Javadoc @see or {@link}?

The official guidelines on this are pretty clear.

The functional differences are:

  • {@link} is an inline link and can be placed wherever you like
  • @see creates its own section

In my opinion, {@link} is best used when you literally use a class, field, constructor or method name in your description. The user will be able to click through to the javadoc of what you’ve linked.

I use the @see annotation in 2 cases:

  • Something is very relevant but not mentioned in the description.
  • I refer to the same thing multiple times in the description, and it is used as a replacement for multiple links to the same.

I based this opinion on randomly checking out documentation for a great variety of things in the standard library.

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