Friday, March 5, 2010

Intertype Declaration support in Java projects

A user recently had a problem with Roo and AspectJ. This particular user had a Roo project being referenced by a regular Java project. Roo is a rapid application development tool for Java. It makes heavy use of AspectJ's Intertype Declarations (ITDs). So, all Roo projects re AspectJ projects. And here is where the problem is. When an AspectJ project makes use of ITDs, Java projects that reference it cannot reference the ITDs without errors. Well actually, the Java projects compile and run correctly, but there are spurious error messages that appear in the editor, and ITDs do not appear in content assist.

A simplified version of this problem is below:


Here, there are two projects, an AspectJ project and a Java project. The AspectJ project has an aspect that declares an ITD on a Java class. This Java class and its ITD is then referenced in the Java project. Even though the Java project compiles and runs correctly, an error appears in the editor.

Thankfully, there is a simple fix to this. Open up the .project file for the Java project and add the following line to the nnatures element:

(Note: this line should be the first nature if you want the AJ decorator to appear on the project icon.)

What this does is tell AJDT that this project should be treated like an AspectJ project, but it does not change the compiler, so the Java compiler is still used. The result is that ITDs are now correctly recognized in the editor:


In the future, I'll probably add a quick fix or some other automated way of doing this in future releases of AJDT, but for now this manual process is a reasonable workaround.


  1. hello, thanks for nice tip.
    İs it still an issue for new ajdt and eclipse?


  2. I haven't done any specific work in this area recently. Are you have a problem with something?