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Java 8 Lambdas by Richard Warburton

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Chapter 3. Streams

The language changes introduced in Java 8 are intended to help us write better code. New core libraries are a key part of that, so in this chapter we start to look at them. The most important core library changes are focused around the Collections API and its new addition: streams. Streams allow us to write collections-processing code at a higher level of abstraction.

The Stream interface contains a series of functions that we’ll explore throughout this chapter, each of which corresponds to a common operation that you might perform on a Collection.

From External Iteration to Internal Iteration

Tip

A lot of the examples in this chapter and the rest of the book refer to domain classes, which were introduced in Example Domain.

A common pattern for Java developers when working with collections is to iterate over a collection, operating on each element in turn. For example, if we wanted to add up the number of musicians who are from London, we would write the code in Example 3-1.

Example 3-1. Counting London-based artists using a for loop
int count = 0;
for (Artist artist : allArtists) {
    if (artist.isFrom("London")) {
        count++;
    }
}

There are several problems with this approach, though. It involves a lot of boilerplate code that needs to be written every time you want to iterate over the collection. It’s also hard to write a parallel version of this for loop. You would need to rewrite every for loop individually in order to make them operate in parallel.

Finally, the code here ...

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