncrementTask(array, mid, hi));}
• RecursiveTask example for Fibonacci numbers
protected Integer compute() {
if (n <= 1) return n;
Fibonacci f1 = new Fibonacci(n -1);
Fibonacci f2 = new Fibonacci(n -2);
f1.fork(); f1.fork();
return f2.join() + f1.join();}

Concurrent Random Numbers -JSR 166y

• Existing RNG becomes unwitting source of contention between threads in concurrent apps
• Expected more needs of concurrent RNG with advent of Fork Join Framework
• Class java.util.ThreadLocalRandom
• ThreadLocalRandom.current().nextDouble(…)
• ThreadLocalRandom.current().nextInt (…)
• ThreadLocalRandom.current().nextLong(…)

JSR 166y –ConcurrentLinkedDeque Class

• Unbound concurrent deque based on linked nodes
• Like a Queue, but allows front and rear removal of elements
• Concurrent insert, remove and access on multiple threads
• Iterators are weakly consistent

ClassLoader Improvements –Deadlock Avoidance

Class Hierarchy:                                                              
class A extends B ; class C extends D ;
Custom Classloader CL1:
directly loads class A
delegates to custom ClassLoader CL2 for class B
Custom Classloader CL2:
directly loads class C
delegates to custom ClassLoader CL1 for class D
Thread 1:
Use CL1 to load class A (locks CL1)
defineClass A triggers loadClass B (try to lock CL2)
Thread 2:
Use CL2 to load class C (locks CL2)
defineClass C triggers loadClass D (try to lock CL1)

URLClassLoader Improvements –close()

// create a class loader loading from "foo.jar"
URL url = new URL("file:foo.jar");
URLClassLoader loader = new URLClassLoader (new URL[] {url});
Class cl = Class.forName ("Foo", true, loader);
Runnable foo = (Runnable) cl.newInstance();;
loader.close ();
// foo.jar gets updated somehow
loader = new URLClassLoader (new URL[] {url});
cl = Class.forName ("Foo", true, loader);
foo = (Runnable) cl.newInstance();
// run the new implementation of Foo;

Unicode 4 -> Unicode 6.0

• Unicode standard was originally 16 bit
• 16 bits not sufficient for Unicode 6, but backward compatibility needs to be maintained
• Use String “U+hex” to express char in Unicode
• Unicode 6.0 adds thousands of new characters
• Support for properties and data files (mostly interesting to Japanese Telcos and Indic scripts)
• Full Unicode 6.0 REGEX support!
• ISO 4217 Defines Currency Codes
• Possible to supersede default currencies with <JAVA_HOME>/lib/ file
• Allows for supporting global changes without updating Java
• Format: ISO 3166 Country code = ISO 4217 Codes
# Sample currency property if Canada adopts USD
# CA=CAD,124,2 is default ISO 4217 code

Number Shaper Enhancements

• NumericShaper used to map numbers to non Latin char sets (since 1.4)
• NumericShaper traditionally used an int bitmask for defaults
• Fine when there were only 19 defaults
• In Java 7 there are 34 (> 32 bits!!)
• Java 7 now has an Enum NumericShaper.Range
• Backward compatibility maintained, new API’s added for Enum use where desired

Locale enhancement –Categories

• Default Locale can be set independently for formatresources (dates, numbers, currencies) and displayresources (menus and dialogs)
• For example, an application for Japanese speakers who deal with US financial transactions may:
//Enum Locale.Category –DISPLAY and FORMAT
//Default no arg get/set is DISPLAY
Locale.setDefault(DISPLAY, Locale.JAPAN);
Locale.setDefault(FORMAT, Locale.US);

Locale enhancement –BCP 47 Extensions

• Java 7 confirms to IETF BCP 47 (refs UTS #35)
• Specify extensions to a Locale (get/set)
• i.e., de-DE-co-phonebk
• No guarantee the underlying platform can honour extension

Standardize Nimbus Look and Feel

• Better than Metal for cross platform look-and-feel
• Introduced in Java SE 6u10, now part of Swing
• Not the default L&F
• Scalable Java 2D impl

Standardize JLayer Component

Easy enrichment for Swing components

// wrap your component with JLayer
JLayer<JPanel> layer= new JLayer<JPanel>(panel);
// custom ui provides all extra functionality
// add the layer as usual component

Mixing of AWT and Swing –Works*
• As of 6u12 and 7u1, some caveats for scroll bars

