Sébastien Dubois Sébastien Dubois - 9 months ago 45
Java Question

Why doesn't Java close() stream after a terminal operation is issued?

After reading https://www.airpair.com/java/posts/spring-streams-memory-efficiency, I am tempted to stream results out of a database, but as I discussed with a colleague (cfr. comment he added to that article), one needs to remember to use the try-with-resources construct to avoid any memory leaks.

  1. Why doesn't the Java 8 library take care of closing streams itself after each terminal operation (without having to wrap the stream instantiation in a try-with-resources)?

  2. If applicable, are there any plans for this functionality to be added to Java, or would it make sense to request it?


Because streams that require explicit resource release is actually a pretty unusual case. So we chose not to burden all stream execution with something that is only valuable for .01% of usages.

We made Stream Autocloseable so that you can release resources from the source if you want to, but this is where we stopped, and for a good reason.

Not only would doing this automagically burden the majority of users with extra work that they don't need, but this would also violate a general principle: he who allocates the resource is responsible for closing the resource. When you call


you are the one opening the resource, and you should close it. In fact, since closing a stream resulting from calling an accessor method on some resource-holding object will sometimes close the underlying object, you probably don't want the stream closing the BufferedReader for you -- you might want it to stay open after the call.

You're probably using streams in a particular way, so it probably seems "obvious" what streams should do -- but there are more use cases out there than yours. So rather than catering to specific use cases, we approached it from the general principle: if you opened the stream, and you want it closed, close it yourself, but if you didn't open it, it's not for you to close.