VDB format

Methods in the Framework for Frameworks API require Strings representing type names or method signatures to be in VDB format. VDB type names are simply fully-qualified source-level names (for example, java.lang.String) - or, in the case of inner classes, represented with a dollar symbol ($)(for example javax.swing.text.DefaultEditorKit$DefaultKeyTypedAction). For .NET, short names such as int and string should be avoided when using the Framework for Frameworks API. Instead, use fully-qualified names such as System.Int32 and System.String.

A VDB method signature consists of these two parts:

  1. The method name, including the fully-qualified name of the enclosing class (for example, java.lang.String.substring).
  2. A descriptor for the method, giving the parameter types and return type. The parameter types are enclosed in parentheses and separated by semicolons (;). The closing parenthesis is followed by a colon (:), and then the return type.

An example VDB method signature is:


An example VDB method signature from an inner class is:


For most API methods requiring a String in VDB format, there is often an equivalent method that takes an IClass or IMethod object instead. For example, method F4FActions.addTaintedCallback(String,int) requires its first parameter to be a VDB-formatted method signature - while F4FActions.addTaintedCallback(IMethod,int) identifies the method with an IMethod object. Using the API methods that take IClass and IMethod objects may be more convenient for these reasons:

  1. The user need not worry about VDB formatting for these methods as this is handled internally.
  2. In obtaining the IClass or IMethod object (for example, via F4FApp.getClassMethods()), one ensures that the corresponding class or method actually exists in the application code.