Java 8 Support, Top Eclipse Luna Feature

June 25, 2014 | 2 min Read

Eclipse Luna release day is here! As predictable as the sun rising in the east, Eclipse has shipped yet another quality release on-time. Over the past ten days I’ve been counting down the Top 10 Eclipse Luna Features that I’m most excited about.

Number 1 should be no surprise to the Java developers out there. On March 18th 2014 Java 8 was launched. EclipseCon served as a launch pad for this technology with a whole host of talks on both the technology and the tools. At the same time, Eclipse released support for Java 8 through an add-on. Now with Eclipse Luna, Java 8 support is a first class citizen in Eclipse and support is available for a wide variety of Eclipse based tools.

Of course the Eclipse Java Compiler supports Java 8 and the tools are very well integrated.

Quick fixes are available for converting lambdas to and from anonymous inner classes.

Method extraction works within Lambda expressions,

as well as in-line refactoring,

and debug support.

In addition to Lambda support, Eclipse also has support for default methods (method bodies in your interfaces), better type inference, code formatters and effectively final variables. Java 8 also brought type annotations to the platform and Eclipse ships with a set of annotations for null analysis. For example, you can specify that a List should never be null, and each element of the list should also never be null. The JDT will provide compile time type checking to ensure this constraint holds.

In addition to the Java Development Tools (JDT), many other Eclipse based plug-ins are now Java 8 enabled. M2E (Maven 2 Eclipse) supports Java 8 as well as the Plug-in Development Environment.

Object teams, the Eclipse Communication Framework (ECF), Xtext, Xtend and the Web Tools Platform (WTP) all support Java 8; and the memory analyzer can process heap dumps from a Java 8 runtime.

Java 8 has only been available for 3 months, but developers have already started to adopt the platform. If you are using Java 8 in-production, just evaluating it, or even if you are still using a previous version, Eclipse Luna will be a great release.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Eclipse Luna and thank you for reading my Top 10 List. For more Eclipse Tips & Tricks, follow me on Twitter.

Ian Bull

Ian Bull

Ian is an Eclipse committer and EclipseSource Distinguished Engineer with a passion for developer productivity.

He leads the J2V8 project and has served on several …