Manifold: The reinvention of code generatorsOctober 20, 2018
If a project you develop involves one or more code generators, perhaps you know what I mean.
Implementors of the Type Manifold API, called type manifolds , establish a type supplier relationship with the Java compiler — the Manifold framework hooks into the compiler so that as the compiler encounters type names the type manifolds contribute toward resolving them, generating code in memory as needed.
Think of a type manifold as a new domain of types for the compiler to access.
As such the Manifold framework serves as a gateway between javac and type manifolds, effectively expanding Java’s type system to include whole new domains of types.
For example, the JSON type manifold produces types defined in JSON files.
Zero turnaround – live, type-safe access to metadata; make, discover, and use changes instantly Lightweight – direct integration with standard Java, requires no special compilers, annotation processors, class loaders, or runtime agents Efficient, dynamic – Manifold only produces types as they are needed by the compiler Simple, open API – you can build your own type manifolds No code generation build step – eliminates code generators from your development build process IntelliJ IDEA – comprehensive IDE support: code completion, navigation, usage searching, refactoring, debugging, etc.
Further, the Type Manifold API unifies code generation architecture by providing much needed structure and consistency for developers writing code generators.
With Manifold, a developer can define and use metadata that best suits the needs of a project without having to worry about build implications or IDE integration; he can create a metadata file, use it directly as a type, modify it, and access the changes immediately in his code.
As a long time Java developer I’ve personally worked on several projects involving heavy code generation.
With no code generators to invoke and no separate build steps to integrate, metadata just works.
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