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developerWorks: Java Programming Dynamics, Part 3: Applied Reflection

Jul 17, 2003, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis M. Sosnoski)

"In last month's article, I introduced the Java Reflection API and ran through some of its basic capabilities. I also looked into reflection performance, and ended with some guidelines for when reflection should or should not be used in an application. This month I'm going even further by looking at an application that seems to be a good match for reflection's strengths and weaknesses: a library for command line argument processing.

"I'll start by first defining the problem to be solved, then designing an interface for the library before actually getting into the implementation code. My actual experience developing the library was not so structured--I started out trying to simplify existing code in a family of applications that use a common code base, then generalized from there. The linear 'define-design-build' sequence in this article is much more concise than a full description of the development process, though, and in the process of organizing it this way I've revised some of my initial assumptions and cleaned up several aspects of the library code. Hopefully, you'll find it useful as a model for developing your own reflection-based applications..."

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