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We’re excited to bring you the next major version of PMD! Here are the major features and changes we’re working on. To give us feedback or to suggest a new feature, drop us a line on Gitter!

New Features


Java grammar changes

{% include note.html content=“Current plans are listed here and in particular here” %}

New API support guidelines

What’s new

Until now, all released public members and types were implicitly considered part of PMD’s public API, including inheritance-specific members (protected members, abstract methods). We have maintained those APIs with the goal to preserve full binary compatibility between minor releases, only breaking those APIs infrequently, for major releases.

In order to allow PMD to move forward at a faster pace, this implicit contract will be invalidated with PMD 7.0.0. We now introduce more fine-grained distinctions between the type of compatibility support we guarantee for our libraries, and ways to make them explicit to clients of PMD.

.internal packages and @InternalApi annotation

Internal API is meant for use only by the main PMD codebase. Internal types and methods may be modified in any way, or even removed, at any time.

Any API in a package that contains an .internal segment is considered internal. The @InternalApi annotation will be used for APIs that have to live outside of these packages, e.g. methods of a public type that shouldn’t be used outside of PMD (again, these can be removed anytime).


Types marked with the @ReservedSubclassing annotation are only meant to be subclassed by classes within PMD. As such, we may add new abstract methods, or remove protected methods, at any time. All published public members remain supported. The annotation is not inherited, which means a reserved interface doesn’t prevent its implementors to be subclassed.


APIs marked with the @Experimental annotation at the class or method level are subject to change. They can be modified in any way, or even removed, at any time. You should not use or rely on them in any production code. They are purely to allow broad testing and feedback.


APIs marked with the @Deprecated annotation at the class or method level will remain supported until the next major release but it is recommended to stop using them.

The transition

All currently supported APIs will remain so until 7.0.0. All APIs that are to be moved to .internal packages or hidden will be tagged @InternalApi before that major release, and the breaking API changes will be performed in 7.0.0.

Planned API removals

List of currently deprecated APIs

{% include warning.html content=“This list is not exhaustive. The ultimate reference is whether an API is tagged as @Deprecated or not in the latest minor release. During the development of 7.0.0, we may decide to remove some APIs that were not tagged as deprecated, though we’ll try to avoid it.” %}


Deprecated APIs
For removal
Internal APIs


Changes to Renderer
Deprecated APIs
For removal
Internal APIs

Those APIs are not intended to be used by clients, and will be hidden or removed with PMD 7.0.0. You can identify them with the @InternalApi annotation. You’ll also get a deprecation warning.


No changes.


Deprecated APIs

Reminder: Please don’t use members marked with the annotation {% jdoc core::annotation.InternalApi %}, as they will likely be removed, hidden, or otherwise intentionally broken with 7.0.0.


As part of the changes we’d like to do to AST classes for 7.0.0, we would like to hide some methods and constructors that rule writers should not have access to. The following usages are now deprecated in the Java AST (with other languages to come):

Please look at {% jdoc_package java::lang.java.ast %} to find out the full list of deprecations.


Deprecated APIs
For removal


No changes.


Command Line Interface

The start scripts run.sh, pmd.bat and cpd.bat support the new environment variable PMD_JAVA_OPTS. This can be used to set arbitrary JVM options for running PMD, such as memory settings (e.g. PMD_JAVA_OPTS=-Xmx512m) or enable preview language features (e.g. PMD_JAVA_OPTS=--enable-preview).

The previously available variables such as OPTS or HEAPSIZE are deprecated and will be removed with PMD 7.0.0.

Deprecated API


No changes.



Properties framework

{% jdoc_nspace :props core::properties %} {% jdoc_nspace :PDr props::PropertyDescriptor %} {% jdoc_nspace :PF props::PropertyFactory %}

The properties framework is about to get a lifting, and for that reason, we need to deprecate a lot of APIs to remove them in 7.0.0. The proposed changes to the API are described on the wiki

Changes to how you define properties

Here’s an example:

// Before 7.0.0, these are equivalent:
IntegerProperty myProperty = new IntegerProperty("score", "Top score value", 1, 100, 40, 3.0f);
IntegerProperty myProperty = IntegerProperty.named("score").desc("Top score value").range(1, 100).defaultValue(40).uiOrder(3.0f);

// They both map to the following in 7.0.0
PropertyDescriptor<Integer> myProperty = PropertyFactory.intProperty("score").desc("Top score value").require(inRange(1, 100)).defaultValue(40);

You’re highly encouraged to migrate to using this new API as soon as possible, to ease your migration to 7.0.0.

Architectural simplifications
Changes to the PropertyDescriptor interface
Deprecated APIs

{% jdoc_nspace :xpath core::lang.ast.xpath %} {% jdoc_nspace :jast java::lang.java.ast %} {% jdoc_nspace :rule core::Rule %} {% jdoc_nspace :lvh core::lang.LanguageVersionHandler %} {% jdoc_nspace :rset core::RuleSet %} {% jdoc_nspace :rsets core::RuleSets %}

For internalization
For removal


No changes.








List of currently deprecated rules