Reference implementation

Neal Gafter neal at
Sat Oct 31 11:21:32 PDT 2009

On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 7:40 PM, Reinier Zwitserloot <
reinier at> wrote:

> The JLS chapter on the source keyword merely needs to explain its format
> and how it's context sensitive (as it must appear at the top of the CU, this
> is easy). It should probably include a footnote on what the source property
> is generally used for, but it doesn't have to.

If it is part of the source language and affects the interpretation of the
syntax and the meaning of declarations, statements, and expressions of the
language, then it is part of the language.  If it is part of the language
then it must be described precisely in the language specification.

> There's precedent for this of course: Last time I checked, the javadoc
> tool's documentation isn't part of the JLS, and yet javadoc are things that
> appear in java source files.

Javadoc comments are comments in the source language, and this aspect is
precisely described in the JLS (3.7).  Their contents do not affect the
syntax or the meaning of declarations, statements, or expressions of the
language.  As such, the structure and meaning of their contents needn't be
described by the language specification.


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