I am always tired of the very verbose syntax in Java for creating small maps. Arrays.asList(T... a) is very convenient, and therefore I want something similar for a map.

public class MapUtils {
    public static <K, V> MapBuilder<K, V> asMap(K key, V value) {
        return new MapBuilder<K, V>().entry(key, value);

    public static class MapBuilder<K, V> extends HashMap<K, V> {
        public MapBuilder<K, V> entry(K key, V value) {
            this.put(key, value);
            return this;

/* Example of how to use asMap */
public class Example {
    public void example() {
        Map<String, String> map = MapUtil.asMap("key", "value").entry("key2", "value2");

/* Example of how the one way to create an inline Map in Java */
public class Before {
    public void before() {
        Map<String, String> map = new HashMap<String, String>() {{
            put("key", value");
            put("key2", value2");

Any inputs on how to improve this implementation of MapUtils? Do you consider the asMap function a good idea, or am I too lazy to write some extra characters?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks nice to me. But Landeis solution seems reasonable. :) \$\endgroup\$ – user unknown Jul 1 '11 at 21:33

In my opinion MapBuilder should contain a Map, not extend one. Another possible design would be to use a single call with varargs:

public class MapUtil {
    public static <K,V> Map<K,V> asMap(Map.Entry<K,V>... entries) {
        Map<K,V> map = new HashMap<K,V>();
        for(Map.Entry<K,V> entry : entries) {
            map.put(entry.getKey(), entry.getValue());
        return map;

    public static <K,V> Map.Entry<K,V> e(final K k, final V v) {
        return new Map.Entry<K, V>() {
            public K getKey() {
                return k;
            public V getValue() {
                return v;
            public V setValue(V value) {
                throw new UnsupportedOperationException("Not supported");

import static very.useful.MapUtil.*;
Map<String, Integer> map = asMap(e("x",1),e("y",2),e("z",3));
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, well, but e? Just e? A bit aggressive and cryptic. \$\endgroup\$ – user unknown Jul 1 '11 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I used e for "entry", but of course this is a matter of taste. The best thing would be an operator as in Scala (here ->), but the only symbolic things we have for Java names are $ and _. Hmmm, maybe we should use $$ for pairs, that would make at least a little bit sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Landei Jul 3 '11 at 8:33
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, or maybe entry for entry? :) \$\endgroup\$ – user unknown Jul 3 '11 at 14:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user unknown: IMHO that would be too long. \$\endgroup\$ – Landei Jul 3 '11 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't like the e-function either, but I guess it is a necessary evil. \$\endgroup\$ – smat Jul 4 '11 at 12:29

google-collections has all about it, e.g. ImmutableMap.of(). Moreover they teach using right data structure, like true immutable collections, ordered lists etc. I really enjoyed it.

Google Collections is now part of Google Guava, and it includes ImmutableMap.Builder. With this you can do:

   static final ImmutableMap<String, Integer> WORD_TO_INT =
   new ImmutableMap.Builder<String, Integer>()
       .put("one", 1)
       .put("two", 2)
       .put("three", 3)

You can call the put(K, V) method as many times as you like. Builders are great for this kind of situation.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice tip with google-collections. But it only supports up to five entries. \$\endgroup\$ – smat Jul 4 '11 at 12:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have edited this answer with an example of using ImmutableMap.Builder, which gets around the 5 entries limit. I'm waiting for it to be peer reviewed. \$\endgroup\$ – Rich Jul 6 '11 at 11:26

I like Landei version, but I have also an untyped version of asMap like asMap(key,value,key,value,...). It is not typed Map, but in many cases, it fits the bill pretty well.


Map quickMap = asMap("prop1","val1","prop2",12,"prop3");

In this case "prop3" will have a value null.


static final public Map<String, Object> asMap(Object... objs) {
    HashMap<String, Object> m = new HashMap<String, Object>();

    for (int i = 0; i < objs.length; i += 2) {
        String key = objs[i].toString();
        if (i + 1 < objs.length) {
            Object value = objs[i + 1];
            m.put(key, value);
        } else {
            m.put(key, null);
    return m;
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't recommend this. Only the last value can contain null this way. \$\endgroup\$ – Yuri Sep 16 '15 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @yuri I am not sure, because a asMap("prop1",null,"prop2",12,"prop3"); should work, no? \$\endgroup\$ – Jeremy Chone Sep 17 '15 at 1:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ sure, but it is inconsistent, which means that if you get an odd list of objects, chances are the programmer made a mistake. So I would at least implement a check on %2==0 for the argument list. And you always return something of type Map<String, Object>, maybe make a templated version? \$\endgroup\$ – Yuri Sep 18 '15 at 5:29

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