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so i seem to have "solved" the problem by right clicking my project -> properties -> java compiler -> execution environments -> javase-1.7 (under execution environments) -> selected java se 8 under compatible jres

i got to execution environments via a hyperlink from a warning message at the bottom of the java compiler section which said:

when selecting 1.8 compliance, make sure to have a compatible jre installed and activated (currently 1.7). configure the 'installed jres' and 'execution environments', or change the jre on the 'java build path'

i don't know what the regular route to execution environments option is, and i don't know why that seemed to have solved by issue, but i'm not running into the major.minor version error anymore.

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