What is the purpose of the default keyword in Java?

It’s a new feature in Java 8 which allows an interface to provide an implementation. Described in Java 8 JLS-13.5.6. Interface Method Declarations which reads (in part)

Adding a default method, or changing a method from abstract to default, does not break compatibility with pre-existing binaries, but may cause an IncompatibleClassChangeError if a pre-existing binary attempts to invoke the method. This error occurs if the qualifying type, T, is a subtype of two interfaces, I and J, where both I and J declare a default method with the same signature and result, and neither I nor J is a subinterface of the other.

What’s New in JDK 8 says (in part)

Default methods enable new functionality to be added to the interfaces of libraries and ensure binary compatibility with code written for older versions of those interfaces.

Leave a Comment