Standardize Translucent Windows
• Private API added in 6u10, made public in Java 7
• Support (based on platform) for:
• Uniform Translucency
• Per Pixel Translucency
• Per Pixel Transparency
// simple uniform:
// Per pixel g2d is the g2d of a Jpanel on paintComponent(g)
Paint p = new GradientPaint(0.0f, 0.0f, new Color(R, G, B,0), 0.0f, getHeight(), new Color(R, G, B, 255), true);
g2d.fillRect(0, 0, getWidth(), getHeight());

Xrender-based Java 2D for modern X11
• Improved Graphics Performance
• Off by default (backward compatibility)
• Quiet:
- Dsun.java2d.xrender=true
• Verbose (log on stdout if successful or not)
- Dsun.java2d.xrender=True

OpenType/CFF Fonts
• Java Platform must support TrueType fonts, other font technologies is implementation dependent
• Java 7 adds support for “Compact Font Format” -OpenType/CFF.

Better Support for Linux Fonts
• Five logical fonts since Java 1.0:
• Serif, Sans-serif, Monospaced, Dialog, and DialogInput
• Must map to physical font on your system
• No consistency in fonts in Linux
• Required editing
• Java 7 on Linux (and Solaris 11) uses system “libfontconfig”, reflecting what Gnome/KDE desktop applications use

HSV/HSL Tab on JColorChooser Class

JDBC 4.1
• Try-with-resources statement to automatically close resources of typeConnection,ResultSet, andStatement
try (Statement stmt = con.createStatement()) { // ... }
• RowSet 1.1 introduces RowSetFactoryand RowSetProvider
//Factory options (impl) set on cmd line or metainf
myRowSetFactory = RowSetProvider.newFactory();
jdbcRs = myRowSetFactory.createJdbcRowSet();
jdbcRs.setUrl("jdbc:myDriver:myAttribute"); //etc
jdbcRs.setCommand("select COF_NAME, SUP_ID, PRICE, SALES, TOTAL from COFFEES");

Java DB Enhancements (Derby)
• JDK 7 includes Java DB
• New Since JDK 6
• BOOLEAN data type
• Table truncation
• Query plan browsing
• Automatic calc of index stats
• Unicode database names
• Improved interrupt handling
• Can now interrupt connection threads
• MAX optimization (faster!)
• XML operator portability

Embedding JNLP File in Applet Tag
• Saves a network round trip first time applet is loaded
• Base64 Encode the JNLP contents into a Javascript call:
<script src=""></script>
var attributes = {} ;
<!--Base64 encoded string trunc’d below for readability --> var parameters = {jnlp_href: 'dynamictree-applet.jnlp', jnlp_embedded: 'PCEtLSAKLyoKICogQ29weX ... HA+Cg=='} ; deployJava.runApplet(attributes, parameters, '1.7');

Ability to detect applet init status on load

Draggable Applet Decoration
• Applet decoration settings apply equally to in browser and out of browser launches –borderless, etc.

Other Misc New JNLP Stuff...
• Partially signed JNLP
• Simplifies build and deployment in some scenarios
• External JNLP file may differ from one embedded in jar
• Targeting resources to particular version of OS
<resourcesos="Windows\Vista Windows\7">
<jarhref=“legacySound.jar"/> </resources>
• Better “install” preferences of an application
• For example, attribute to determine if app appears on “Add or Remove Programs panel”

VM: Updates to Experimental GC –G1
•  Garbage First -“G1” intended to replace* Concurrent Mark-Sweep (CMS) in Hotspot at some future release
• G1 is included for experimentation in Java 7
• Key benefits:
• More predictably “soft real-time” –temporal configuration
• High throughput
• Basics:
• Heap partitioned into equal-sized heap regions
• Compacts as it proceeds –looks for regions with no live objects for immediate reclamation
*not an official fwd looking statement

VM: Tiered Compilation
• Hotspot has 2 JIT’s “client” and “server”
• Client starts fast, but let optimizations –best for clients
• Server starts slower, but provides better optimizations
• Java 7 adds Tiered Compiliation
• JIT the code first with “client”, and if it’s really hot code, recompile with “server”
• Has been around for a while, but not with a great implementation
    -server -XX:+TieredCompilation
Image from RĂ©mi Forax showing the
DaCapo Jython benchmark.
Remi Forex diagram

VM: Compressed OOPS by default
• Going from 32bit to 64bit system will grow the heap by ~1.5x simply because of bigger ordinary object p pointers
Memory is cheap, but bandwidth and cache is not
• Compressed OOPS:
• Managed 32 bit pointers (similar heap sizes for 32/64 bit apps)
• Scaled (8 x 4GB chunks) added to a 64 bit base
• Useful for heaps up to 32GB
• Compressed OOPS will turn off when –Xmx > 32g

