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Converting Java 8 syntax to Java 7

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Tim Vernum

Posts: 58
Nickname: tpv
Registered: Dec, 2002

Tim Vernum is passionate about designing secure systems
Converting Java 8 syntax to Java 7 Posted: Jan 17, 2013 5:36 AM
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A project I was working on finished up abruptly, and I found myself with some spare time over the last few weeks, so I decided to test out a new idea - a utility to convert Java 8 syntax into Java 7

For the most part, this is simply an experiment - to see how difficult it would be to write such a utility (and the short answer is that it's difficult to do well, but certainly not impossible), but it has the potential to be useful for supporting lambda-based code in environments that do not (yet) have support for Java 8.

I have a working prototype, that supports conversion of a subset of Java 8 features. And by a subset, I mean essentially 1...

It can convert a variable declaration for a functional interface with a lambda initializer into a anonymous inner class. e.g.

Callable<String> callable = () -> "abc" ;

is converted to

Callable<String> callable = new Callable<String>() {
    public String call() throws java.lang.Exception { 
        return "abc"; 

It's a long way from being feature complete, but it's usable (within the scope of what has been implemented). It looks like I'll be starting a new role next week, so that may reduce my time to work on this project for a little while - I wanted to get it published before that happened.

Documentation is available here.

Feedback (and/or patches) highly desired.

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