MetaClass supports runtime access to metadata associated with program elements or artefacts. The program elements include packages, classes, methods and fields and each metadata element is referred to as an attribute.
The attributes are usually specified in the java source files as javadoc markup. The source file is then processed and the metadata is compiled into descriptors that MetaClass is capable of reading. These descriptors are then loaded at runtime to provide metadata about the program elements.
To get started using MetaClass the developer should first look at the Attribute Model description to see what type of metadata is stored by MetaClass. The developer then needs to markup classes and pre-compile the attribute metadata before they can access the metadata at runtime.
After the developer has mastered the common uses-cases of MetaClass they can move on to more advanced usages such as filtering and augmenting metadata during the pre-compilation stage, loading the metadata from alternative sources and integrating MetaClass into a java container.