The quick and the full API of JavaParser

The quick and the full API of JavaParser

Lost in a dark corner of the JavaParser site is the idea behind the two API’s of JavaParser. Here’s an attempt to put it back into the light 🙂 The API I discuss here is literally the API from the JavaParser class.


This API was built to make common use cases as painless as possible. In the end, this API is a collection of shortcuts to the full API.

  • The quick API consists of all the static methods on the JavaParser class.
  • All these methods throw an unchecked ParseProblemException if anything goes wrong. This exception contains a list of the problem(s) encountered.
  • The static methods called parse and parseResource offer various ways of reading Java code for parsing. They all expect a full Java file. So, even though the example parses a String, you could pass an InputStream, a File or various other inputs.
  • The remaining static methods parse a fragment of source code in a String. Here is one that parses just an expression:

  • parseJavadoc is a special case. Comments normally remaing unparsed, including Javadoc comments. This method is a separate parser for a JavadocComment node.
  • Changing configuration is done by modifying the staticConfiguration field.


This API was built to give access to all flexibility there is, and to provide a little more performance.

or, thanks to the fake builder pattern:

  • The full API consists of the JavaParser constructors and the single non-static parse method.
  • Never does it throw an exception.
    ParseResult can tell you if parsing went fine, and if not what problems were encountered.
  • Reusing the JavaParser instance will give a small speed boost.
  • A JavaParser instance is not thread safe!
  • The first parameters indicates what kind of source you will be passing.
    Normally it’s a compilation unit, but you can parse expressions, names, etc.
  • The second parameter provides the source code.
    A Provider is an abstraction over any kind of input.
  • The full API lets you combine these parameters however you like.
  • Parsing Javadoc is an exception again.
    You need the JavadocParser for that.
  • Configuration can be passed in the constructor.

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