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Re: [] [jsonb-dev] [External] : @JsonbRequired for JSONB and JSON Schema

Le mer. 17 nov. 2021 à 18:42, Erik Mattheis via <> a écrit :

Thanks for summarizing, Erik. There is one more general concern I would like to point on. Making @JsonbCreator parameters optional by default goes against general null values handling as it’s described here:
The spec says: “The deserialization operation of a property absent in JSON document MUST not set the value of the field, the setter (if available) MUST not be called, and thus original value of the field MUST be preserved”. It’s one of the reasons why we have a requirement of all parameters presence in the JSON document. Adding a special case for @JsonbCreator ruins the spec consistency. I don’t think that it’s a deal breaker though, just some information to consider.

I made the same argument nearly 3 years ago when I raised the issue:

Unifying behavior of the creator with the setters would be great, but specifying a default for an argument is not supported in Java and inventing a way to do it via annotation is a can of worms.


The options you listed are very black and white. I think we must give users ability to change the default behavior. If we add it, your 2 options become the same.
Honestly, I don’t understand why all of you are fighting against @JsonbRequired. You don’t want to add “half baked” validation but ready to accept “half baked” configuration. 😊

The argument against it is simply because nobody has asked for it and the annotation name can easily be misconstrued. If backward compatibility is the goal, there are better ways.


What about this compromise solution:
  1. We remove @JsonbRequired (yay!)
  2. We make @JsonbCreator parameters optional by default. The spec must specify default values which will be used if the property is not present. We have it already.
  3. We introduce a global switch in Config. It will be something like Config.withRequiredJsonbCreatorParams(Boolean flag).

Is the proposed spec publicly available? I’d love to know what the actual wording is going to be. From a programmer standpoint, I want an absent property - e.g. { } - to behave exactly like a property with a null value - e.g. { “property”: null } - so it’s important to be clear that the argument gets populated with whatever the Java value would be for an equivalent setter - i.e. primitives need to be accounted for.

As soon as a PR gets created with updated to the documentation, it gets published on a staging website, so we can review the result.

 From: < Behalf Of Erik Mattheis via
Sent: 17 November 2021 15:42
To: jsonb developer discussions <jsonb-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Erik Mattheis <erikmattheis@xxxxxx>; Jakarta specification discussions <>
Subject: Re: [] [jsonb-dev] [External] : @JsonbRequired for JSONB and JSON Schema
Maybe to focus the argument about @JsonbRequired, we step back a bit. It seems there are two camps right now:
1 - throwing an exception for missing properties in creators was a mistake
2 - throwing an exception for missing properties in creators was a useful feature with the wrong default behavior
Camp 1 (which I am in) says: fix the mistake in the spec and deal with the fallout. The argument here is that the commentary received on the issue thus far is strongly in favor of _NOT_ throwing exceptions. As far as I know, we have no data to suggest that anyone relies on this behavior. Of course, it is not unlikely that someone does, even accidentally, but implementations are free to offer a backward compatibility mode and can react to this eventuality much faster than the spec.The argument about @JsonbRequired here is just about the best way to achieve some level of backwards compatibility.
Camp 2 is saying that JSON-B should still have the ability to raise exceptions when missing properties are detected in creators. The argument over @JsonbRequired then becomes about how granular that should be and potentially opens a whole can of worms about validation.
Is anyone in Camp 2?

On Nov 16, 2021, at 3:18 PM, Erik Mattheis via jsonb-dev <jsonb-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> How will you deal with the use case when you actually want @JsonbParameters parameters to be present?
@JsonbCreator public static MyType of(String requiredValue) { requireNonNull(requiredValue); }
This is not quite the same because it will throw exception when a property is explicitly null and not just when it is absent.
Ok so replace String by JsonValue and you get the exact same, overall the idea was to say it can be done in user code or technical layer around it.
Right, but that’s only workable for trivial cases and is precisely what programmers looking for this feature want to avoid. In the very common case of nested JSON objects, for example, I certainly don’t want to handle converting from JsonValue to POJO in my creator method.
I think we should be careful to avoid saying, “You can do this in code.” when we really mean, “This isn’t something JSON-B should do.”
Ok got it. Think both statements are actually right but I'd like to use that to step back one sec also and see how off JSON-B we went - think somebody mentionned it already.
Do you have an example of that use case which is not validation and can't be done binding null in an actual model?
No, I fully support the use of null in the actual model for creators. I think that is what everyone is after.
I mean if you take:
@JsonbCreator public static Customer of(Address add, String name) {/*...*/}
What would be the usage of getting {"name":"..."} vs {"name":"...", "add":null} which is not validation?
I can see the use case of "if Jsonvalue.NULL then set to null, else ignore" - kind of PATCH impl - but this can't be mapped to Java without using JsonValue anyway.
The PATCH payload use case is the only one I’ve ever encountered where I wanted to distinguish between absent and null, and there’s no great way to map that to a type-safe POJO.

