User Tools

Site Tools



This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Both sides previous revision Previous revision
Next revision
Previous revision
evolving_java-based_apis [2014/02/06 07:38]
evolving_java-based_apis [2018/03/04 02:53] (current)
Line 41: Line 41:
   * API classes (methods and constructors,​ fields, type members).   * API classes (methods and constructors,​ fields, type members).
 +The document also discusses annotations on API constituents,​ turning non-generic types into generic ones, and Java reflection. Regarding reflection, it emphasises that "[n]o additional provision are made for clients that access the API using Java reflection"​. It also explains that most reflection APIs are safe, except Class.getDeclaredXXX(...) methods, because they are "​dependent on the exact location of [a constituent] and include non-public [constituents] as well as public ones".
 +Finally, the document includes several suggestions to design better API or make it easier to change them:
 +  * Clients must only use published (not internal), API (even if other constituents are public);
 +  * "​[O]bsolete API elements are notoriously difficult to get rid of";
 +  * "[A]ll gender changes involving classes, enums, interfaces, and annotation types break binary compatibility [...]";​
 +  * "[A] pre-existing Client subclass of an existing implementation might still provide a pre-existing implementation [of a newly added method, by sheer luck]";​
 +  * "API interfaces that Clients should implement should not include fields",​ which is not always possible because enumeration constants used in switch statements;
 +  * "​[A]dding type parameters to a previously unparameterised type retains compatibility";​
 +  * "API classes should always explicitly declare at least one constructor";​
 +  * "​Client code can use the values() method to determine the ordinal positions of enums constants";​
 +  * "​Adding and deleting checked exceptions declared as thrown by an API method does not break binary compatibility;​ however, it breaks contract compatibility (and source code compatibility)";​
 +  * "Java compiler always inline the value[s] of constant fields [...] this does not meet the objective of changing the API field'​s value";​
 +  * "As long as the erasure looks like the corresponding declaration prior to generification,​ the change is binary compatible with existing code";
 +  * "​[G]enerifying an existing API is something that should be considered from the perspective of the API as a whole rather than piecemeal on a method-by-method or class-by-class basis";​
 +  * "[T]ag all stored data with its format version number";​
 +  * "​Deprecate and forward"​ and-or "Start over in a new package"​ and-or [[http://​​~plukas/​resources/​Extension%20Objects/​ExtensionObjectsPattern%20Gamma96.pdf|"​COM style"​]] and-or "​Mak[e] obsolete hook method final"​.
 +Also, the document provides the simplest, clearest explanation of Java 1.5+ type erasure mechanism, that I reproduce here for the sake of beauty:
 +>> A raw type is a use of a generic type without the normal type arguments. For example, "​List"​ in the declaration statement "List x = null;" is a raw type since List is a generic type declared "​public interface List<​E>​ ..." in JDK 1.5. Contrast this to a normal use of List which looks like "​List<​String>​ x = null;" or "​List<?>​ x = null;" where a type augument ("​String"​) or wildcard is specified. ​
 +>> ​
 +>> The term erasure is suggestive. Imagine going through your code and literally erasing the type parameters from the generic type declaration (e.g., erasing the "<​E>"​ in "​public interface List<​E>​ ...") to get a non-generic type declaration,​ and replacing all occurrence of the deleted type variable with Object. For type parameters with type bounds (e.g., "<E extends T1 & T2 & T3 & ...>"​),​ the leftmost type bound ("​T1"​),​ rather than Object, is substituted for the type variable. The resulting declaration is known as the erasure."​
evolving_java-based_apis.1391672280.txt.gz ยท Last modified: 2018/03/04 02:53 (external edit)