Extracting JavaDoc documentation from source files using JavaParser

 

A lot of people are using JavaParser for the most different goals. One of these is extracting documentation. In this short post we will see how you can print all the JavaDoc comments associated to classes or interfaces.

Code is available on GitHub: https://github.com/ftomassetti/javadoc-extractor

Getting all the Javadoc comments for classes

We are reusing DirExplorer, a supporting class presented in the introduction to JavaParser. This class permits to process a directory, recursively, parsing all the Java files contained there.

We can start by iterating over all the classes and find the associated Javadoc comments.

As you can see getting the JavaDoc comments is fairly easy. It produces this result:

Getting all the Javadoc comments and find the documented elements

In other cases we may want to start collecting all the Javadoc comments and then finding the element which is commented. We can also do that easily with Javaparser:

Here most of the code is about providing a description for the commented node (method describe).

Conclusions

Manipulate the AST and finding the Javadoc comments is quite easy. However one missing feature is the possibility to extract the information contained in the Javadoc in a structured form. For example, you may want to get only the part of the Javadoc associated to a certain parameter or to the return value. Javaparser currently does not have this feature, but I am working on it and it should be merged in the next 1-2 weeks. If you want to follow the development take a look at issue 433.

Thanks for reading and happy parsing!

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