Exploring Java 8: Features, Pros, and Cons

Released in March 2014, Java 8 marked a significant milestone in the evolution of the Java programming language. With its introduction, Java embraced functional programming paradigms and introduced powerful features that revolutionized the way developers write code. In this blog post, we will explore the key features of Java 8, discuss its pros and cons, and understand how it has shaped the Java ecosystem.

Features of Java 8
  • Lambda Expressions: Java 8 introduced lambda expressions, enabling developers to write more concise and expressive code. Lambdas facilitate functional programming by allowing the representation of behavior as data, enabling the use of functional interfaces and streamlining operations on collections.
List<String> names = Arrays.asList("John", "Alice", "Bob", "Emily");

// Sorting the list using lambda expression
Collections.sort(names, (a, b) -> a.compareTo(b));

// Printing the sorted list
  • Stream API: The Stream API provides a declarative approach to processing data collections. It allows developers to perform complex operations on collections, such as filtering, mapping, and reducing, in a concise and expressive manner. Streams promote code readability, reduce the need for loops, and enable parallel execution, thus enhancing performance.
List<Integer> numbers = Arrays.asList(1, 2, 3, 4, 5);

// Filtering even numbers and mapping them to their squares
List<Integer> squaredEvenNumbers = numbers.stream()

.filter(n -> n % 2 == 0)

.map(n -> n * n)


// Printing the resulting list
  • Default Methods: Java 8 introduced the concept of default methods in interfaces, enabling backward compatibility while adding new methods. Default methods provide a way to extend existing interfaces without breaking the implementing classes, reducing the effort required for evolving APIs.
interface Vehicle {

    void start();

    default void honk() {

        System.out.println("Honking the horn!");



class Car implements Vehicle {


    public void start() {

        System.out.println("Starting the car...");



// Creating an instance of Car and invoking methods
Car car = new Car();

car.start(); // Output: Starting the car...

car.honk(); // Output: Honking the horn!
  • Date and Time API: Java 8 addressed the limitations of the previous Date and Calendar classes by introducing a new Date and Time API. The new API provides a comprehensive set of classes for working with dates, times, durations, and intervals. It offers improved immutability, thread-safety, and functionality, making date and time manipulation more intuitive.
LocalDate today = LocalDate.now();
System.out.println("Today's date: " + today);

LocalDate tomorrow = today.plusDays(1);
System.out.println("Tomorrow's date: " + tomorrow);

LocalTime currentTime = LocalTime.now();
System.out.println("Current time: " + currentTime);

LocalDateTime currentDateTime = LocalDateTime.now();
System.out.println("Current date and time: " + currentDateTime);


Pros of Java 8
  • Improved code readability and expressiveness through the use of lambda expressions and functional programming constructs.
  • Enhanced productivity with the Stream API, allowing for declarative and parallel processing of collections.
  • Backward compatibility maintained through default methods in interfaces, facilitating the evolution of APIs.
  • A more comprehensive and intuitive Date and Time API, addressing the shortcomings of previous date and time classes.
Cons of Java 8
  • Adoption challenges: Java 8 introduced a paradigm shift, and developers familiar with earlier versions may face a learning curve when embracing the functional programming style.
  • Compatibility issues: The introduction of new features and changes in Java 8 might cause compatibility problems with older codebases and libraries.
  • Limited tooling support: Some Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and build tools may have limited or incomplete support for Java 8 features.


Java 8 brought groundbreaking features that have significantly influenced the Java programming landscape. The addition of lambda expressions, the Stream API, default methods, and the Date and Time API has empowered developers to write more expressive, efficient, and maintainable code. While there may be initial challenges in adoption and compatibility, the benefits of Java 8 outweigh the drawbacks. It laid the foundation for subsequent Java versions, fostering a more functional and modern programming style. By embracing Java 8, developers can unlock new possibilities and leverage its powerful features to build robust and scalable applications.  


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