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In order to understand documentation for Java APIs, it helps to have a context of some sort. As such, I created a simple little Java application (called sample-java-project) to demonstrate how the various tags get rendered into the Javadoc.

Sample Java Project

The sample Java project is a little application about different tools that a coyote will use to capture a roadrunner. There are two classes (ACMESmartphone and Dynamite) and another class file called App that references the classes.

This program doesn’t really do anything except print little messages to the console, but it’s hopefully simple enough to be instructive in its purpose. The purpose of the app is to demonstrate different doc tags, their placement, and how they get rendered in the Javadoc.

Download the project

One of your immediate challenges to editing Javadoc will be to get the source code into your IDE. The sample java project is here on Github.

First clone the source using version control. We covered some version control basics earlier in the course.

You can clone the source in a couple of ways:

git clone

Or click Clone in Desktop and navigate to the right path in Github Desktop.

(If you don’t want to clone the source, you could click Download ZIP and download the content manually.)

Open the project in Eclipse

  1. If you haven’t already downloaded and installed Eclipse, do so.
  2. After you’ve cloned or downloaded the Java project, open Eclipse. (If prompted to select a workspace, select the default location and click Launch. Also, close the Welcome screen if it appears.)
  3. In Eclipse, go to File > New > Java Project.
  4. Clear the Use default location check box, and then click Browse and go to the folder where you cloned the Github project.

    Import existing Java project

  5. Click Finish.

    The Java files should be visible in the left pane (Package Explorer) within your Eclipse IDE.

Side Note about Maven projects

Java projects often have a lot of dependencies on packages that are third-party libraries or at least non-standard Java utilities. Rather than requiring users to download these additional packages and add them to their class manually, developers frequently use Maven to manage the packages.

Maven projects use a pom.xml file that defines the dependencies. Eclipse ships with Maven already installed, so when you import a Maven project and install it, the Eclipse Maven plugin will retrieve all of the project dependencies and add them to your project.

The sample project doesn’t use Maven, but I want to add a note about Maven here anyway. Chances are if you’re getting a Java project from developers, you won’t import it in the way I previously described. Instead, you’ll import it as an existing Maven project.

(By the way, to import a Maven project into Eclipse, you would go to File > Import > Maven > Existing Maven Projects and click Next. In the Root Directory field, you would click Browse and browse to the Java project folder (which contains the Maven pom.xml file) and then click Open. Then you would click Finish in the dialog box. In the Project Explorer pane in Eclipse, you would right-click the Java folder and select Run as Maven Install. Maven retrieves the necessary packages and builds the project. If the build is successful, you will see a “BUILD SUCCESS” message in the console. You would then use the source code in the built project.)

Play with the Sample Java Project


This Java app doesn’t do much. It’s main purpose is to create some classes where I can add some Javadoc annotations. But for fun, you can run the app.

In the Package Explorer, expand javadoc_tags and select the Then click the Run App button .

The main method runs these functions:

public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {

  // First initialize your smartphone using the model number and license key.
  ACMESmartphone myACMESmartphone = new ACMESmartphone(2.0, "398978fdskj");

  // Locate the roadrunner.
  myACMESmartphone.findRoadRunner("Santa Clara","California");

  // Zap the roadrunner with the amount of voltage you want.


You can view the details of each function in the and classes.

Then app prints this text to the console:

model2.0 now initialized for license 398978fdskj
location: Santa Clara, California
getting geocoordinates of roadrunner....
roadrunner located at Longitude = 39.2334, Latitude = 41.4899
Backfire!!! zapping coyote with 1,000,000 volts!!!!

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