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Java 9 Try with Resources Improvements

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, programming languages continually adapt to meet the demands of modern application development. Java, a language known for its robustness and cross-platform capabilities, took a significant leap forward with the release of Java 9.

One of the notable improvements that Java 9 brought to the table was the enhancement of the try-with-resources statement, which streamlined resource management. In this section, we delve into the advancements made in Java 9's resource management capabilities and explore how these improvements benefit professional developers.

The Evolution of Try-With-Resources

Prior to Java 9, developers were already familiar with the "try-with-resources" statement, introduced in Java 7. This construct aimed to simplify resource management by ensuring that resources such as streams, connections, or any object implementing the AutoCloseable interface were automatically closed at the end of a block. The feature significantly reduced the likelihood of resource leaks and made code more concise and readable.

However, in Java 7 and 8, 'try-with-resources' had its limitations. It only allowed the declaration and management of resources within the scope of the 'try' block, which sometimes resulted in nested 'try' blocks for dealing with multiple resources. This approach, while effective, led to less aesthetically pleasing and potentially error-prone code.

Java 9 Contribution

Java 9 took resource management a step further by introducing a more flexible and expressive enhancement to the 'try-with-resources' statement. With the advent of Java 9, developers gained the ability to declare resources outside the 'try' block, improving code readability and reducing the need for nested blocks. This enhancement was achieved through the concept of "effectively final" variables.

In Java 9, any resource that is effectively final, meaning it's assigned only once and not modified afterward, can be declared before the 'try' block and subsequently used within it. This subtle yet powerful improvement eliminates the need for nested blocks, thereby enhancing code structure and making it easier to understand and maintain.

Java 9 Resource Management Overhaul

Java 9 recognized the limitations of the previous approach and introduced an elegant solution that both enhances code readability and simplifies complex resource management scenarios. The enhancement cantered around allowing resources to be declared outside the 'try' block and still be automatically closed.

In Java 9, the scope of the 'try' block was expanded to include resources declared before the 'try' statement. This means that any resource that is effectively final can be declared outside the 'try' block and still participate in the automatic resource management process.

Benefits for Professional Developers

  1. Reduced Nesting and Enhanced Readability: One of the primary benefits of Java 9's improvement is the reduction of nested 'try' blocks. Before Java 9, dealing with multiple resources often resulted in cumbersome and nested code structures. With Java 9, developers can declare resources outside the 'try' block, making the code more linear and easier to follow.
  2. Clearer Code Separation: The separation of resource declaration from business logic promotes better code separation. By encapsulating resource management concerns separately, developers can focus on the core functionality of their code, leading to more maintainable and extensible applications.
  3. Improved Error Diagnostics: With resources declared outside the 'try' block, exceptions related to resource management are more likely to be thrown from the point of declaration. This improvement simplifies the process of identifying and diagnosing errors, enhancing the debugging and maintenance experience.
  4. Simplified Multi-Resource Management: In scenarios where multiple resources are involved, Java 9's enhancement eliminates the need for complex nesting. Resources can be declared in a linear fashion, improving code readability and reducing the potential for errors.
  5. Support for External Resources: Java 9's improvement opens the door to managing resources that are externally provided or initialized before the 'try' block. This can be particularly useful in frameworks and libraries that manage resource lifecycles outside of the developer's control.

Migration Considerations

Transitioning from Java 7 or 8 to Java 9, while relatively straightforward, requires developers to rethink resource management practices. Developers must identify and modify portions of code where resources can be moved outside the 'try' block. While it might require some adjustments, the benefits in terms of code quality, maintainability, and reduced complexity outweigh the transitional effort.


Java 9 enhancement of the 'try-with-resources' statement reflects a proactive approach by the Java community to address real-world development challenges. By allowing resources to be declared outside the 'try' block, Java 9 empowers developers to write more readable, maintainable, and error-resistant code. The reduced nesting, improved separation of concerns, and enhanced error diagnostics contribute to a more professional and efficient development experience. As developers continue to embrace Java 9 and its advanced resource management capabilities, the evolution of the language and its ecosystem toward greater productivity and code quality remains evident.

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