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japi and public references to non-public types

From: Stuart Ballard
Subject: japi and public references to non-public types
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2005 13:05:16 -0400

I was looking into the javax.naming issue against 1.3 (field
CompoundName.impl missing in classpath) and found that
(unsurprisingly) the author of the class was completely aware of the
"missing" impl field but there was no good solution, because the impl
field is of type javax.naming.NameImpl which is a package-private

It would of course be easy to "solve" the API problem by defining our
own empty package-private NameImpl class, but I'm wondering if it
would be better for Japitools to catch this kind of situation and
treat the "impl" field as if it's package-private itself - that is,
ignore it entirely since japi only deals with public and protected

I can't think of any reasons why any such field (or a method taking a
non-public type as a parameter or returning one) should ever matter in
practice for compatibility, but I'd like to see if other people feel
the same way before trying to implement skipping them. I'm already
doubting the last decision I made in japitools without feedback (I'll
post about that separately) so I'm being cautious :)

The only problem with such an approach is that it would probably slow
down japize and increase its resource usage somewhat (no idea yet
exactly how much, could be minor but could easily be dramatic),
because currently the types of fields, return types of methods and
parameter types of methods and constructors are just referenced by
name in japize - the corresponding classes are never actually loaded
from the zip (or rather, they're only loaded when it's time to process
*that* class, not when it's referenced from somewhere else). But
loading them is necessary to determine what their modifers are to
decide whether to skip them.



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