What a shame! I spent few hours trying to find a decoder for Java string literals.
It turned out the Apache Commons Lang project, not Sun, provides the decoder and the encoder. I remembered its value from the time I was looking for an XML encoder to use in my JSP page.
I started my search when I realized that a brute force approach such as
s.replace("\\\\", "\\").replace("\\n", "\n") would fail to correctly decode a legitimate sequence of 3 characters
'n' into a string of 2 characters
'n'. This is because multiple
.replace() invocations apply per-character decoding more than once, which is wrong.