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Java9/ModularityOptions/UIProposal SH

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Revision as of 13:42, 19 November 2019 by (Talk | contribs) ("see also" added where the resulting feature is documented.)

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Redesign of UI to support all module-graph related options in one tab of the Java Build Path properties page.

Following a discussion at EclipseCon Europe 2018, this started with a painted mock-up and a list of requirements.

During the 4.12 development cycle a first version of this feature was implemented via bug 546352 and later polished in and around bug 546797.

See also:

Original Sketch Current Implementation

Ok green.gif Implemented.
Progress.gif Deferred, candidate for second iteration.
Glass.gif Deferred, investigation needed.

All modules

This compartment lists all modules that are contained in the module graph. The module defined by the current project is pinned to the top of the list. Other modules are sorted alphabetically.

It shows the following additional information:

  • icon decorations:
    • Ok green.gif S = System Library
    • Progress.gif U = Upgrade of a System Library
    • Ok green.gif A = Automodule
    • Ok green.gif > = Tweaked (see "Details") -- following conventions of SCM decorations, then this is a prefix of the label
  • the origin - not enough space here, perhaps under Details
  • ...

Possible actions:

  • Ok green.gif (Actions are en/disabled depending on selection)
  • Ok green.gif Add a module (from those contained in JRE but not included by default, or previously removed)
  • Ok green.gif Remove a module (applies only to JRE modules, other modules should be removed on the Libraries or Projects tab)
    • Is that restriction confusing? Alternative: when removing a module explicitly listed on the Modulepath, warn before removing.
  • Ok green.gif Select any module for additional tweaking, see next.


For the selected module we can

  • Ok green.gif Inspect the declared details (from module-info: exports/opens/requires). Collapsed in the mockup.
  • Add any of the following tweaks:
    • Ok green.gif Let the module expose an existing package (export and/or open), possibly restricted to certain modules.
    • Ok green.gif Let the module read another module
    • Ok green.gif Add more sources to patch the module, one of:
      • Ok green.gif A source folder
      • Ok green.gif A project
      • Progress.gif A jar (does it make sense to let one 3rd party thing patch another 3rd party thing?)
  • Icon decorations:
    • Ok green.gif E = Exports
    • Ok green.gif O = Opens
    • Ok green.gif R = Reads
    • Ok green.gifPatch ovr.png = Patched

UX Discussion

  • Ok green.gif We still need second level dialogs for details for each of the actions (except remove :) ), but we no longer need the three levels of dialogs that we currently use.
  • Progress.gif I've been thinking about making "All modules" a full dependency tree => option is nice-to-have, deferred.
    • Confer: M2e has both: a tree starting from a fixed set of roots plus a flat list of transitive dependencies
    • Roots are currently implicit in JDT
    • Could possibly be made a view option later
  • Progress.gif Filtering could be added later:
    • only modified modules
    • only main modules (i.e., no test-only dependencies)
  • Ok green.gif The two compartments are essentially master-detail
    • Ok green.gif After adding a reads module under Details, it is likely that details for that module need to be added next. Double click on the RHS selects the module in the LHS list.
  • withdrawn: I played with arrow up/down icons to signify the two directions: exposing packages to other modules, and reading from other another module. Import/Export wizards, e.g., use diagonal arrows, is that better?
  • withdrawn: The Details compartment is a table, 2nd column being initially filled from tiny dialogs behind the buttons Expose Package / Read Module....
  • Ok green.gif Qualifications of exports / opens are listed as child nodes (modules), has-child indicator should suffice to signal the qualification
  • Glass.gif For patching, I would intuitively expect only one pattern: add a source folder of the current project into a given module on the module path.
    • For maximum flexibility we could also support to patch a module with another project, or just a source folder of that project.
    • Till suggested to only support project (meaning: all its source folders)
  • Progress.gif when patching a module, that patched module should move to the top of the LHS list (it is now the current module)


  • Many aspects of the above should consider the distinction main/test sources, how exactly is a tricky question.
    • Progress.gif Each modification dialog will have a checkbox "[x] Test only". (agreed but not implemented)
    • Glass.gif Alternatively, the entire page could have two filtered views, selectable by a drop down [main/test] - deferred / may not be needed due to individual checkboxes in dialogs
      • Changes made in view "main" are global
      • Changes made in view "test" are not visible in view "main"
    • Progress.gif Use dark gray icons like in Package Explorer (agreed but not implemented)

Functionality Discussion

I do hope that this one page can eventually fully replace the existing Module dialog (hidden behind "Is modular"), and also cover the additional use cases discussed above.

  • Ok green.gif We are loosing the visualization of explicitly and implicitly included modules. Instead the "Remove" button triggers computing the minimal closure for removal (and asks for confirmation). Similarly "Add System Module..." auto-selects all required modules.
  • Progress.gif --add-reads is now universally applicable, we just need to add support for the "module" ALL-UNNAMED. (agreed but not implemented)
  • Test code could read ALL-UNNAMED by default, with the option to remove this.
  • Ok green.gif To reflect "--add-modules ALL-SYSTEM" the "Add System Module" dialog will have a checkbox "[x] All System Modules".
    • Currently spelling out all modules in the classpath attribute -- may want to reduce it to the constant ALL-SYSTEM, indeed.
  • Glass.gif Still missing: a location to specify the Main Class :(


For test specific tweaks (which are in general not migration tools, but part of the architecture) I would still wish we had s.t. that looks like source code, easily compared in git etc. Is the proposed design blocking such future development?

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