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# Monday, 24 January 2011

We're happy to announce that we have implemented @Yield annotation both in javac and in eclipse compilers.

This way you get built-in IDE support for the feature!

To download yield annotation processor please use the following link: Yield.zip

It contains both yield annotation processor, and a test project.

If you do not want to compile the sources, you can download Yield.jar

We would like to reiterate on how @Yield annotation works:

  1. A developer defines a method that returns either Iterator<T> or Iterable<T> instance and marks it with @Yield annotation.
  2. A developer implements iteration logic following the pattern:
    • declare a variable to accumulate results:
        ArrayList<T> items = new ArrayList<T>();
    • use the following statement to add item to result:
        items.add(...);
    • use
        return items;
      or
        return items.iterator();
      to return result;
    • mark method's params, if any, as final.
  3. A devoloper ensures that yield annotation processor is available during compilation (see details below).
  4. YieldProcessor rewrites method into a state machine at compilation time.

The following is an example of such a method:

@Yield
public static Iterable<Integer> generate(final int from, final int to)
{
  ArrayList<Integer> items = new ArrayList<Integer>();

  for(int i = from; i < to; ++i)
  {
    items.add(i);
  }

  return items;
}

The use is like this:

for(int value: generate(7, 20))
{
  System.out.println("generator: " + value);
}

Notice that method's implementation still will be correct in absence of YieldProcessor.

Other important feature is that the state machine returned after the yield processor is closeable.

This means that if you're breaking the iteration before the end is reached you can release resources acquired during the iteration.

Consider the example where break exits iteration:

@Yield
public static Iterable<String> resourceIteration()
{
  ArrayList<String> items = new ArrayList<String>();

  acquire();

  try
  {
    for(int i = 0; i < 100; ++i)
    {
      items.add(String.valueOf(i));
    }
  }
  finally
  {
    release();
  }

  return items;
}

and the use

int i = 0;
Iterable<String> iterator = resourceIteration();

try
{
  for(String item: iterator)
  {
    System.out.println("item " + i + ":" + item);

    if (i++ > 30)
    {
      break;
    }
  }
}
finally
{
  close(iterator);
}

...

private static <T> void close(T value)
  throws IOException
{
  if (value instanceof Closeable)
  {
    Closeable closeable = (Closeable)value;

    closeable.close();
  }
}

Close will execute all required finally blocks. This way resources will be released.

To configure yield processor a developer needs to refer Yield.jar in build path, as it contains @Yield annotation. For javac it's enough, as compiler will find annotation processor automatically.

Eclipse users need to open project properties and:

  • go to the "Java Compiler"/"Annotation Processing"
  • mark "Enable project specific settings"
  • select "Java Compiler"/"Annotation Processing"/"Factory Path"
  • mark "Enable project specific settings"
  • add Yield.jar to the list of "plug-ins and JARs that contain annotation processors".

At the end we want to point that @Yield annotation is a syntactic suggar, but it's important the way the foreach statement is important, as it helps to write concise and an error free code.

See also
  Yield feature in java implemented!
  Yield feature in java

Monday, 24 January 2011 10:23:53 UTC  #    Comments [2] -
Announce | Java | Thinking aloud | Tips and tricks
Saturday, 19 February 2011 18:55:46 UTC
Is there a license for the code/binary?

Thanks!
Frank
Sunday, 20 February 2011 04:55:21 UTC
There is no a document that could be named a licence.
We have published the code as is.

We permit the use and modification of the binary and sources we have provided.
If you will report a bug, we, most probably, shall fix it.

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