VM: invokedynamicIllustrated

Java XML Technology Enhancements
• JAXP 1.4.5
• Bug fixes and performance improvements
• JAX-WS 2.2.4
• Bug fixes and performance improvements
• JAXB 2.2.3
• Bug fixes and performance improvements

Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)
• New Native Provider added to JDK 7
•  ECC-based algorithms (ECDSA/ECDH)
•  Enables ECC based Java Secure Sockets Extension (JSSE)
• Compared to traditional crypto systems like RSA, ECC offers equivalent security:
• With smaller key sizes
• Faster computations
• Lower power consumption
• Memory and bandwidth savings

Transport Layer Security (TLS) Updates
• Support for TLS 1.1
• Protection against cipher block chaining attacks
• Support for TLS 1.2
• TLS Renegotiation
• CertPath and TLS algorithm disabling
• Can deny specific algorithms in path processing and handshaking, i.e., MD2

JavaDoc Improvements in Java 7
• Section 508 accessibility guidelines
• Captions, headings, etc.
• Previously, JavaDoc wrote to an OutputStream on the fly meaning it built the document sequentially, imposing limitations
• Now uses internal “HTMLTree” classes
• Generates compliant HTML
• Allows for more advancements in the future
• Removes limitation of only being able to execute only once in any VM
• Was fine when used as a command line tool
• Continuous build, etc, made it necessary to address this!

CSS for JavaDoc -stylesheet.css

Feature 56 –Future Tech Duke!
Visit the Oracle Booth (by Theatre) for a Free Duke Plushie Keychain!

Some important java 7 Fatures:

Diamond Operator

You may have noted on many occasions your IDE complaining of types when working with Generics. For example, if we have to declare a map of trades using Generics, we write the code as follows:
Map<String, List<Trade>> trades = new TreeMap<String, List<Trade>> ();
The not-so-nice thing about this declaration is that we must declare the types on both the sides, although the right-hand side seems a bit redundant. Can the compiler infer the types by looking at the left-hand-side declaration? Not unless you’re using Java 7. In 7, it’s written like this:
Map<String, List<Trade>> trades = new TreeMap <> ();
How cool is that? You don’t have to type the whole list of types for the instantiation. Instead you use the <> symbol, which is called diamond operator. Note that while not declaring the diamond operator is legal, as trades = new TreeMap (), it will make the compiler generate a couple of type-safety warnings.

Using strings in switch statements

Switch statements work either with primitive types or enumerated types. Java 7 introduced another type that we can use in Switch statements: the String type.
Say we have a requirement to process a Trade based on its status. Until now we used to do this by using if-else statements.
private void processTrade(Trade t) {

            String status = t.getStatus();

            if (status.equalsIgnoreCase(NEW)) {


            } else if (status.equalsIgnoreCase(EXECUTE)) {


            } else if (status.equalsIgnoreCase(PENDING)) {



This method of working on strings is crude. In Java 7, we can improve the program by utilizing the enhanced Switch statement, which takes a String type as an argument.
 public void processTrade(Trade t) {

            String status = t.getStatus();

            switch (status) {

            case NEW:



            case EXECUTE:



            case PENDING:






In the above program, the status field is always compared against the case label by using theString.equals() method.

Automatic resource management

Resources such as ConnectionsFilesInput/OutStreams, etc. should be closed manually by the developer by writing bog-standard code. Usually we use a try-finally block to close the respective resources. See the current practice of creating a resource, using it and finally closing it:
public void oldTry() {

            try {

                  fos = new FileOutputStream("movies.txt");

                  dos = new DataOutputStream(fos);

                  dos.writeUTF("Java 7 Block Buster");

            } catch (IOException e) {


            } finally {

                  try {



                  } catch (IOException e) {

                        // log the exception



However, Java 7 has introduced another cool feature to manage the resources automatically. It is simple in operation, too. All we have to do is declare the resources in the try as follows:

   // your code

The above method with the old try can finally can be re-written using this new feature as shown below:
      public void newTry() {

            try (FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream("movies.txt");

                        DataOutputStream dos = new DataOutputStream(fos)) {

                  dos.writeUTF("Java 7 Block Buster");

            } catch (IOException e) {

                  // log the exception



The above code also represents another aspect of this feature: working with multiple resources. The FileOutputStream and DataOutputStream resources are enclosed in the try statement one after the other, each one separated by a semicolon (;) separator. We do not have to nullify or close the streams manually, as they are closed automatically once the control exists the try block.
Behind the scenes, the resources that should be auto closed must implementjava.lang.AutoCloseable interface.
Any resource that implements AutoCloseble interface can be a candidate for automatic resource management. The AutoCloseable is the parent of interface and has just one method close() that would be called by the JVM when the control comes out of the try block.

