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Josh Bloch on Design
A Conversation with Effective Java Author, Josh Bloch
by Bill Venners
First Published in JavaWorld, January 4, 2002

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Client and Subclasser Javadoc Views

Bill Venners: One thing you said in your book that I thought was interesting is that there is no way in Javadoc to separate the responsibilities and contract for people who use the class, from the responsibilities and contract for people who make subclasses.

Josh Bloch: Agreed, and I really think it would be an improvement if that were so, because the current situation is the two are intermixed and all the stuff for subclasses merely confuses the great multitude of programmers who won't subclass it. In particular, protected methods confuse novice programmers who aren't going to subclass a class, but are going to use it. I would prefer that they simply didn't see those protected methods when they look at Javadoc output. I think Javadoc should have views of the class. I think there should be a subclasser view that gives the contractual responsibilities and the protected fields that are available to subclassers, and that normal users should be shielded from this.

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