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Monitoring and Enforcing Design Dependencies with Verifydesign : Page 3

Verifydesign lets you codify a design in XML and run compile-time checks to notify developers of dependencies that break the design specifications.


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Adding New Packages
Now, let's add a new package called biz.xsoftware.client2, and add a class called Client2.java to that package. This class does not need to have any code in it at all. The real "package design" should now look like Figure 6. Again, note that this is not the defined "package design" in the design file.

 
Figure 6. New Client2 Package: Here's the dependency situation after adding a second client package.
Now rerun the build using ant—f bldfiles/build.xml and you'll see the following error.

Package=biz.xsoftware.client2 is not defined in the design. All packages with classes must be declared in the design file. Class found in the offending package=biz.xsoftware.client2.Client2

Basically, users finds that the "package design" must cover all the code in the module. Verifydesign forces your design to be kept up to date. You can always use the subpackages attribute as shown earlier to include a named group of subpackages. In fact, you could declare all your source code as one big wad, using the default package, which is reserved just for this case:

<package name="default" package="default package" subpackages="include" needdepends="false"/>

But it's better to fix the design. Add the following line to your design file.



<package name="client2" package="biz.xsoftware.client2"/>

After defining the new package, you should be able to run the build again successfully. Notice that the client2 class has no dependencies, so you don't have to declare any—but you do have to define the package.

Let's now add some valid dependencies and change our design to allow those dependencies. First, modify the line of the design file shown earlier to this:

<package name="client2" package="biz.xsoftware.client2"> <depends>phoneApi</depends> </package>

Next, copy the Client.java file from the biz.xsoftware.impl.client folder to the biz.xsoftware.client2 folder. This class depends on the PhoneApi package. Now, running the build should pass.

Stale Documentation
Sometimes a developer deletes code from a class that results in a package no longer depending on another package specified in the design. Let's now do the reverse of what we did previously. Delete the biz.xsoftware.client2.Client.java file, and run the build again. You'll see the following error:

Package name=client2 has a dependency declared that is not true anymore. Please erase the dependency <depends>phoneApi</depends> from package=client2

If you follow those instructions and delete the depends node, and then rebuild, the build passes because the code matches the design. Finally, delete the Client2.java file and run the build again.

Package name=client2 is unused. Full package=biz.xsoftware.client2

At this point, you've seen how Verifydesign enforces the dependency restrictions to ensure that your design is always up to date. This feature was recently added to Verifydesign and when we first ran it on our project, we had to delete 17 lines from design.xml, which had around 50 lines at the time. This made reading the "package design" much easier. Just think, you can tell everyone that your design documentation is guaranteed to always be up-to-date.

Wiring Ant-contrib into Your Build
Now, to make sure the tool can enforce dependencies, you have to wire Verifydesign into the builds. The key lines in the verifydesign/package/bldfiles/build.xml file are:

<property name="antcontrib.location" location="${tool.dir}/ant-contrib" /> <path id="antcontrib.lib"> <fileset dir="${antcontrib.location}"> <include name="**/*.jar" /> </fileset> </path> <taskdef resource="net/sf/antcontrib/antlib.xml" classpathref="antcontrib.lib" />

Those lines load all the ant-contrib tasks. Subsequently, to use Verifydesign on a single jar, just add the following line.

<verifydesign jar="${jardist}/${jar.name}" design="bldfiles/design.xml" />

You can find more documentation at ant-contrib's homepage .



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