Numeric literals with underscores

Numerical literals are definitely eye strainers. I am sure you would start counting the zeroes like me if you’ve been given a number with, say, ten zeros. It’s quite error prone and cumbersome to identify a literal if it’s a million or a billion unless you count the places from right to left. Not anymore. Java 7 introduced underscores in identifying the places. For example, you can declare 1000 as shown below:
int thousand =  1_000;
or 1000000 (one million) as follows
int million  =  1_000_000
Note that binary literals are also introduced in this release too — for example “0b1″ — so developers don’t have to convert them to hexadecimals any more.

Improved exception handling

There are a couple of improvements in the exception handling area. Java 7 introduced multi-catch functionality to catch multiple exception types using a single catch block.
Let’s say you have a method that throws three exceptions. In the current state, you would deal them individually as shown in below:
   public void oldMultiCatch() {

            try {


            } catch (ExceptionOne e) {

                  // log and deal with ExceptionOne

            } catch (ExceptionTwo e) {

                  // log and deal with ExceptionTwo

            } catch (ExceptionThree e) {

                  // log and deal with ExceptionThree


Catching an endless number of exceptions one after the other in a catch block looks cluttered. And I have seen code that catches a dozen exceptions, too. This is incredibly inefficient and error prone. Java 7 has brought in a new language change to address this ugly duckling. See the improved version of the method oldMultiCatch method below:
      public void newMultiCatch() {

            try {


            } catch (ExceptionOne | ExceptionTwo | ExceptionThree e) {

                  // log and deal with all Exceptions


The multiple exceptions are caught in one catch block by using a ‘|’ operator. This way, you do not have to write dozens of exception catches. However, if you have bunch of exceptions that belong to different types, then you could use “multi multi-catch” blocks too. The following snippet illustrates this:
public void newMultiMultiCatch() {

            try {


            } catch (ExceptionOne e) {

                  // log and deal with ExceptionOne

            } catch (ExceptionTwo | ExceptionThree e) {

                  // log and deal with ExceptionTwo and ExceptionThree


In the above case, the ExceptionTwo and ExceptionThree belong to a different hierarchy, so you would want to handle them differently but with a single catch block.

New file system API (NIO 2.0)

Those who worked with Java IO may still remember the headaches that framework caused. It was never easy to work seamlessly across operating systems or multi-file systems. There were methods such as delete or rename that behaved unexpected in most cases. Working with symbolic links was another issue. In an essence, the API needed an overhaul.
With the intention of solving the above problems with Java IO, Java 7 introduced an overhauled and in many cases new API.
The NIO 2.0 has come forward with many enhancements. It’s also introduced new classes to ease the life of a developer when working with multiple file systems.

Working with Path

A new java.nio.file package consists of classes and interfaces such as PathPaths,FileSystemFileSystems and others.
Path is simply a reference to a file path. It is the equivalent (and with more features) The following snippet shows how to obtain a path reference to the “temp” folder:
public void pathInfo() {

            Path path = Paths.get("c:\Temp\temp");

System.out.println("Number of Nodes:" + path.getNameCount());

            System.out.println("File Name:" + path.getFileName());

            System.out.println("File Root:" + path.getRoot());

            System.out.println("File Parent:" + path.getParent());


The console output would be:
Number of Nodes:2

File Name:temp.txt

File Root:c:

File Parent:c:Temp
Deleting a file or directory is as simple as invoking a delete method on Files (note the plural) class. The Files class exposes two delete methods, one that throws NoSuchFileException and the other that does not.
The following delete method invocation throws NoSuchFileException, so you have to handle it:
Where as Files.deleteIfExists(path) does not throw exception (as expected) if the file/directory does not exist.
You can use other utility methods such as Files.copy(..) and Files.move(..) to act on a file system efficiently. Similarly, use the createSymbolicLink(..) method to create symbolic links using your code.

