Posse Brain Dump: JavaDocs from the year 2020

At the Java Posse Roundup last week we had some wonderful evening sessions called Lighting Talks. During these sessions each participant had 5 minutes to give their entire presentation. This necessitates, of course, brevity and clarity above all. And of course, since this was the evening, we were all sitting around munching on BBQ, drinking beer, and laughing away during the proceedings. So in short, it was a lot of fun. Some of the talks were Java related at all. Ido Green from Yahoo introduced us to the sport of orienteering and Joe Nuxoll from the Java Posse gave several presentations about the physics of race car driving. Fascinating stuff.

Anyway, back to what I came to talk about. What I'm about to show you is several demos that have been sitting on my harddrive for a while. I pulled them out and showed them to the Roundup attendees with a warm reception. This convinced me that some of you might like to see them too.

I want to state at this point that these are not SwingLabs projects. They are simply demos to try out ideas. However they all have the potential to be great SwingLabs projects. If you think they would be a good project and would like to help run it then please email me and Rich so we can get you started. Thanks.

No on with the show! I'll send out a different blog with each of these. Here's the first:

JavaDocs from the year 2020

This was an experiment in what we could do with Javadocs now that most browsers support Javascript and CSS very well. The code is pretty simple: a custom doclet which produces XML, then run through XSLTs to produce HTML which uses custom CSS and Javascript. All as spec compliant and clean as possible. The design of the new interface is both prettier and more functional than standard javadocs. It shows off lots of interest ideas like:

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  • organizing docs by category using tabs
  • grouping properties into a single unit
  • conditionally hiding advanced and deprecated methods
  • collapsing inherited methods into open/close strips
  • pinning common features to a fixed header at the top
  • reducing the vertical space used to show more docs at once.
  • better styles for the overview and code snippets
  • rollover/tooltips to show the full classname

Note that I've only done the classes themselves, not the class list or package level docs, so that's very spare right now.

Let me know what you think. More coming soon.

- Josh

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Posted March 14th, 2007

Tagged: java.net