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Plugins : Less coupling , Better cohesion


Epo Jemba




Enhance the Plugin A.P.I. to

  • Help decouple plugins allthogether,

  • Offer a clean place to organize code between multi plugin use cases.


Plugin is the place where all the inversion of control, dynamic bindings and start time behaviour occur. We often have to make hard dependencies and embed stack logic inside them. We need to find a way to further organize developer stack logic:

  • The first motivation is to reduce coupling between plugins.

  • The second motivation is to help stack designers to decouple their stack logic from Nuun.IO A.P.I.


Decoupling with interfaces

With Nuun.IO a plugin can request required plugins and dependent plugins to the kernel. By doing so, we ask a direct reference of the plugins thus introducing a coupling.

Basic idea is to:

  1. Create interface that sum up contract between your plugins,

  2. Make dependent and required plugins implements those interfaces,

  3. Make your current plugin request for those interfaces rather than plugin directly.

Required and dependent plugins will implement the interfaces them explicitely or implicitely. We cover this just after.

Explicit Interfaces

We create the interface ConfigurationTrait, a plugin trait, the contract:

public interface ConfigurationTrait {

    public String get (String key) ;

    public void put(String key , String value) ;

We create a plugin RequiredPlugin implementing this interface

public class RequiredPlugin extends AbstractPlugin implements ConfigurationTrait {

    // - - - - - 8< - - - - -

    // trait implementation
    public String get (String key) {
       return goodValue;

    public void put (String key , String value) {
       // trait implementation

    // - - - - - 8< - - - - -


When the plugin MyPlugin will require this dependency, it will ask for ConfigurationTrait rather than RequiredPlugin.

The method for the request will not be:

    Collection<Class<? extends Plugin>> Plugin.requiredPlugins();
    // or
    Collection<Class<? extends Plugin>> Plugin.dependentPlugins();

MyPlugin will now request it via

public class MyPlugin extends AbstratPlugin {

     // . . .

    public Collection<Class<? >> requiredTraits() {
       return  collectionOf(ConfigurationTrait.class);

    public Collection<Class<? >> dependentTraits() {
       return  collectionOf(ConfigurationTrait.class);

Instead of getting result via InitContext.requiredPlugins() or InitContext.dependentPlugins()

    public InitState init(InitContext initContext) {
        // get required  trait by class
        ConfigurationTrait configuration = initContext.requiredTrait(ConfigurationTrait.class);
        String myValue = configuration.get("mykey");

        // get dependent trait by class
       LoggingTrait  loogging = initContext.dependentTrait(LoggingTrait.class);

       // get all required plugins
       Map<Class<?> , ?> requiredTraits = initContext.requiredTraits();

       // get all dependent plugins
       Map<Class<?> , ?> dependentTraits = initContext.dependendTraits();

Implicit Interfaces

In some cases, you’ll have to require or make dependent an already existing plugins. You’ll have to introduce a coupling on this plugin, as long as this plugin has no declared some trait.

This is sad ! :(

Go style interfaces

In golang to satisfy an interface, there is no need to implement it. You just have to satisfy the contract of the interface.

Implicit interface will allow you to use an already defined plugin by creating a trait for it. Nuun Kernel will recognize the plugin from the trait and will proxy it for you.


Given an already existing plugin LegacyPlugin

public class LegacyPlugin extends AbstratPlugin {

     // . . .

    public String legacyMethod() {
       return  something;

    public void legacyMethod(Object input) {
       // implementation


Rather than introducting a coupling on LegacyPlugin class, just create the interface LegacyTrait. The methods of the interface have to match the legacy plugin methods you want to work with.

public interface LegacyTrait  {

    public String legacyMethod() ;

    public void legacyMethod(Object input) ;


The kernel will automatically proxy LegacyPlugin to the Legacy. You’ll have to use the same method to require or make dependent the legacy trait than above. You’ll have to use InitContext to get your trait, the same way.

public class MyPlugin extends AbstratPlugin {

     // request the trait
    public Collection<Class<? >> dependentTraits() {
       return  collectionOf(LegacyTrait.class);

    // use the trait
    public InitState init(InitContext initContext) {
        // get required  trait by class
        LegacyTrait legacy = initContext.requiredTrait(LegacyTrait.class);
        // 'legacy' is a proxy to LegacyPlugin
        String myValue = legacy.legacyMethod();



This way no coupling between your module and a legacy plugin.

Increase coherence

Plugins role is to focus on the initialization of the application using the Kernel/Plugin IOC Protocol (c). However, some logic could not be located inside any nuun plugin because

  • it is sufficiently generic and can be reused,

  • it can be usefull across several plugins.

The main role of this feature is to help nuun users to

  • better organize their core logic and

  • give them a way to decouple from Nuun API.

A Simple Scoped POJO

The logic holder is a simple POJO and it contains the core logic. As simple as this. A good practice is not include any dependency to Nuun API.

Requesting the POJO is quite similar to request a traits or plugins. The plugins will ask the POJO encapsulating the core logic via its class.

By default the kernel will provide a singleton of the POJO to all plugins. Scope version of this could be added later if needed. For now any scope could be handled inside the POJO itself.


Given a POJO containing the core logic of your feature.

public class ConfigurationLogic  {

    // the configuration of all your application
    Configuration configuration;

    // configuration fragments
    List<Map<String,Object>> configurationFragments;

    public ConfigurationLogic () {
        // it is a good idea to delegate the creation
        // to your core logic objects
        configuration = new Configuration();
        configurationFragment = new List<> ();

    public void compute() {
       // . . compute configuration with fragment .

    public Configuration configuration() {
       // simply returns the configuration
       return configuration;

    public void add(Map<String,Object> confFragment) {
        // add a configuration fragment

This is a good practice to delegate the creation of core objects like configuration. ConfigurationLogic is then completely testable.

The plugins will be able to request the Core Logic object and use it this way :

public class MyPlugin extends AbstratPlugin {

     // request the core logic
    public Collection<Class<? >> coreLogic() {
       return  collectionOf(ConfigurationLogic.class);

    // use the trait
    public InitState init(InitContext initContext) {
        // get the core logic component which is a singleton
        ConfigurationLogic logic = initContext.coreLogic(ConfigurationLogic.class);

        // another plugin could

        // another plugin could

        // another plugin could

        // construct the configuration

        // 'legacy' is a proxy to LegacyPlugin
        configuration = logic.configuration();


Another subsequent good practice is that the plugin does not holds any core logic pojo. This is not a strong requirement.


Nuun samples projects.







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