Revapi Java Extension

Revapi extension to check API of java classes in jar archives.

Extension: revapi.java.filter.annotated

The annotated element filter is able to include or exclude java elements based on the presence of certain annotation on them. This also works for annotations with certain attributes having certain values, because the match is done on the "standard" annotation textual notation.

If no include filter is specified, all elements are included, otherwise only the elements annotated with one of the included annotations are API checked.

The exclude filter narrows down the included elements - i.e. if an element is to be included according to the include filter (or lack thereof), the exclude filter is consulted whether that really should be the case.

If an element is included, all its child elements are included, too. I.e. if a class is included, all its methods, fields and inner classes are included in the analysis, too (if you need to exclude some child element that would be included by default, you can either annotate it with some annotation and configure this filter to exclude such elements, or you can use some other Revapi filter, like configurable element filter).

Note
Currently, this filter does NOT take into account annotations placed on the packages.

Sample Configuration

[
  {
    "extension": "revapi.java.filter.annotated",
    "configuration": {
      "regex": true,
      "include": ["@my\\.annotations\\.Public.*"]
      "exclude": ["@my\\.annotations\\.Beta"]
    }
  }
]
<analysisConfiguration>
  <revapi.java.filter.annotated>
    <regex>true</regex>
    <include>
      <item>@my\.annotations\.Public.*</item>
    </include>
    <exclude>
      <item>@my\.annotations\.Beta</item>
    </exclude>
  </revapi.java.filter.annotated>
</analysisConfiguration>

Properties

regex

Specifies whether to consider the strings in exclude and include lists as regular expressions or not. The default value is false, meaning the strings are not considered as regular expressions.

exclude

Elements annotated with annotation that matches at least one from this list will be excluded from the API check.

include

Elements annotated with annotation that matches at least one from this list will be included from the API check.

Notation

The string formatting of the annotations with values follows that of Java8. Notably:

  • The full canonical class names are used for every type.

  • If the annotation specifies only the value of the value attribute, the name, value, must not be included in the notation. I.e. @java.lang.annotation.Retention(java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy.RUNTIME), not @java.lang.annotation.Retention(value = java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy.RUNTIME).

  • Array attributes are always enclosed in curly braces even if only a single element is present, i.e. @java.lang .annotation.Target({java.lang.annotation.ElementType.METHOD}), not @java.lang.annotation.Target(java.lang.annotation.ElementType.METHOD).

  • Equals sign is always surrounded by a single space from each side.

Examples

Let’s consider the following classes in our API, that we want to filter:

@Public
public class MyAPI {

   public static final int CONSTANT = 42;

   public void method() {
   }

   public static class InnerAPI {
   }

   @Private
   public static class InnerImplementation {
   }
}

@Private
public class Implementation {

    public static final int DETAIL = 43;

    @Public
    public void method() {
    }
}


public class JustAClass {

    public void method() {
    }

    @Private
    public void implMethod() {
    }

    @Public
    public void definitelyAPIMethod() {
    }
}

Given the classes above, the following example configurations will show different ways of setting up the filtering to achieve anticipated results.

Note
The @Public and @Private annotations are not defined by Revapi. They just represent any annotation you may choose to be used in their place for the same purpose.

Leave out only @Private Elements

This one of the simple approaches. You don’t want to sprinkle your code with annotations everywhere - most of your classes are to be considered public but you want to make sure that certain classes are not meant for public consumption. You neither use Java 9, nor you mandate execution in some of the modular classloading frameworks like OSGi or JBoss Modules, so your options are limited in terms of visibility and you might not have other choice but to make even these classes public.

If you configure Revapi like this:

[
  {
    "extension": "revapi.java.filter.annotated",
    "configuration": {
      "exclude": ["@my.annotations.Private"]
    }
  }
]

The API analysis will not consider these elements:

  • MyAPI.InnerImplementation class

  • Implementation class and any of its members

  • JustAClass.implMethod() method

All other elements will be included in the analysis.

Only Consider @Public Elements

This is an approach where you want to have strict control over what is considered public API and what is not. You do this by annotating the elements to be considered part of the public API using the @Public annotation (of your own making).

The Revapi configuration for this might include this snippet:

[
  {
    "extension": "revapi.java.filter.annotated",
    "configuration": {
      "include": ["@my.annotations.Public"]
    }
  }
]

The API analysis will not consider these elements:

  • Implementation class and all its members but the method() method

  • JustAClass class and all its members but the definitelyAPIMethod() method

The following elements will be analyzed:

  • MyAPI class and all its members, including the InnerImplementation class

  • Implementation.method() method

  • JustAClass.definitelyAPIMethod() method

The Implementation class is not included in the API analysis, because it’s not annotated by the @Public annotation. On the other hand, the MyAPI.InnerImplementation class is included in the API analysis, because it is a member of the the MyAPI class, which is annotated with @Public and there is no configuration for exclusion.

Similarly, JustAClass and its members are not included, because they are not annotated by @Public.

The situation with Implementation.method() and JustAClass.definititelyAPIMethod() is actually quite similar. In both, the presence of the @Public annotation overrides the decision about the parent element’s exclusion (this decision is based on the lack of the @Public annotation on the parents).

Doing this might not seem particularly useful but there are scenarios, where it might be. Imagine that over the evolution of your library certain users became reliant on an implementation class that you never meant to be public. Over the time, you marked your certain methods or the whole class as @Private to really discourage users from using them yet you know of the importance of some method in the class that your clients depend on and don’t want to break the clients using it. You thus annotate it @Public even though it is in a non-public class.

Precise Control Using Both @Public and @Private

This is of course a combination of both the approaches above but still is worth its own explanation.

The configuration would look something like this:

[
  {
    "extension": "revapi.java.filter.annotated",
    "configuration": {
      "include": ["@my.annotations.Public"]
      "exclude": ["@my.annotations.Private"]
    }
  }
]

And the following elements will not be included in the analysis:

  • MyAPI.InnerImplementation class (and all of its members, if there were any)

  • Implementation class and all its members but the method() method

  • JustAClass and all its members but the definitelyAPIMethod() method

This is the most "intuitive" result and probably the one the author of the library anticipated when they annotated the methods and classes with the annotations.

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