How to use underscore in numeric literals?

Writing a long sequence of numbers in a code is a hard stuff to read. In the new feature introduced by JDK 7 we are now allowed to write numeric literals using the underscore character to break the numbers to make it easier to read.

You can see how to use underscore in numeric literals in the following examples. And you’ll see it for yourself that it really makes numbers easier to read.

package org.kodejava.example.basic;

public class UnderscoreNumericExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Write numeric literals using underscore as an easier way
        // to read long numbers.
        int maxInt = 2_147_483_647;
        int minInt = -2_147_483_648;

        if (maxInt == Integer.MAX_VALUE) {
            System.out.println("maxInt = " + maxInt);

        if (minInt == Integer.MIN_VALUE) {
            System.out.println("minInt = " + minInt);

        // Write numbers in binary or hex literals using the
        // underscores.
        int maxIntBinary = 0B111_1111_1111_1111_1111_1111_1111_1111;
        int maxIntHex    =   0X7____F____F____F____F____F____F____F;

        System.out.println("maxIntBinary = " + maxIntBinary);
        System.out.println("maxIntHex    = " + maxIntHex);

The results of the code snippet:

maxInt = 2147483647
minInt = -2147483648
maxIntBinary = 2147483647
maxIntHex    = 2147483647

How do I define an integer constant in binary format?

The JDK 7 add a small feature to work with a binary number. In the previous JDK we have to use the Integer.parseInt() method if we need to work with other base number. But with this new feature introduced in the Project Coin we can simplify the code when we work with the binary number.

To specify a binary literal in the code, add the prefix 0b or 0B to the number. The following code snippet show you how to write the binary literals:

package org.kodejava.example.fundamental;

public class BinaryLiteralExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // In JDK 6 and the previous version you must use the
        // Integer.parseInt() method to define a number using
        // a binary literal.
        int x = Integer.parseInt("00101010", 2);
        System.out.println("x = " + x);

        // In the new JDK 7 you can simply use the following
        // binary literal to define a number using a binary
        // literal.
        int y = 0b00101010;
        System.out.println("y = " + y);

The result of our code snippet:

x = 42
y = 42