Package org.jgrapes.core

package org.jgrapes.core
Defines the interfaces and classes that provide the core functionality of the JGrapes event driven component framework.


A JGrapes application consists of a tree of components that interact using events.

Sample component tree

Components can be defined in two ways. Classes can implement the interface ComponentType and provide a special attribute that allows them to access their component manager (see the description of the interface ComponentType for details). Alternatively, classes can inherit from Component. This base class implements ComponentType and also provides the component manager for the component.


The Manager interface enables the components to access the functions of the framework. This includes methods for manipulating the tree structure (Manager.attach(ComponentType), Manager.detach() etc.) and methods for sending and handling events (, Channel...), Manager.addHandler(Method, HandlerScope, int)).


Events are objects that trigger activities of the components that handle them. Because components are usually only interested in certain kinds of triggers, events implement the Eligible interface that enables the user to obtain an event’s kind (as criterion) and to filter events according to their kind.


As implemented in the base class Event, the kind of an event is represented by its Java class. E.g. a Started event is an instance of class and its kind (obtainable from Event.defaultCriterion()) is

Especially when building small sample applications, some programmers prefer to use a name for representing the kind of an event. The core package supports this by providing the NamedEvent. This class overrides Event.defaultCriterion() and Event.isEligibleFor(Object) so that a simple string is used to represent and match the event’s kind.

Event Handlers

Event handlers are methods that are invoked by the framework. These methods have return type void and can have zero to two parameters. If specified, the first parameter must be of type Event (or, as usual, a subtype of Event). The purpose of the second (optional) parameter will be explained in the next section.

Event handlers are usually registered with the framework using an annotation. The standard annotation for registering event handlers is Handler. See its definition for usage examples. If special needs arise, other annotations for registering handlers may be defined using the HandlerDefinition.

If the information required for using the handler annotation is not (completely) available at compile time, handler methods can also be added at runtime using Manager.addHandler(Method, HandlerScope, int).


Because events are usually only relevant for a subset of the application’s components, events are fired on so called channels. Event handlers are attached to one ore more of those channels.

In order for objects to be usable as channels, they must implement the Channel interface, which implies implementing the Eligible interface. The core package provides two predefined types of channels: the ClassChannel, that uses a Java class for identification and the NamedChannel, that uses a name (String) for identification.

A third group of channels is implicitly provided by the Components, which implement the Channel interface as well. This means that every component can be used as a channel, with the eligibility defined in such a way that the component’s handlers are always invoked for events that are explicitly “targeted” at the component.

From a conceptional point of view, components fire events on one or more channels, and the channels forward the events to all (0 to many) interested event handlers (in reality, channels are only used as identifiers in event management). See, Channel...) for a description of how to choose channels when fireing an event.

Component-Channel interaction

A handler is considered to be interested in an event if it has registered with one of the channels that the event is fired on and the event is of a type that the handler (annotation) has specified as being processed by the handler (see above)1.

The channels that an event has been fired on are made available when the event is passed to an event handler by Event.channels(). In some use cases, an event handler has to perform an action for each of the channels. To simplify this, an event handler may specify a second parameter of type Channel. In this case, the handler is invoked by the framework once for each channel that the event was fired on. If the type of the second parameter is a subtype of Channel, it is invoked only if the parameter is assignable from the actual channel.

Event Processors


The package supports some specific (java.util) logging settings.

If set to FINE, causes events and their handlers to be logged before the handler is invoked. If set to FINER additionally causes events without any handler to be logged and if set to FINEST also logs the result of invoking a handler (the additional logging is done with log level FINE, just as the logging of the invocations). Enabling the invocation logging involves some performance penalty because additional information (not required for normal operation) has to be maintained.
If set to FINE, the event generators added and removed are tracked (usually, they are only counted). Differences between the counted and the tracked generators are reported as errors when Components.awaitExhaustion() is invoked. In addition, the generators blocking the exhaustion are reported. If set to FINEST, addition and removal of generators is reported as well.
If set to FINER, class names are converted to fully qualified names in toString() methods.

  1. The mapping from a tuple “(event, channels)” to the handlers is evaluated once for a new tuple and then cached. So once the cache has been filled, event processing imposes only a relatively small constant overhead over invoking methods directly. The cache is cleared if the handlers are removed or added. Therefore, frequent changes of the applications structure whie running it should be avoided.