Gr8 stuff

Java 8 is going live today – here’s your crib sheet

Lucy Carey

A selection of resources for Java 8 adopters, with a special focus on lambdas and the new Date-Time APIs, as well as some other handy bits.


In a few short hours, the US West coast will be coming online, and, at long last, Java 8 will go live. Of course, a lot of you will already have delved into the Early Access build by now, but today’s the day when all those months of painstaking labour finally come together in one (almost perfect) product.

We’re not alone in our anticipation for the launch – a reported 30% of developers are planning to put the platform update into use within the next six months, and at least 65% will be converting within the next two years. We’ve been closely following the twists and turns Oracle have taken on the road to Java 8, and can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store. Along the way, we’ve amassed a considerable amount of resources for eager adopters here on

We’ll be providing coverage and commentary about the big release from luminaries in the Javasphere in the days and months to come, but if you want Java 8 resources and you want them now gosh darn it, here’s a handy compilation of what we’ve got on offer:


  • Get to know lambdas with Ted Neward

Get to know lambda expressions ahead of Oracle’s big release with Ted Neward’s helpful tutorial.

Part One:

Part Two:

  • Simon Ritter: Project Lambda: Functional Programming Constructs in Java

You might assume that lambda expressions are simply a more syntactically compact form of inner classes, but, in fact, the implementation of lambda expressions is substantially different and builds on the invokedynamic feature added in Java SE 7. This session explains the ideas behind lambda expressions, how they will be used in Java SE 8 and look at some of the details of their implementation.
  • Jamie Allen: What you need to know about Lambdas
In this JAX London 2013 Keynote, Jamie Allen discusses best practices for using Lambdas in Java and other JVM-based languages, and shows how we can make these constructs more usable in production. He also reviews concepts associated with lambdas to make sure everyone is on the same page, such as closures, higher order functions and the relationship between methods and functions and how they relate to Lambdas.

Date and Time

  • Java SE 8 Date and Time: Why do we need a new date and time library?

Ben Evans and Richard Warburton outline the reasons why decent support for the date and time use cases of everyday devs is so darn important.
  • The new JDK 1.8 Date and Time API – JSR-310

The next release of Java, JDK 1.8, will have a new date and time API, finally replacing the confusing, slow, and difficult Date and Calendar APIs. This session by Stephen Colebourne is an in-depth look at the new API (JSR-310), including details on how it was designed, what problems it fixes, and what new techniques it enables. If you’ve ever cursed the Date or Calendar class, then you owe it to yourself to watch this video.

Other useful Java bits

  • Oracle Nashorn: A next-generation JavaScript engine for the JVM
Julien Ponge outlines scenarios for using Oracle Nashorn as a command-line tool and as an embedded interpreter in Java applications.
  • The state of String in Java 
Over the past year, how Strings are represented in Java has changed. Attila Balazs outlines what’s new, and shows you how you can perfect your code for it.

BONUS – Gratuitous celebratory Java love-fest:

  • James Governor: The upswing – How Java got its mojo back

Whether we’re talking Analytics, Big Data, Cloud, NoSQL, Continuous Integration and Deployment, Mobile computing or Minecraft, Java is at the nexus of the mass convergence of trends we’re currently seeing in tech.
  • 5 reasons to be excited about Java in 2014

Java was the biggest buzzword for recruiters last year – with other legacy languages not far behind. But what made it so relevant in 2013?

  • Why Java skills are still golden for developers

Along with the big, and belated, number eight dropping, there are some good reasons to be hopeful about the platform in the next 12 months.

Image by Tom Magliery
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