Invoking code generated by an annotation processor

Stéphane NICOLAS steff.nicolas at
Wed Feb 10 17:09:48 UTC 2016

I am facing a problem with Javac : I got a sweet annotation processor that
generates a DSL and I invoke the generated code from my main code.

Everything works fine except when there is an error in my main code : if I
got a compile error in the main code, not related to the generated code,
like a missing comma (parsing problem), or calling an inexisting method
(linkage problem), then all calls to the annotation processor are marked as
errors by the compiler.

Ideally I am just looking for a way to get rid of those error messages, and
keep only the original one that fails to compile.

AFAIK, javac should support this scenario but it doesn't support it in a
very convenient way and I don't understand exactly why..

After reafing the javac code, open jdk 7 & 8, I realized that :

Annotation processors are not called if there is any error to compile the
code. As the annotation processor are not triggered, the calls to generated
code get mark as an error.

However, I could, by playing with shouldStopPolicy (+if error and if no
error) trigger the annotation processor and generate the code. But still, I
would receive in this case the errors related to calling the generated
code. Like if the generated code was not taken into account, like if I was
receiving errors from a previous compilation steps.

I understand that javac parses the code, if it fails there, I will receive
only an error about the actual problem. And this is great. I just want this
error to show up, not any other, and it works fine. (Though I am wondering
if this is always true even I clean my build & generated files before

If there is a linkage problem in my original code, like calling an
non-existent method, javac will relax the error and trigger the annotation
processors and try to let them generate the code to see if the generated
code that satisfies the linkage problem. But then, though there is a state
in which javac will successfully satisfy all linkage related to generated
code but not the other linkage error, I get all calls to generated code
marked as errors. This is my problem. It looks like this internal state of
the compiler is never accessible and errors returned do not match this
state but more probably a previous internal state in which all linkage
errors are aggregated and returned.

I think there is a solution to achieve what I want but I couldn't find one.
And the situation is bad : it may actually cancel the development of the
annotation processor lib I am developing. Just because the errors are
flooding the actual problem in the code.

Would you have some time to advise me, and help me to make the lib work as
My goal is just to get only errors that are not related to calling
generated code if they are not those who fail the compilation. I don't want
to see my errors polluted by those calls if they are not responsible for
breaking the compilation.

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