If you really want to handle that I guess you need a deserializer or parser/reader wrapper - just for the theory of doing it. Agree it is less complicated but, once again, I agree being able to validate a payload is an important feature, but here we are nowhere close to it with @JsonbRequired, this is why I request to drop it and either not do any validation as planned or do it but do it properly and not half baked.
In my experience, validating JSON on the wire is rarely useful in situations where I want to immediately map it to a POJO. I would rather use bean validation after the fact. If I’m validating JSON against a schema, it’s because I need it to remain in JSON form for a non-Java consumer downstream.
> Again, we cannot release a feature with uncovered use cases.
If we’re really concerned about this breaking existing code, then we should introduce a way to opt into the new behavior instead of forcing programmers to opt in to preexisting behavior.
e.g. - @JsonbCreator(allowAbsentProperties = true)
Think we all agreed the default should change, only question is global switch or not cause all other options require code change which means the try { fromJson() } catch () can move to something else anyway with code change, even without any other change in JSON-B.
If it's agreed that the default should change, then introducing a config to restore the previous behavior makes a lot more sense to me.

Le mar. 16 nov. 2021 à 17:38, Dmitry Kornilov <dmitry.kornilov@xxxxxxxxxx> a écrit :
Introducing @JsonbRequired allows us to cover all use cases the convenient way. Global switch is an acceptable solution for implementations but not for specifications.
I don’t think that you answered my question. How will you deal with the use case when you actually want @JsonbParameters parameters to be present?
Again, we cannot release a feature with uncovered use cases.
-- Dmitry
From: Romain Manni-Bucau <rmannibucau@xxxxxxxxx
Sent: 16 November 2021 17:19
To: jsonb developer discussions <jsonb-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>; Dmitry Kornilov <dmitry.kornilov@xxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Jakarta specification discussions <>
Subject: Re: [jsonb-dev] [External] : @JsonbRequired for JSONB and JSON Schema
@Dmitry Kornilov this is not true, you assumed that @JsonbRequired solves a backward compatbility issue but solving it can only be done by a global toggle as explained before. @JsonbRequired is a new feature requiring code change (so nothing backward compat).
Now the question is: is this feature a JSON-B feature or was it a side effect of not being able to call the creator. Since validation is not in the scope as you explained, it is clearly a side effect: impl must call a factory with N parameters but only have n < N params so we made it failing.
So no regression not having @JsonbRequired and we can work on validation in a later spec version if desired or just let it this way which is what users requested AFAIK.

Romain Manni-Bucau
@rmannibucau |  Blog | Old Blog | Github | LinkedIn | Book
Le mar. 16 nov. 2021 à 17:04, Dmitry Kornilov <dmitry.kornilov@xxxxxxxxxx> a écrit :
Before accepting criticism, I would want to make sure that you folks fully understand the use case. We are making a backwards incompatible change by not requiring a pretense of @JsonbCreator parameters in your JSON. How will you deal with the use case when you actually want these parameters to be present? We must deal with it because otherwise there is a space for uncovered use cases.
-- Dmitry
From: jsonb-dev <jsonb-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxOn Behalf Of Romain Manni-Bucau
Sent: 16 November 2021 16:17
To: jsonb developer discussions <jsonb-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Jakarta specification discussions <>
Subject: Re: [jsonb-dev] [External] : @JsonbRequired for JSONB and JSON Schema
Ok so since there is an agreement on relaxing the spec, let's make it in main branch and since there is a disagreement on @JsonbRequired let's just drop it and not brute force it to be there without being able to justify it nor integrate it in jakarta ecosystem (yet).
To answer David's question, right know I'm using this kind of validator on JsonObject level ( and then bind the JsonObject to a POJO/record (both Johnzon and Yasson have this API now, no more sure the spec got it properly too but it avoids another serialization/parsing round trip so perfs are good).
A better and more scalable approach for stream is to do it at parser level (sorry this one is not public) but long story short it is decorating the parser to add validation to each events. On a spec level I would expect something like:
final var validator = new Validator();
// or
final var validator = Json.createSchemaFactory(Map.of()).createShemaValidator(myJsonObjectJsonSchema);
// then use it
final var parserFactory = Json.createParserFactory(Map.of(JsonParser.VALIDATOR, validator)); 
// indeed by "transitivity"
final var readerFactory = Json.createReaderFactory(Map.of(JsonParser.VALIDATOR, validator)); 
A nicer option would be to enable to pass a map to the parser itself to not have to share it globally and have multiple instances of factories (current JSON-P limitation, it is the same for prettification for ex).
Currently it is more done this way since this API is not there:
final var myValidatedParser = new ValidatingParser(parserFactory.createParser(...), myJsonObjectJsonSchema);
But this is an implementation detail, the key is that in terms of design there is no real choice to do the validation at JSON-P level - and more precisely parser to enable more advanced validation on huge payloads).
If you want to talk about validation (like ensuring an attribute has a value in the payload for ex) we need to ensure:
1. It covers the common needs and not just the most trivial to check,
2. It is integrated to the ecosystem (failure handler, compatibility with ajv for ex, ..... JAXB is a good example there),
3. It is done properly at the right level, ie JSON-P and JSON-B just wires the needed config (don't forget JSON-B is written to accept both JsonReader or JsonParser usages by constructions and to be a mapper API and not an implementation which would defeat the spec target by design - enables to not be vendor locked in, otherwise no point using a spec ;))
4. We can use it as a base for other specs (like MP openapi for ex instead of duplicating all the API, in particular if MP joins jakarta at some point)
I guess it is a big topic we can try to address for next big release - or just do an extension/appendix to propose it in the spec - but it is likely too much for next immediate one and if we do it in a hurry it would be wrong again and deserve us so let's just drop it for now, no?

