Saturday, April 21, 2007

Javadocs, deep linking and quick reference

My Class Viewer project gives two key things with javadocs:

1. A handy way to keep up with all of them using an xml file, which I call packagedirectory.xml, where you can put in public javadocs as well as your own, and then, you can just forget about worrying where they are!

(Note the xml file can be edited easily in a text editor.)

2. Deep linking into javadocs to the method, where if you don't know the exact method you can do searches using a single char or as much of a string as you want with any piece you might think is in the method as I made the search as flexible as I could.

Understanding deep linking is just about seeing it done once, and you can see an example in my previous post, but the gist of it is that you get taken to your method in the javadocs, so no more scrolling down searching!

But these features have been available from my project for over three years now.

Ok, yeah, there was a long period with a minor bug where when a method had multiple arguments the URL would have an extra space in it, so you'd get taken to the top of the javadocs page---which is a gracious failure---but I finally fixed the code.

The problem still remains though with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, last time I checked, which is yet another good reason to get Firefox!

Oh and did I mention that once you put your javadocs location in packagedirectory.xml you need never worry about where your javadocs are again? Yes I did, but that is such a huge feature, and there are other solutions out there like javadoc online but there you do not get deep linking and what about your own projects and your own javadocs?

Why not let the computer keep up with all that detail, which you can do with Class Viewer?

James Harris
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