Java Collections Reloaded

Eight years ago today, on April 19, 2012, I presented Java Collections Reloaded at the GIDS conference in Bengaluru, India.

An incredible honor to share a poster with the most amazing Venkat

Passion, Patience, and Persistence

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last decade describing the benefits and productivity gains that can be achieved by having improved collections in Java. At GIDS on April 19th, 2012 I gave my second ever public presentation. The title of the presentation was “Java Collections Reloaded”. This was the first time ever that anyone had talked publicly about the GS Collections framework which was open sourced on GitHub in January 2012 and is now called Eclipse Collections. GS Collections moved to the Eclipse Foundation and became Eclipse Collections at the end of 2015.

I survived this talk somehow, suffering through the whole presentation with a terrible case of food poisoning that would render me completely incapacitated in my hotel room just a few hours after I finished the talk.

Regardless, I had a great time presenting, and really enjoyed the two GIDS conferences I attended and spoke at in 2010 and 2012. I am thankful to the conference organizers for giving me the opportunity and platform to share ideas and talk about an open source library I created and have now worked on for the past 16 years. I would certainly be happy to present at GIDS again in the future if given the opportunity.

The Video

This is not a high quality video, and you won’t be able to read the slides while watching, but you can see me bouncing around on the stage and hear me sharing my thoughts on what an improved Java Collections framework could look like. I punished myself today by watching this video from eight years ago. There is some feedback in the audio at around minute 35, so be aware if you are listening with a headset. I had forgotten most of what I had shared in the talk, and was pleasantly surprised by some of it. The part I do remember vividly is how I felt from the food poisoning, but I’d like to think that if if I didn’t mention it, you might not know I was suffering on stage while delivering this.

The Slides

Updated: The Slides are available online here, and should no longer require a login to access. The conference organizers were very kind and removed the login requirement for the presentations at the following link. Please note, the slide deck is around 10mb in case you download the PDF.

I also gave a talk at the JVM Language Summit in July 2012 that had a reasonable amount of content overlap with the GIDS talk, and the slides from that talk are available online here.

Back to the Future

Eight years is a long time in technology years. I recently wrote a blog describing the need to build a new and improved collections framework for all Java developers to have access directly to in the core Java libraries.

So maybe in the not too distant future, we will get to see a Java Collections Reloaded in the form of a Java Collections 2.0 set of interfaces and implementations. I think a lot of Java developers now understand how lambdas and Streams work since they were added in Java 8 and are ready for the cognitive load of learning and leveraging new concepts in an improved collections framework. This continues to be my hope.

If you want to see one version of what a possible future could look like and that has been available in an evolving form in open source since January 2012 and since I gave the Java Collections Reloaded talk at GIDS in April 2012, then check out Eclipse Collections.

I am a Project Lead and Committer for the Eclipse Collections OSS project at the Eclipse Foundation. Eclipse Collections is open for contributions. If you like the library, you can let us know by starring it on GitHub.



Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library ( Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.

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Donald Raab

Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library ( Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.