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Lombok Disadvantages



In the world of Java development, optimizing code efficiency and reducing boilerplate is a constant pursuit. To address these challenges, various tools and libraries have emerged, and one such popular option is Lombok—a Java library that offers annotations for code generation, resulting in benefits such as time-saving and code simplification. However, as with any tool, there are both advantages and drawbacks to consider.

In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of using Lombok in your project, including dependency complexity, code obscurity, and considerations for testability and compatibility.

The Advantages of Lombok

Lombok significantly enhances code readability by eliminating tedious and error-prone sections. With Lombok annotations, Java developers can streamline their codebase and focus on the core logic, resulting in cleaner and more concise code. By reducing boilerplate code and automating tasks such as generating getters, setters, and constructors, Lombok saves time and boosts productivity, allowing developers to accomplish more critical tasks efficiently.

Drawbacks and Challenges of Using Lombok

Integrating Lombok into your project introduces an external dependency, which can add complexity to your development environment setup. It is essential to ensure compatibility with your IDE, build tools, code analysis tools, and testing tools. Additionally, Lombok’s code generation can obscure the code, making it harder to understand and debug. Troubleshooting complex scenarios may require relying on documentation and annotation parameters to comprehend the auto-generated methods.

Moreover, considerations arise when using Lombok with reflection, serialization, and other mechanisms that rely on class structure and metadata, requiring thorough testing and validation for compatibility.

Here’s a code example illustrating one of the challenges of using Lombok, specifically related to code obscurity and debugging limitations:

import lombok.Data;

public class Person {
    private String name;
    private int age;
    private String address;

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Person person = new Person();
        person.setAddress("123 Main Street");

        // Debugging the Person object
        System.out.println(person); // Output: Person@2f7c726

In the code example above, we have a Person class annotated with @Data from Lombok. This annotation automatically generates getters, setters, equals(), hashCode(), and toString() methods for the fields. While this reduces boilerplate code, it can make debugging more challenging.

In the main() method, we create a Person object, set its attributes, and attempt to print it. However, when we output the person object using System.out.println(), we get a default representation of the object: Person@2f7c726. This representation doesn’t provide meaningful information about the object’s state.

To overcome this challenge, Lombok provides additional annotations such as @ToString that can customize the toString() output. By applying @ToString to the Person class, we can generate a more descriptive string representation of the object:

import lombok.Data;
import lombok.ToString;

public class Person {
    // ...

After applying @ToString, the output of System.out.println(person) would be Person(name=John, age=25, address=123 Main Street). This enhanced representation helps in understanding the object’s state during debugging and improves code readability.

It’s important to consider such code obscurity challenges when using Lombok and take appropriate steps to customize the generated code or use additional annotations to ensure meaningful debug output as needed.

IDE Template Generators to Generate Boiler Plate Code

The choice between using IDE “Generator Templates” versus using Lombok for generating getters & setters, toString(), equals(), and hashTag() methods depends on your specific needs and preferences. Both approaches have their own advantages and considerations.

Here are some points to consider when making a decision:

IDE Generator Templates

  1. Built-in IDE Functionality: IDEs like IntelliJ provide built-in support for generating getters and setters using code templates or “Generate” functionality. These templates allow you to customize the generated code based on your requirements.
  2. IDE Integration: Since the code generation is done within the IDE itself, there is no external dependency to manage, such as adding Lombok as a library or annotation processor.
  3. Familiarity and Control: If you prefer working with and customizing IDE-specific features, using generator templates may provide a sense of familiarity and control over the generated code.


  1. Code Conciseness: Lombok can significantly reduce boilerplate code by automatically generating getters, setters, and other common methods. This can lead to more concise and readable code, reducing the amount of manual work required.
  2. Time and Productivity Savings: Lombok’s automatic code generation saves developers time and effort, as they don’t need to write repetitive code manually. This can increase productivity, especially when working on projects with a large number of classes or entities.
  3. Code Maintenance: Lombok simplifies code maintenance by providing a consistent and standardized approach to code generation. If changes are required, modifying or adding fields and methods becomes effortless with Lombok’s annotations.

The choice depends on your project’s requirements, your familiarity with the IDE’s generator templates, and your preference for code conciseness versus customization. Consider factors such as the size and complexity of your codebase, your team’s preferences, and the long-term maintainability of the code when making the decision.

Notably, some developers and teams prefer a combination of both approaches, leveraging Lombok for its code generation capabilities while using IDE generator templates for specific customizations or fine-tuning of the generated code.

Debugger Limitations

During development, one limitation of using Lombok is that you won’t be able to step into the actual code of a Lombok-generated object during debugging. The generated code remains hidden, making it difficult to directly analyze and understand the inner workings of the annotated class. However, there is a solution to this challenge: the De-Lombok feature.

In the next section of this article, we will explore how De-Lombok allows developers to view the expanded code, enabling them to delve into the details of the transformed code and gain a deeper understanding of its functionality.

De-Lombok Feature

In addition to the code obscurity and debugging limitations mentioned earlier, another factor to consider when using Lombok is the convenience of being able to “de-lombok” the code. Lombok provides a feature that allows developers to see the actual code generated by the annotations during development, making it easier to understand and reason about the codebase.

During development, it can be helpful to view the expanded code to gain insights into how Lombok is transforming your annotated classes. The ability to de-lombok helps in understanding the exact code that will be compiled and executed, aiding in troubleshooting and ensuring that the generated code aligns with your intentions.

IDE Support

De-lombok functionality can be achieved through various methods. Some IDEs offer built-in support for de-lombok, allowing you to visualize the expanded code directly within the IDE. Alternatively, you can use the Lombok command-line tool or integration with build tools like Maven or Gradle to de-lombok your code during the build process, generating separate source files that contain the expanded code.

