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Java, A Beginner’s Guide, 5th Edition by Herbert Schildt

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Annotations (Metadata)

Since JDK 5, Java has included a feature that enables you to embed supplemental information into a source file. This information, called an annotation, does not change the actions of a program. However, this information can be used by various tools, during both development and deployment. For example, an annotation might be processed by a source-code generator, by the compiler, or by a deployment tool. The term metadata is also used to refer to this feature, but the term annotation is the most descriptive, and more commonly used.

Annotation is a large and sophisticated topic, and it is far beyond the scope of this book to cover it in detail. However, an overview is given here so that you will be familiar with the concept. ...

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