Romain Manni-Bucau
@rmannibucau |  Blog | Old Blog | Github | LinkedIn | Book
Le mar. 16 nov. 2021 à 15:58, Jean-Louis Monteiro <jlmonteiro@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> a écrit :
On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 3:54 PM Erik Mattheis via jsonb-dev <jsonb-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The core issue is the mismatch between JSON and Java as it pertains to detecting the presence or absence of a property. Using traditional JavaBean mechanics, it is possible to differentiate between the absence of a property in the JSON payload (setter is never called) versus a property with a null value (setter is called with a null argument). For creator methods/constructors, there is no direct way to distinguish between an absent value and a null value and the spec (unfortunately) mandates that an exception is thrown for missing fields.
Relaxing the spec to permit the deserialization of JSON documents with absent fields using creator methods/constructors and addressing backwards compatibility is the sole issue at hand. Unfortunately, the current spec behavior blurs the line between this issue and validation because any code that relies on creators throwing an exception when a field is absent is implicitly relying on JSON-B to perform validation.
Personally, I’m in favor of simply relaxing the spec to permit the deserialization of absent fields as null values in creators and making it clear that it is not possible to differentiate between null and absent properties. I believe that is what users of creators expect, and anyone who needs to differentiate the two cases can use setters.
I agree that @JsonbRequired isn’t a great idea here. It makes the expectation of validation explicit where it was previously implied. It would be interesting to survey usage of JSON-B to see if anyone really wants this. As Romain points out, it’s not a great solution for backwards-compatibility because it requires changing code anyway. A better solution (in my opinion) would be to allow programmer to specify the value to use when a field is absent (e.g. @JsonbDefault(“value”) or something similar). This would match the specified behavior for setters (setter must not be called so default value is preserved) and keeps JSON-B focused on the mechanics of deserialization instead of straying into the realm of validation.
Also agreed but don't think we need any solution for now other than relax the specification that mandates an exception.
Erik Mattheis


On Nov 16, 2021, at 8:06 AM, David Kral <david.k.kral@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> If you want to restore previous behavior for existing app you must have a *system property* - or env var
Sure, feel free to have it on impl level. That’s exactly something what belongs there.
> This is a wrong solution by construction and it does not reach its functional goal.
Its goal is not to create any extended validations, so I think it meets its goal just fine. And because of that I do not believe anything like Bean Validation integration (or even schema) should be included. This is there just able to turn “the old behaviour” on the specific parameter/creator.
> Most (all actually) users needing validations need more than that so can't use that and use something else ….
I don’t think so. This is more than enough. If anyone wants to do the value validation, sure, feel free to add it into the creator itself. I do not see how this change of ours would make creator “unusable” in the most cases. As mentioned, several times, it is there to provide backwards compatible functionality, without the need of defining it globally.
> JSON-P needs a validation (at parser level likely)
I have to say, I am not sure, how this would improve user experience or even how it solves the problem we solved with the @JsonbRequired. Do you have any example which would illustrate the solution and how user would use it with JSONB?
Od: jsonb-dev <jsonb-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxza uživatele Romain Manni-Bucau
Odesláno: úterý 16. listopadu 2021 13:34
Komu: jsonb developer discussions <jsonb-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Kopie: Jakarta specification discussions <>
Předmět: Re: [jsonb-dev] [External] : @JsonbRequired for JSONB and JSON Schema
Some comments inline

