All 2 entries tagged Annotations

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February 13, 2006

helloworld annotation

So I wanted to play around with Annotations, so I decided to do a hello world.

Actually, the use case is I wanted to mark hibernate backed objects as needing to be autowired by Spring.

I created my annotation

public @interface Autowired {

and updated my class:

@Autowired public class MyClass {

and nothing. The unit test failed:

        MyClass cf = new MyClass();

        Class class1 = cf.getClass();
//        assertTrue(class1.isAnnotationPresent(Autowired.class));
        Annotation[] anns = class1.getAnnotations();
        assertEquals(1, anns.length);

No idea why, thinking it might be a class path issue with Eclipse, I recompiled, but still nothing.

As it turns out, you need to annotate your annotations :) You need to tell the compiler how to retain the annotations (link).

Specifying that the annotations must be retained for runtime retrieval means it now works:

public @interface Autowired {

The Target BTW restricts this annotation so it can only be applied to a class.

Very useful stuff :)

February 03, 2006

JDK5 Annotations; I love them, no, I hate them! (Actually I hate Eclipse) :)

So there is a fantastically useful annotation: @Override which when indicates that a particular method is overriding a method in the super class.

Why is this useful?

Assume today we are overriding the method called "methodA", tomorrow we get a new release of the library and the method in the parent class is no longer called "methodA", but renamed to "methodWithAMuchBetterName".

Your code is syntactically correct; it will compile, but it is not semantically correct. The no longer overridden method fails. No compiler errors to help you out; nothing.

You may argue that if you are overridding a method you almost certainly want to be calling super.sameMethod(); but that is just wrong. You do not have to , nothing in the million + 1 best practices suggest it, it is one of the more annoying anti-patterns. In particular; a lot of framework provide template method which do absolutely nothing for the sole purpose of you extending them; or they provide abstract methods for the same purpose.

Anyways; so JDK5 introduced an Annotation which told the compiler that the method is overridding a parent method. If the method in the super class is removed; your code won't compile.

Excellent. Lovely. As well as adding extra documentation to the source code; it has empowering side effects.

So sure; I love JDK annotations.

Now I implement an interface; create a method which implements the interface, stick an "@Override" on the method, and what happens? Eclipse moans that the method must override a superclass method.

ARRRGGHHH!!!!! It still compiles, but the source code looks like it is incorrect code.


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