Java – Create instance of generic type in Java


Is it possible to create an instance of a generic type in Java? I'm thinking based on what I've seen that the answer is no (due to type erasure), but I'd be interested if anyone can see something I'm missing:

class SomeContainer<E>
    E createContents()
        return what???

EDIT: It turns out that Super Type Tokens could be used to resolve my issue, but it requires a lot of reflection-based code, as some of the answers below have indicated.

I'll leave this open for a little while to see if anyone comes up with anything dramatically different than Ian Robertson's Artima Article.

Best Solution

You are correct. You can't do new E(). But you can change it to

private static class SomeContainer<E> {
    E createContents(Class<E> clazz) {
        return clazz.newInstance();

It's a pain. But it works. Wrapping it in the factory pattern makes it a little more tolerable.