One-stop shop for javadoc

Posted 19 Feb 2003 at 00:16 UTC by jhyde Share This

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a single site -- a virtual library -- which contained all the javadoc in the world?

I find myself ferreting around for javadoc a lot these days. Say I'm writing some code which needs a spellchecker, and I find a nice little open source spell-checking package called net.gizmo.spell. Now I want to reference its javadoc from my program's javadoc or my own website, and I run into a problem: which javadoc to reference?

I can't reference the javadoc I downloaded onto my hard drive, because I have a firewall. Google finds some javadoc at I don't know whether Mikey wrote this package, or just downloaded it for some project, but I do know that the javadoc will disappear when Mikey graduates or drops out. But I don't have any other options, I reference this javadoc .

Wouldn't it be great if I could go to a single web server, say, for every package I need. In this case, I would reference This web server wouldn't actually contain the javadoc; it would just redirect to the last known location of a set of javadoc which, for the time being, is in Mikey's home account.

The javadoc server would be maintained by the community. If a link broke, someone would soon find a new location. It would probably be built and run by the open source community, but would reference non-open source libraries too. Open source projects would register their javadoc in the library as a way of putting themselves on the map.

The javadoc server could contain javadoc for several versions of the same library. I could choose a specific version by modifying the root url, for example:

Does such a server exist? There is very little in heaven and earth, much less the Internet, which is not yet dreamt of, yet I can't find such a thing. If not, would anyone like to help me built or host it?

Giant Java Tree, posted 19 Feb 2003 at 08:28 UTC by vinsci » (Master)

The Giant Java Tree,, seems to meet at least some of your goals. They also propose a "Giant Java Network", to be a forest of GJT:s.

Brilliant, posted 19 Feb 2003 at 15:07 UTC by rafeco » (Journeyer)

I think this is a brilliant idea. Scrounging for Javadoc takes up entirely too much of the Java developer's life. Since Java has a nice clean naming convention for packages, the search mechanism would be trivial as well (assuming that the people releasing Java code publicly don't stomp on each other's namespaces).

This being free software..., posted 19 Feb 2003 at 20:15 UTC by vinsci » (Master)

This being free software, you should already have a copy of the source for whatever Java code you're using. The javadoc documentation is included there, of course.

Rather than build hard-to-finance web sites for browsing code and documentation, why not simply improve the way development tools support browsing the javadoc of the code that the project references? Alternatively write a javadoc doclet that makes it simple to merge javadoc from all relevant projects. The difficulty there is however to handle crossreferences to code that at some stage wasn't there, but now is (probably simplest to regenerate the lot, or use a bit of javascript on each link to check if the target exists and handle errors in a useful manner). Either way, you also get the advantage of having a local copy of the full source code to everything your project depends on.

Eprints project, posted 25 Feb 2003 at 21:34 UTC by adulau » (Journeyer)

You should check the Eprints project. There is also a Free Software available.
The concept is based on "Self-Archiving", this could be also use for javadoc or any other documents.

Thanks for the replies, posted 1 Mar 2003 at 19:57 UTC by jhyde » (Journeyer)

Thanks for the replies, everyone. I've contacted to see if we can collaborate on this. I've also registered a sourceforge project called joogle (we're recruiting!), and have set up a prototype server.

It moved, posted 22 Jul 2003 at 19:21 UTC by jhyde » (Journeyer)

The prototype server is now here.

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