Monday, May 12, 2014

The effects of programming with Java 8 Streams on algorithm performance

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Multi-paradigm programming with Java has been possible for many years, with its support for a mix of service oriented, object oriented and aspect oriented programming. Java 8 with its lambdas and java.util.stream.Stream class, is good news because it lets us add the functional programming paradigm into the mix. Indeed there has been a lot of hype around lambdas. But is changing our habits and the way we write our code a wise thing, without first getting to know the dangers that might lurk?

Java 8's Stream class is neat because it lets you take a collection of data and chain multiple functional calls on that data together, making for tidy code. Map/reduce algorithms are a good example, where you take a collection of data and aggregate it by first selecting or modifying data out of a complex domain and simplifying it (the "map" part), and then reducing it to a single useful value.

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