Using the com/sun/tools/javac APIs

Erik van Zijst erik.van.zijst at
Wed Feb 17 22:50:13 PST 2010

Hi folks,

Not sure if tis is the appropriate mailinglist, but I'm trying to get my 
head around the various javac API's and I'm having trouble understanding 
what I can or can not do.

I'm parsing and traversing a set of source files using the unsupported API and for every method invocation and type 
reference, I want to resolve the exact (source) location where that 
method of type is declared, so that I can render the sources with 
hyperlinks for full navigation (IDE-style).

I'm having limited success. Traversing the JCTree.JCCompilationUnit list 
after the JavacTask.parse() step does not seems to offer name and type 
resolving (presumably because the attribution step hasn't run yet?).

Traversing the javax.lang.model.element.Elements list from 
JavacTask.analyze() gives me class and method declarations with the name 
of the respective java source file (but not their character offset 

Using the javac APIs, how do I go about matching these sets? Am I 
overlooking some functionality, or is this a non trivial task?

Correct resolution is crucial. For instance, it's important that a call 
to SubType.finalMethodOnSuperClass() properly links to the declartion of 
finalMethodOnSuperClass() in the BaseType file (assuming SubType extends 


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