Romain Manni-Bucau
@rmannibucau |  Blog | Old Blog | Github | LinkedIn | Book
Le mar. 16 nov. 2021 à 12:38, David Kral <david.k.kral@xxxxxxxxxx> a écrit :
Hi Jean-Louis,
I don’t think we are getting here into the area of bean validation. This is not about validation of the content in any way.
The PR introduced backwards incompatible change to the creators, since the parameters are no longer required by default, some other mechanism for specifying required parameters needed to be introduced. @JsonbRequired annotation has been added mainly to provide users ability to specify which parameters are expected to be present in the JSON upon object creation. It does not care if the value has been null or value. It is simple requirement of some property to be present. If the required property is not present -> fail.
This is a wrong solution by construction and it does not reach its functional goal. If you want to restore previous behavior for existing app you must have a *system property* - or env var - cause otherwise it requires a new compilation and code change which means you don't need this annotation in such cases anyway.
I do not agree it is messy. The way I see it, is the same behaviour as we used to have, and no extended bean validation was required either. Therefore, I do not think doing any bean validation integration or even schema creation make sense.
There it is also part of the story only.
Most (all actually) users needing validations need more than that so can't use that and use something else like a jsonschema based validator or a custom one - often in interceptors or filters - for the most common cases I saw.
So having a built-in validation nobody uses - or intend to use this way - is likely wrong and in terms of consistency with the ecosystem will make the user life harder.
JSON-P needs a validation (at parser level likely), so once it is there JSON-B will just wire it providing a JsonProvider in JsonbConfig or something like that and voilà.
This is the level JSON-B must integrate with the ecosystem.
Currently the validation is super rude - no way to recover - and so incomplete that it is disabled in most applications.
Also, if we can split in 2 the topics:
1. relax the instantiation - everybody agreed on that and consider current spec as a blocker
2. required handling or not: there, there is no agreement so maybe just postpone it instead of forcing the merge?
Od: jsonb-dev <jsonb-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxza uživatele Jean-Louis Monteiro via jsonb-dev
Odesláno: úterý 16. listopadu 2021 12:12
Kopie: Jean-Louis Monteiro <
jlmonteiro@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; Jakarta specification discussions <>
Předmět: [External] : [jsonb-dev] @JsonbRequired for JSONB and JSON Schema
Hi all,
I’d like to follow up on some discussions around the @JsonbRequired introduced.
On the feature itself, I clearly see some benefits to have validation happening before the bean is constructed and fields populated with the JSON payload. Good feature.
On the other hand, I don’t think @JsonbRequired is a good way to achieve it.
Basically I see 2 options for validation 
  • payload validation 
  • bean validation
@JsonbRequired in the bean to do payload validation does not seem accurate to me. It will set us for failure in the future.
If we want to address bean validation, we should consider having some integration of Bean Validation using Bean Validation annotations. Of course, this means validation will happen after the bean is constructed, but it also is way richer than “is the field required or not”. Users will be able to reuse constraints and implement business logic validation.
I agree that validating the payload before the object gets constructed is very interesting. But then, we should use JSON Schema for it. I am ok to create JSON Schema equivalent annotations, at least for the stable subset and the most interesting rules. From there, we can generate the JSON Schema, and feed the JSON Parser with it so the parser can effectively validate the payload before with a valid JSON Schema (same way an XML parser would get the XSD to validate the payload in JAXB).
Having @JsonbRequired seems to be in the middle and a hack for a very simple use case. I would not introduce it now and give us more time to discuss and think about the payload validation a bit more.
The hack has been introduced to solve an issue with the design of @JsonbCreator. See
Again the design for @JsonbCreator and the need for the feature is awesome for immutable objects. The way to solve it with @JsonbRequired is messy.
Moreover, if we look at MicroProfile and OpenAPI, we are also half way because OpenAPI has @Schema, for instance
@Schema(type = SchemaType.OBJECT, implementation = InventoryList.class)
@Schema(required = true)
private final String hostname;
From there, we generate an openapi document with all constraints (not a JSON Schema but pretty close).
Let’s say we need business validation or cross fields validations, we’ll use Bean Validation.
Let’s say we want OpenAPI documentation, we’ll use OpenAPI @Schema
And now let’s say we want JSON Payload validations, we’ll use @JsonbRequired?
Can we maybe consider the schema validation as a whole?
We could use the same set of annotations to generate the OpenAPI documentation and to generate the JSON Schema for the JSON Parser.
I am happy to create an issue to revert @JsonbRequired if there is a consensus to wait.
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