Draft JLS spec for JEP 305: Pattern matching for instanceof

Gavin Bierman gavin.bierman at oracle.com
Mon Oct 21 09:50:11 UTC 2019

A second, and hopefully final, draft language spec for JEP 305 (Pattern matching for instanceof) is available at:

http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~gbierman/jep305/jep305-20191021/specs/patterns-instanceof-jls.html <http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~gbierman/jep305/jep305-20191021/specs/patterns-instanceof-jls.html>

Apart from a small number of minor corrections, the two main changes are:

1. We are relaxing the conditions around the typing of the instanceof operator, as discussed on the EG list a little while ago. The second operand is no longer required to be a reifiable type, but we require the type of the expression can be convertible to the type by casting conversion, and that casting conversion does not make use of an unchecked narrowing reference conversion.

2. The specification for patterns will not now appear in a new chapter, but in a new section 14.30. (Sections 14.22-14.29 will remain unused for now, to allow for further language evolution.)

As always, please email me any comments/thoughts/bugs.


> On 19 Sep 2019, at 10:28, Gavin Bierman <gavin.bierman at oracle.com> wrote:
> A draft language spec for JEP 305 (Pattern Matching for instanceof) is available at:
> http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~gbierman/jep305/jep305-20190918/specs/patterns-instanceof-jls.html <http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~gbierman/jep305/jep305-20190918/specs/patterns-instanceof-jls.html>
> Comments are welcomed on all aspects, but I draw your attention to a couple of things that we’d like your feedback on:
> 1. The instanceof operator restricts the type to be a reifiable reference type. The spec currently keeps that restriction for type test patterns too. But should we go further, i.e. will people expect to be able to say the following (given that this *declares* a pattern variable l)?
> if (o instanceof List<Integer> l) {
>> } 
> 2. We’d like to keep the possibility open for merging of multiple pattern declarations, where it makes sense. For example:
> if (a instanceof Foo f || b instanceof Foo f) {
> … // Like to be able to use f here
> } 
> The current spec explicitly calls out cases like these as compile-time errors, to allow for forwards compatibility if we add this feature. But what do you think of this feature? (We have textually multiple declarations of a pattern variable, but they are “merged”, so they are really the same thing…)
> 3. [Only for spec nerds] I am proposing to add a new Chapter 16 to discuss patterns (at the moment it’s short, but we’re planning for it to grow). The existing Chapters 16-19 will be renumbered to 17-20. Will this renumbering cause problems for anyone?
> Thanks,
> Gavin

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