File change notifications

One of my favorite improvements in the JDK 7 release is the addition of File Change Notifications. This has been a long-awaited feature that’s finally carved into NIO 2.0. TheWatchService API lets you receive notification events upon changes to the subject (directory or file).
The steps involved in implementing the API are:
  • Create a WatchService. This service consists of a queue to hold WatchKeys
  • Register the directory/file you wish to monitor with this WatchService
  • While registering, specify the types of events you wish to receive (create, modify or delete events)
  • You have to start an infinite loop to listen to events
  • When an event occurs, a WatchKey is placed into the queue
  • Consume the WatchKey and invoke queries on it
Let’s follow this via an example. We create a DirPolice Java program whose responsibility is to police a particular directory. The steps are provided below:
1. Creating a WatchService object:
WatchService  watchService = FileSystems.getDefault().newWatchService();
2. Obtain a path reference to your watchable directory. I suggest you parameterize this directory so you don’t hard code the file name.
path = Paths.get("C:\Temp\temp\");
3. The next step is to register the directory with the WatchService for all types of events:
dirToWatch.register(watchService, ENTRY_CREATE, ENTRY_MODIFY,

These are java.nio.file.StandardWatchEventKinds event types
4. Initiate the infinite loop and start taking the events:


    WatchKey key = watchService.take(); // this would return you keys


5. Run through the events on the key:
for (WatchEvent<?> event : key.pollEvents()) {

            Kind<?> kind = event.kind();

System.out.println("Event on " + event.context().toString() + " is " + kind);

For example, if you modify or delete the temp directory, you would see statement as shown below on the console respectively:
Event on temp is ENTRY_MODIFY

Event on temp is ENTRY_DELETE
The relevant methods of the DirPolice source code are posted below (download the full source code):

 * This initiates the police


private void init() {

      path = Paths.get("C:\Temp\temp\");

      try {

            watchService = FileSystems.getDefault().newWatchService();

            path.register(watchService, ENTRY_CREATE, ENTRY_DELETE,


      } catch (IOException e) {

            System.out.println("IOException"+ e.getMessage());




 * The police will start making rounds


private void doRounds() {

      WatchKey key = null;

      while(true) {

            try {

                  key = watchService.take();

                  for (WatchEvent<?> event : key.pollEvents()) {

                        Kind<?> kind = event.kind();

System.out.println("Event on " + event.context().toString() + " is " + kind);


            } catch (InterruptedException e) {

System.out.println("InterruptedException: "+e.getMessage());


            boolean reset = key.reset();





Fork and Join

The effective use of parallel cores in a Java program has always been a challenge. There were few home-grown frameworks that would distribute the work across multiple cores and then join them to return the result set. Java 7 has incorporated this feature as a Fork and Join framework.
Basically the Fork-Join breaks the task at hand into mini-tasks until the mini-task is simple enough that it can be solved without further breakups. It’s like a divide-and-conquer algorithm. One important concept to note in this framework is that ideally no worker thread is idle. They implement a work-stealing algorithm in that idle workers “steal” the work from those workers who are busy.
The core classes supporting the Fork-Join mechanism are ForkJoinPool and ForkJoinTask. TheForkJoinPool is basically a specialized implementation of ExecutorService implementing thework-stealing algorithm we talked about above.
We create an instance of ForkJoinPool by providing the target parallelism level — the number of processors as shown below:
ForkJoinPool pool = new ForkJoinPool(numberOfProcessors)
Where numberOfProcessors = Runtime.getRunTime().availableProcessors();
However, the default ForkJoinPool instantiation would set the parallelism level equal to the same number obtained as above.
The problem that needs to be solved is coded in a ForkJoinTask. However, there are two implementations of this class out of the box: the RecursiveAction and RecursiveTask. The only difference between these two classes is that the former one does not return a value while the latter returns an object of specified type.
Here’s how to create a RecursiveAction or RecursiveTask class that represents your requirement problem (I use the RecursiveAction class):
public class MyBigProblemTask extends RecursiveAction {


    protected void compute() {

        . . . // your problem invocation goes here


You have to override the compute method where in you need to provide the computing functionality. Now, provide this ForkJoinTask to the Executor by calling invoke method on theForkJoinPool:

Supporting dynamism

Java is a statically typed language — the type checking of the variables, methods and return values is performed at compile time. The JVM executes this strongly-typed bytecode at runtime without having to worry about finding the type information.
There’s another breed of typed languages — the dynamically typed languages. Ruby, Python and Clojure are in this category. The type information is unresolved until runtime in these languages. This is not possible in Java as it would not have any necessary type information.
There is an increasing pressure on Java folks improvise running the dynamic languages efficiently. Although it is possible to run these languages on a JVM (using Reflection), it’s not without constraints and restrictions.
In Java 7, a new feature called invokedynamic was introduced. This makes VM changes to incorporate non-Java language requirements. A new package, java.lang.invoke, consisting of classes such as MethodHandleCallSite and others, has been created to extend the support of dynamic languages.


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