Was there any reason why the designers of Java felt that local variables should not be given a default value? Seriously, if instance variables can be given a default value, then why can't we do the same for local variables?
And it also leads to problems as explained in this comment to a blog post:
Well this rule is most frustrating when trying to close a resource in a finally block. If I instantiate the resource inside a try, but try to close it within the finally, I get this error. If I move the instantiation outside the try, I get another error stating that a it must be within a try.