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Holon Platform code structure and conventions

Introduction

The Holon Platform is developed with the intention of realizing a real Java API. With real we mean a Java codebase which can be accessed and used just through Java interface methods.

All this to achieve the following goals and benefits:

  • High maintainability: The interface's concrete implementations are "hidden" to the developer which uses the platform code and there is no need (and no temptation...) to directly use or even extend the concrete implementation classes. This way, the code written using the platform libraries is essentially isolated from the implementation classes and immune to changes to such classes in future releases, as long as there is not any breaking API changes.

  • Easiness of use and productivity: Each API interface provides suitable creation/building methods to obtain the concrete implementation objects, using a fluent building paradigm when appropriate. This eliminate the need to know which class has to be used as interface implementation and where to locate it.

  • Extensibility: Using interfaces, by nature, favours and facilitate extensibility and integration.

Technology

This approach leverages on the interfaces extensions and new features introduced by Java 8, such as static and default methods.

Besides interface extensions, other powerful and useful Java 8 features are used whenever possible and meaningful. In particular:

API interface rules

The following rules are followed when creating an API interface:

  • Any method which returns a value that can be null, must return an Optional of such value.
  • Any method which returns a Collection must return an empty Collection instead of null.
  • When one or more implementation class in available, the interface must provide one or more building method to obtain and configure an implementation instance:
    • If the implementation class does not need any required configuration parameter (or they are just one or two), a direct creation static method (typically named create()) must be provided;
    • If the implementation class requires or supports a set of configuration parameters, a fluent builder instance must be provided through a static method, conventionally named builder().
  • Any constant value must be made available by static final attributes of the interface.

Packages conventions

The packages of each artifact must be organized as follows:

  • The artifact group id as prefix
  • A name (simple or composed) which represents the API topic, which contains the public API interfaces
  • The word internal followed by the API topic name, which contains the implementation and support classes

For example, using the com.holonplatform.core group id, the classes of an API topic named mytopic are organized in packages named this way:

  • com.holonplatform.core.mytopic: API interfaces
  • com.holonplatform.core.internal.mytopic: Implementation and support classes