Several popular IDEs provide built-in support for de-lombok, allowing developers to view the expanded code directly within the IDE. Here are some IDEs that support de-lombok:

  1. IntelliJ IDEA: IntelliJ IDEA has built-in support for Lombok, including de-lombok functionality. It can automatically show the expanded code for Lombok-annotated classes, making it convenient for developers to view and understand the transformed code.

  2. Eclipse: Eclipse IDE also offers support for Lombok, including the ability to de-lombok. With the Lombok plugin installed, developers can view the de-lombok-ed code within the IDE, enabling better analysis and comprehension of Lombok-generated code.

  3. NetBeans: NetBeans IDE has support for Lombok and provides features for de-lombok as well. Developers can leverage the Lombok plugin in NetBeans to visualize the expanded code and gain insights into how Lombok annotations are transforming the classes.

These IDEs have integrations or plugins specifically designed for Lombok, allowing developers to conveniently de-lombok and explore the expanded code during development. The de-lombok functionality enhances code visibility, aids in debugging, and promotes better understanding of Lombok’s impact on the codebase.


To execute de-lombok on your code using Maven, you can use the Lombok Maven Plugin. Here’s an example of how to configure and execute de-lombok using Maven:

Maven pom.xml

Add the Lombok Maven Plugin to your project’s pom.xml file, within the <build> section:

                        <!-- Specify the directory to store the de-lombok-ed source files -->

Command Line

After adding the plugin configuration, run the following Maven command to execute de-lombok:

$> mvn generate-sources

This command triggers the delombok goal of the Lombok Maven Plugin, which generates the de-lombok-ed source files in the specified output directory (${project.build.directory}/delomboked in the example).

Generated Files

Once the de-lombok process is complete, you can find the de-lombok-ed source files in the specified output directory. These files will contain the expanded code generated by Lombok, allowing you to view and analyze the actual code during development.

By executing the Maven command to de-lombok your code, you can conveniently access the expanded code and gain insights into how Lombok transforms your annotated classes. This enables better understanding, debugging, and maintenance of the codebase, ultimately enhancing the development experience.

By de-lomboking the code, you can have a comprehensive view of how Lombok annotations are transforming your classes and gain a deeper understanding of the generated code’s behavior. This transparency promotes better collaboration within development teams, as everyone can examine the actual code being produced by Lombok and provide feedback or make necessary adjustments.

It’s important to note that while de-lombok functionality is useful during development, it’s not required for the code to be executed. Lombok’s generated code is fully compatible with the Java compiler and runtime, so de-lomboking is not necessary for the functioning of the application. However, having the option to de-lombok can be a valuable aid in understanding and maintaining the codebase, especially when dealing with complex scenarios or troubleshooting specific issues.

Considering the convenience of being able to de-lombok, it becomes an additional aspect to take into account when evaluating the use of Lombok in your project. The ability to view the actual code during development enhances transparency and facilitates comprehension, contributing to the overall development experience.

Other Disadvantages Worth Mentioning

This article has covered the major aspects related to the drawbacks of using Lombok in Java development. However, there are a few additional points that you may consider mentioning:

  1. Learning Curve: Introducing Lombok to a development team that is not familiar with it may involve a learning curve. Developers need to understand the Lombok annotations, their purpose, and their potential impact on the codebase. This learning process can take time and may require additional training or resources.

  2. Community Support: While Lombok has gained popularity and has a large user base, it’s worth mentioning that the library’s support is community-driven. Depending on the size and activity of the community, the frequency of updates, bug fixes, and compatibility with new Java versions may vary. It’s important to consider the community support when evaluating the long-term sustainability of using Lombok in your project.

  3. Debugging Limitations: As mentioned earlier, due to the code generation nature of Lombok, stepping into the actual code of a Lombok-generated object during debugging can be challenging. This limitation may require developers to rely more on other debugging techniques, such as logging or using breakpoints strategically, to understand the behavior of Lombok-generated code.

  4. Project Maintenance: When using Lombok, it’s essential to ensure that the project’s build tools, development environments, and other dependencies are compatible with Lombok’s annotations and code generation. Keeping track of updates, compatibility issues, and potential conflicts with other libraries or tools may require ongoing maintenance efforts. One example is the potential inability to upgrade to the latest IDE version due to compatibility issues with the Lombok plugin.


Lombok, with its code generation capabilities, offers significant benefits for Java developers seeking to streamline their projects. By reducing boilerplate code, improving code readability, and saving time, Lombok proves to be a valuable tool in enhancing productivity. However, it’s crucial to consider the drawbacks related to managing dependencies, code obscurity, testability, and compatibility.

Notably, some developers and teams prefer a combination of Lombok’s code generation capabilities and IDE Code Generation Templates for specific customizations or fine-tuning of the generated code. This approach allows for flexibility and control over the code generation process.

Additionally, being able to De-Lombok allows developers to conveniently view the actual code during development. By utilizing De-Lombok, developers can access the underlying code generated by Lombok, enabling them to understand the implementation details and debug effectively.

While Lombok offers significant advantages, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind.

First, adopting Lombok may involve a learning curve, especially for developers unfamiliar with its annotations and functionality.

Second, the level of community support for Lombok can vary, impacting the availability of updates, bug fixes, and compatibility with new Java versions.

Furthermore, debugging Lombok-generated code may require alternative approaches since stepping into the actual code during debugging can be challenging.

Ongoing project maintenance is also essential to ensure compatibility with build tools, development environments, and other dependencies.

By carefully evaluating these factors, adopting appropriate practices, and leveraging the advantages of both Lombok and IDE Code Generation Templates, developers can make informed decisions about incorporating code generation tools into their Java development endeavors while effectively mitigating the associated challenges.

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