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The plugin main class. A constant naming discussion!

German Version

The minecraft main class, or the class which usually extends JavaPlugin, is nearly always subject of discussions when it comes to naming. In this post I try to explain my point of view, and also show my approach on naming them.

To understand why we always discuss this, we first have to understand what the so called Main class actually is.

The java main class

In java, the main class is the class which holds the main method public static void main(String... args). The class holding the main method itself does already not need to be named Main. This main method serves as the entry point into our application. Usually people create their application instance here and build up the startup logic of their application. Without this method our application would never do anything and can not be executed. When we build our application, we also need to point to our main class in our build file, to tell the jvm where to actually find our main class.

The plugin "main" class

The class we call main in our plugins has some very clear differences.

  1. We don't have the main method.
  2. We do not create our own instance of our plugin/application.
  3. We don't have a single entrypoint into our application. In fact, we have at least three:
    • Constructor - When the server creates our instance
    • onLoad - When the server loads our plugin
    • onEnable - When the server enables our plugin
  4. The jvm does not call our main methods itself, but the server does.

"But I declare my main class in the plugin.yml" you might say. Yes we do, however this naming is probably the main issue we have till today.

What we actually declare is not a main class as defined by java, but point at a class extending JavaPlugin or Plugin. The correct naming for this parameter should probably be plugin_class or just plugin. It is not a main class by all means, as defined by java.

The "ideal" name

I personally go with tld.domain.pluginname.PluginName or tld.domain.pluginname.PluginNamePlugin

A plugin with the name Maya by me using the domain would then be named: dev.chojo.maya.Maya or dev.chojo.maya.MayaPlugin

This won't be by far the holy grail for naming. However, this solves two big issues:

1. Namespace conflicts

On minecraft servers we always share the server with multiple plugins which are most probably not written all by ourselves. We might run our plugin on a server with 50 or even 100 other plugins. Therefore, it is important that we choose a unique namespace which is tld.domain. Furthermore, we need to avoid conflicts with our own plugins. That's why we add our pluginname as well and end up with tls.domain.pluginname. Of course, we now have a unique namespace for our plugin already, and we could easily call our class main. I personally prefer to call my class like I call my plugin, so PluginName or PluginNamePlugin to make clearer that the class extends the Plugin class.

2. Class name conflict

"Why not call it Main?" For that to understand, you have to think about the users of your plugin. Or just think about it in general, if everyone would call their plugin class Main. When using an api of a plugin you use the plugin class in at least 90% of the cases. Imagine searching it, and you get a list of 6 Main classes by 6 different plugins. A good start for errors and confusion already.

Or if you use multiple apis or plugin classes in your own plugin by others you would probably end up with something like this:

dev.someone.nele.Main nele = dev.someone.nele.Main.getInstance();
dev.someone.lara.Main lara = dev.someone.lara.Main.getInstance();
dev.someone.maya.Main maya = dev.someone.maya.Main.getInstance();

Instead, if you follow the naming mentioned above, it would look like this:

NelePlugin nele = NelePlugin.getInstance();
LaraPlugin lara = LaraPlugin.getInstance();
MayaPlugin maya = MayaPlugin.getInstance();

Isn't this much more readable? We avoid not only namespace conflicts but also class name conflicts. We communicate clearly that our class is a plugin and also directly show our plugins name with it as well.

I don't have a domain

That is not a problem. You probably have a GitHub or GitLab account already and if not I strongly recommend to make one. We use domains because we know that only we use it (ideally). So everything you need is something unique that is bound to you, which is the case when you have a GitHub or GitLab account. In that case you can use io.github.username or io.gitlab.username as your namespace. You can even use this namespace for publishing to maven central!


Plugins should use their own namespace usually using an inversed domain tld.domain, followed by the plugin name pluginname. The plugin class itself should contain the name of the Plugin, optionally suffixed with Plugin to show that it is a plugin class.

So next time you create and name your plugin class (not main class), consider this and choose a better name to make a better world!

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post, or have some questions, feel free to come by my discord and have a chat!

Discord Server invite for Chojos Coding Hell

Or write me a mail at mail [at] chojo [dot] dev.

If you want to support me, feel free to sponsor me via GitHub.