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Constructor Docs, Java Factory Method Finder


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This project is less pressing now the that Oracle’s Javadoc has a USE button.

In theory, you could tackle this project without even writing any Java code. The problem is private constructors. If a constructor is private, how are you supposed to create such an object? There will be a factory method somewhere. Unfortunately Sun usually fails to document this on the private constructor.

For all private constructors in the Java core classes, compose a list of factory methods for creating such an object.

If you want to tackle something even bigger, also add all the public constructors and write a viewer so you can browse the classes and instantly see all the ways to create such an object.

If you want to tackle something bigger still, create a list so that you can look up a class and see immediately all the possible methods that might take such an object as a parameter.

Obviously maintaining such a list would be an enormous amount of work. You would be best to write a Doclet to extract the necessary information automatically for your viewers.

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