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Javadoc (originally cased JavaDoc)Now cased as 'Javadoc'. See [1]. Originally cased as 'JavaDoc'. See [2] is a documentation generator created by for the Java language (now owned by Oracle Corporation) for generating API documentation in format from Java source code. The HTML format is used for adding the convenience of being able to related documents together.http://agile.csc.ncsu.edu/SEMaterials/tutorials/javadoc/

The "doc comments" format. used by Javadoc is the de facto industry standard for documenting Java classes. Some IDEs, IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans and Eclipse like , and Eclipse, automatically generate Javadoc HTML. Many file editors assist the user in producing Javadoc source and use the Javadoc info as internal references for the programmer.

Javadoc also provides an API for creating and taglets, which allows users to analyze the structure of a Java application. This is how can generate reports of what changed between two versions of an API.

Javadoc does not affect performance in Java as all comments are removed at compilation time. Writing comments and Javadoc is for better understanding the code and thus better maintaining it.


History
Javadoc was an early Java language documentation generator.. Prior to the use of documentation generators it was customary to use technical writers who would typically write only standalone documentation for the software, but it was much harder to keep this documentation in sync with the software itself.

Javadoc has been used by Java since the first release, and is usually updated upon every new release of the Java Development Kit.


Technical architecture

Structure of a Javadoc comment
A Javadoc comment is set off from code by standard multi-line comment tags /* and */. The opening tag (called begin-comment delimiter), has an extra asterisk, as in /**.

  1. The first paragraph is a description of the method documented.
  2. Following the description are a varying number of descriptive tags, signifying:
    1. The parameters of the method (@param)
    2. What the method returns (@return)
    3. Any exceptions the method may throw (@throws)
    4. Other less-common tags such as @see (a "see also" tag)


Overview of Javadoc
The basic structure of writing document comments is to embed them inside /** ... */. The Javadoc is written next to the items without any separating newline. Note that any import statements must precede the class declaration. The class declaration usually contains:

// import statements

/**

* @author      Firstname Lastname 
* @version 1.6 (current version number of program) * @since 1.2 (the version of the package this class was first added to) */
public class Test {
   // class body
     
}

For methods there is (1) a short, concise, one line description to explain what the item does. This is followed by (2) a longer description that may span multiple paragraphs. The details can be explained in full here. This section, marked in brackets , is optional. Lastly, there is (3) a tag section to list the accepted input arguments and return values of the method. Note that all of the Javadoc is treated as HTML so the multiple paragraph sections are separated by a "<p>" paragraph break tag.

/**

* Short one line description.                           (1)
* 

* Longer description. If there were any, it would be (2) * here. *

* And even more explanations to follow in consecutive * paragraphs separated by HTML paragraph breaks. * * @param variable Description text text text. (3) * @return Description text text text. */

public int methodName (...) {
   // method body with a return statement
     
}

Variables are documented similarly to methods with the exception that part (3) is omitted. Here the variable contains only the short description:

/**

* Description of the variable here.
*/
     
private int debug = 0;

Note that it is not recommended to define multiple variables in a single documentation comment. This is because Javadoc reads each variable and places them separately to the generated HTML page with the same documentation comment that is copied for all fields.

/**

* The horizontal and vertical distances of point (x,y)
*/
     
public int x, y; // AVOID

Instead, it is recommended to write and document each variable separately:

/**

* The horizontal distances of point.
*/
     
public int x;

/**

* The vertical distances of point.
*/
     
public int y;

Some of the available Javadoc tags Javadoc tags in JavaSE 6 are listed in the table below:

{@docRoot}Represents the relative path to the generated document's root directory from any generated page.Class, Interface, Enum, Field, Method
1.4.0
{ @linkplain reference}Identical to {@link}, except the link's label is displayed in plain text than code font.Class, Interface, Enum, Field, Method
1.4.0
1.5.0
1.5.0
{ @serial literal}Used in the doc comment for a default serializable field.Field
{ @serialData literal}Documents the data written by the writeObject( ) or writeExternal( ) methods.Field, Method
{ @serialField literal}Documents an ObjectStreamField component.Field


Examples
An example of Javadoc to document a method follows. Notice that spacing and number of characters in this example are as conventions state. /**
* Validates a chess move.
*
* Use {@link #doMove(int theFromFile, int theFromRank, int theToFile, int theToRank)} to move a piece.
*
* @param theFromFile file from which a piece is being moved
* @param theFromRank rank from which a piece is being moved
* @param theToFile   file to which a piece is being moved
* @param theToRank   rank to which a piece is being moved
* @return            true if the move is valid, otherwise false
* @since             1.0
*/
     
boolean isValidMove(int theFromFile, int theFromRank, int theToFile, int theToRank) {
   // ...body
     
}

/**

* Moves a chess piece.
*
* @see java.math.RoundingMode
*/
     
void doMove(int theFromFile, int theFromRank, int theToFile, int theToRank) {
   // ...body
     
}


See also
  • Comparison of documentation generators
  • .NET XML documentation comments


Notes

External links

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