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XDoclet -- why now?

 
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The doclet facililty in Javadoc has existed for a long time -- it's well-documented and not terribly hard to use. You can do all sorts of cool things with doclets. But plain doclets never really took off -- you don't see a lot of doclet-based software out there. Why did XDoclet succeed in capturing mindshare when plain old doclets did not?
 
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What XDoclet provides is a higher level code generation framework built on top of a lower level doclet like framework. Would you rather do code generation in Java using very primitive operations or at a high level using templates and other code generation abstractions? XDoclet brings the framework.
Outside of code generation, you do see some doclets but the ones I have seen all do very low
level tasks. It's an adequate environment for doing documentation centric code generation, but it doesn't have any higher level domain specific functionality that make it well suited for anything in particular.
 
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