Always close streams

When you use the try-with-resources statement correctly, then you will never have to close streams explicitly. (Indeed, that's the reason try-with-resources was added in the first place.)

However, you may see still see code that either doesn't use a modern JDK, or fails to take advantage of try-with-resources.

JDK < 7

Streams represent resources which you must always clean up explicitly, by calling the close method.

Some classes (apparently just the output classes) include a flush method. When a close method is called on a such a class, it automatically performs a flush. There is no need to explicitly call flush before calling close.

One stream can be chained to another by passing it to the constructor of some second stream. When this second stream is closed, then it automatically closes the original underlying stream as well.

If multiple streams are chained together, then closing the one which was the last to be constructed, and is thus at the highest level of abstraction, will automatically close all the underlying streams. So, one only has to call close on one stream in order to close (and flush, if applicable) an entire series of related streams.


import java.util.*;
import java.util.logging.*;

/** JDK before version 7. */
public class ExerciseSerializable {

  public static void main(String... aArguments) {
    //create a Serializable List
    List<String> quarks = Arrays.asList(
      "up", "down", "strange", "charm", "top", "bottom"

    //serialize the List
    //note the use of abstract base class references

      //use buffering
      OutputStream file = new FileOutputStream("quarks.ser");
      OutputStream buffer = new BufferedOutputStream(file);
      ObjectOutput output = new ObjectOutputStream(buffer);
    catch(IOException ex){
      fLogger.log(Level.SEVERE, "Cannot perform output.", ex);

    //deserialize the quarks.ser file
    //note the use of abstract base class references
      //use buffering
      InputStream file = new FileInputStream("quarks.ser");
      InputStream buffer = new BufferedInputStream(file);
      ObjectInput input = new ObjectInputStream (buffer);
        //deserialize the List
        List<String> recoveredQuarks = (List<String>)input.readObject();
        //display its data
        for(String quark: recoveredQuarks){
          System.out.println("Recovered Quark: " + quark);
    catch(ClassNotFoundException ex){
      fLogger.log(Level.SEVERE, "Cannot perform input. Class not found.", ex);
    catch(IOException ex){
      fLogger.log(Level.SEVERE, "Cannot perform input.", ex);


  //Use Java's logging facilities to record exceptions.
  //The behavior of the logger can be configured through a
  //text file, or programmatically through the logging API.
  private static final Logger fLogger =

See Also :
Finally and catch
Reading and writing text files
Recovering resources
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