Eclipse templates for creating configuration parameters in uimaFit

In a previous post, I described how to simplify the task of creating initialize and collectionProcessComplete methods using Eclipse templates. A similar technique can be applied to generate the idiomatic code for a uimaFit configuration parameter.

The shape of UIMA configuration parameters

An example of configuring UIMA components using uimaFit’s @ConfigurationParameter looks like this:

This snippet demonstrates some best practices that the community or I introduced:

  • The name-giving constant (here: PARAM_PARAMETER) is always public and bears the name of the parameter field as its value (here: “parameter”)
  • You should always provide a default value for non-mandatory parameters. The defaultValue property is always a String and the toString method normally cannot be applied due to compile time restrictions.
  • If a defaultValue attribute is given, uimaFit injects the default value automatically. That means that after the initialize method is complete, parameter has the value true.

For mandatory configuration parameters, only two parts have to be changed:

  1. There is no more defaultValue.
  2. The attribute mandatory is set to true.

Template for optional parameters

In order to create a new code template, open Window -> Preferences -> Java/Editor/Templates and Use the following metadata:

  • Name: uima_optional_param
  • Context: Java
  • Description: Generates an optional uimaFit configuration parameter

Pattern:

When you now type uima_optional_param in an editor, you will be prompted for the different parts of the template:

  • type is the type of the new parameter. You may choose any primitive type (int, boolean,…), any class that has a ‘single String’ constructor (e.g. File), enum types, and Locale/Pattern.
  • paramName is the parameter name. In Java, you should camel-case it, e.g. shallDeleteAll would be a valid parameter name.
  • paramNameCaptialized is the capitalized form of the parameter name. You should follow Java coding conventions, as illustrated in the following example: Parameter shallDeleteAll yields the  constant PARAM_SHALL_DELETE_ALL.
  • defaultValue is the default value of the configuration parameter. It will be injected into the class member by uimaFit.

Template for mandatory configuration parameters

Most things that I described about optional configuration parameters also apply to mandatory configuration parameters. The template for mandatory parameters can be created as follows: Create a new code template in Window -> Preferences -> Java/Editor/Templates and use the following metadata:

  • Name: uima_mandatory_param
  • Context: Java
  • Description: Generates a mandatory uimaFit configuration parameter

Pattern:

The variables in the template have the exact same meaning as in the template for optional parameters.

 References

  • [1] uimaFit wiki on @ConfigurationParameter

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