Functional Java 1 - Options

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This is the first post of my series about functional programming in Java. There’s a lot of functional stuff one can do. Everyone knows the Java 8 Lambda expression, but with a little library support, there is way more… In this series, I’ll coder som libraries which provide functional paradigms and constructs for Java:

Java 8 Optional

There is a native optional type since Java 8, called Optional<T>. It’s handy and covers the basic need: A typesafe alternative to Null.

Functional Java Option

The Functional Java library has also an Option<T> type. It is not something completely different and has the same basic functionality as the Java Optional type. It’s just kind of personal preference which one you use, but I’ll recommend to use only one of them per project. The basic operations are heavily inspired by Scala:

Option<String> opt1 = Option.some(new String("foo"));
Option<String> opt2 = Option.none();
Option<String> opt3 = Option.fromNull(new String("foo"));
Option<String> opt4 = Option.fromNull(null);

opt1.isSome() // true
opt2.isSome() // false
opt3.isSome() // true
opt4.isSome() // false


On options, there is also a method isNone(), but in general, you’ll need those two methods rarely, because in most of all cases, you’ll map options. In the following example,* is statically imported, so we don’t need the object-prefix:

final Option<Integer> opt1 = some(10);
final Option<Integer> opt2 = none(); -> n*2) // some(20) -> n*2) // none() -> n*2).orSome(0) // some(0)

The map(f) function only applies, if the Option is of type some(). Otherwise, nothing happens. The last statement shows how to apply a default value using orSome(T). Of course it is also possible to provide a Lambda to orSome(final F0<A> a): -> n*2).orSome(() -> 2) // some(2)

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