[record] Marker annotation for overridden accessors

Brian Goetz brian.goetz at oracle.com
Fri Jan 10 03:54:50 UTC 2020

I would not be in favor of creating a new annotation 
`@LikeAnOverrideButNotReally`, but I could imagine interpreting 
`@Override` to mean "must either override a member in a supertype, or 
implement a mandated member."  (This is true not only of the accessors, 
but also of the canonical ctor and dtor.)

On 1/9/2020 10:47 PM, Tagir Valeev wrote:
> Hello!
> Java has a good habit of explicitly marking specific code elements
> with annotations when they convey a special meaning to avoid
> accidental loss of this meaning. E.g.:
> @Override: method overrides a superclass method: it's an error if it doesn't
> @FunctionalInterface: an interface is a functional interface: it's an
> error if it doesn't
> @Serial: a method/field is a part of serialization infrastructure: not
> sure whether it's completely implemented, but it would be a good idea
> to issue error/warning if a wrong method is annotated.
> Now we have new "special" methods: record accessors. They cannot be
> annotated with @Override but they technically override the
> auto-generated implementation. Probably we should introduce a new
> annotation that designates the intention to override the accessor?
> E.g.
> record Foo(List<String> list) {
>    @RecordAccessor
>    public List<String> list() {
>      return Collections.unmodifiableList(this.list);
>    }
> }
> So if we rename the method without renaming the record component, we
> will have a compilation error now. What do you think?
> I also thought about an annotation to designate the canonical
> constructor and concluded that it's useless because it's impossible to
> mistakenly make a constructor non-canonical. E.g.:
> record Interval(int from, int to) {
>    public Interval(int from, int to) {
>      if(from < to) { this.from = from; this.to = to; }
>      else { this.to = from; this.from = to; }
>    }
> }
> We may want to add a new component, e.g. `boolean closed` and forget
> to update the canonical constructor. However, this immediately creates
> a compilation error, because new implicit canonical constructor will
> be generated, and now existing explicit constructor must delegate.
> Essentially, in a working program, the absence of delegation in the
> constructor body already marks the constructor as canonical.
> With best regards,
> Tagir Valeev.

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