Created: 2008-12-04 02:18
Updated: 2016-05-08 18:27



This is my fork of ImportScrubber that will help me deal with my hatred of explicit imports, but the necessity I may have in not using star imports. This can be used as a Git hook to "fix" imports so that star imports are not being used.

Ideally, this could go both ways, however converting a file to all star imports possibly breaks it without some more knowledge of the class, so this is just a one-way street.


From Source

  1. ant package
  2. build/importscour-0.9.0.tgz has the Binary distro; proceed to the next section

From non-existant Binary Distro

  1. Extract .zip file somewhere
  2. Make executable (e.g. chmod +x
  3. Make sure is in your path
  4. path_to_classes path_to_sources path/relative/to/path_to_sources/


net.sourceforge.importscrubber.CLI is the entry point to using this currently. It takes at least three arguments:

  1. Full path to the root of the classes directory
  2. Full path to the root of the source directory
  3. Either the word "ALL" or a list of files


"ALL" indicates that every source file in the source root should be scoured.

List of Files

Here, the files are relative paths from the source root. Each of them will be scoured in place.


Ant should still work as it does for ImportScrubber and I don't think any of these options affect that (so you are better off just using the original).


There are four properties that control the behavior of ImportScour:

  • importscour.javalibshigh - if "true", java.* import statements will precede all others. If "false", everything is sorted by package name. Default is true
  • importscour.breakstyle - if "package", a line break is added between groups of import statements from the same package. If "none", no line breaks are added. Default is "package"
  • importscour.combinethreshold - The threshold at which specific imports are abandoned for a package and a star import is used. "0" means never use star imports. This is the default.
  • importscour.threasholdstandard - If "true", the importscour.combinethreshold setting only applies to java.* type classes.
  • importscour.ignoremissingclasses - If "true", if a matching class file cannot be found for a source file, the source file is silently skipped. If "false", such a condition will cause a fatal error (default "false").

How these get values is dependent on a few things.

First, you can override the defaults by specifying the above properties in a properties file (see below for where it's located). These can be overridden by setting them as system properties.

Locating the Properties File

By default, the code will look for a file named in your home directory (as stored in the system property user.home). If you set the environment variable IMPORTSCOUR_PROPERTIES to the location of the file, this will be used instead.

As a Git Hook

src/perl/pre-commit is a Git hook you can use to fix imports on commit. You must set three Git configuration options:

  • importscour.command - full path to your ImportScour command
  • importscour.srcdir - relative path to your java source root
  • importscour.classesdir - relative path to your classes root


git-config --add importscour.srcdir src/java

Note that for each source file you check in, a class file must exist in the classes root. If the class file is missing, ImportScour will (by default) throw an exception and abort your commit. If you set importscour.ignoremissingclasses in your configuration, these sources would be skipped (bypassing the entire thing; just compile before you commit; it's a good practice anyway)


  • better test cases for better coverage
  • Remove ImportStatement.DEBUG in favor of real logging
  • Devise means by which certain files can be skipped
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