CIT 594 Basic Javadoc and HTML
Spring 2004, David Matuszek


Javadoc comments have the following form:

 * Describes of the immediately following class, interface,
 * constructor, method, or field. The first sentence is special;
 * it is used as a summary statement.
 * @tag Text for this tag. Tags should go at the end.

Style rules for Javadoc

See "The Elements of Java Style" by Allan Vermeulen et al. for more details.


Javadoc comments are written in HTML. HTML is ordinary text with special tags to indicate typographical effects. Here are some of the basic HTML tags you should know.

Tag Meaning Example Result
<i>...</i> Italics This <i>does</i> matter! This does matter!
<b>...</b> Boldface This <b>does</b> matter! This does matter!
<br> Line break Roses are red<br>Violets are blue Roses are red
Violets are blue
<p> Paragraph Roses are red<p>Violets are blue

Roses are red

Violets are blue

<pre>...<pre> Preformatted (monospaced, all whitespace preserved)
<pre>NW   N  NE
\ | /
/ | \
SW S SE</pre>
NW   N  NE
     \ | / 
     / | \
SW  S   SE
<code>...<code> Code (or names defined in code) Returns one <code>Token</code> to the tokenizer object... Returns one Token to the tokenizer object...

Because the characters '<', '>', and '&' have special meanings in HTML, if you want to put these actual characters in your Javadoc, you have to encode them as follows:

Character HTML representation
< &lt;
> &gt;
& &amp;
Example &lt;and_operator&gt; ::= &amp;&amp;
Result <and_operator> ::= &&