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Migrating from v2.x to v3.1


Discord4J v3 is a completely different programming paradigm compared to v2. Rather than it being focused around synchronous, blocking invocations; everything is handled in an asynchronous, reactive context. The API has also been completely refactored, allowing D4J to provide a much cleaner, richer, consistent, and flexible approach to bot development.


The core of Discord4J's design is centered around reactive programming, using Reactor as its implementation. This is primarily focused around 2 classes, Mono and Flux. While Mono and Flux are designed for asynchronous computations, they do offer synchronous conversions for more traditional imperative programming that will be familiar to v2 developers.

⚠️ Warning ⚠️#

Blocking completely eliminates any and all benefits of reactive programming. We highly recommend that you learn more about reactive programming and eventually convert your code to be more reactive after the initial migration for better performance and scalability.

Any method that returns a Mono or Flux must be "subscribed" to in order for an action to be performed. This is vastly different compared to v2, where simply invoking the method instantly caused the method to execute. To mimic that behavior, we can simply call Mono#block:

TextChannel channel = (TextChannel) discordClient
channel.createMessage("Hello World").block();

Flux can be converted to a Mono using Flux#collectList.

List<Role> roles = guild.getRoles().collectList().block();

JDA Developers#

Mono is a significantly more powerful version of RestAction. It provides both an analog to queue and complete (subscribe and block) while additionally providing more operations for easier and more generic handling of data and actions both synchronously and asynchronously.

Javacord Developers#

Mono is a significantly more powerful version of CompletableFuture. It provides a more concise, standard, and easier manipulation of data and actions asynchronously compared to CompletableFuture's copious amounts of apply and handle methods and still provides an analog to get (or await) via Mono#block. In fact, a Mono can be converted to and from a CompletableFuture natively.

EventDispatcher and IListener#

EventDispatcher has been reworked and IListener (and consequently @EventSubscriber) has been completely removed in v3. To "listen" for an event, simply call EventDispatcher#on and subscribe for its contents:

eventDispatcher.on(MessageCreateEvent.class).subscribe(event -> /* do stuff */);

To replicate IListener's functionality you may use the following example:

interface EventListener<T extends Event> {
Class<T> getEventType();
void execute(T event);
// more code ...
EventListener<MessageCreateEvent> listener = ...


ReadyEvent in v3 now represents Discord's ReadyEvent, which is sent before any GuildCreateEvent. This is different compared to v2 where ReadyEvent was defined when the bot was "ready", meaning all guilds have been received. In exchange, however, v3 does not require the bot to be "ready" to execute any actions (such as sending a message). This, consequently, also means v3 does not require the bot to be logged in to perform actions to Discord.

To mimic v2's ReadyEvent, i.e. know when all guilds have been received, you may use the following example:

discordClient.getEventDispatcher().on(ReadyEvent.class) // Listen for ReadyEvent(s)
.map(event -> event.getGuilds().size()) // Get how many guilds the bot is in
.flatMap(size -> client.getEventDispatcher()
.on(GuildCreateEvent.class) // Listen for GuildCreateEvent(s)
.take(size) // Take only the first `size` GuildCreateEvent(s) to be received
.collectList()) // Take all received GuildCreateEvents and make it a List
.subscribe(events -> /* All guilds received, and client is fully connected */);


What is wrong with v2?#

Everything. Its problems stem from being the oldest of the 3 major libraries (written before a time the bot API existed) and its developer(s) having inadequate knowledge of Java conventions/practices and lacking OOP concepts.

  1. v2 is a completely blocking API. This means threads must "wait" for actions to be completed before continuing. This wastes a tremendous amount of resources at scale as threads could be accomplishing various other tasks as they "wait" for previous tasks to finish. As noted by this chart, even wasting a millisecond, in relative terms, is a huge waste of time for a computer, and a typical Discord request is about 50 milliseconds. v3, thanks to Reactor, can maximize the usage of this wasted computing power to utilize less resources to accomplish more tasks.

    Of course, you do not have to utilize Reactor's asynchronous features. As previously discussed, blocking with Reactor can be easily accomplished to achieve the previous paradigm.

  2. Channel hierarchy is both wrong and inconsistent. IChannel can be represented either by a guild's text channel or a privately messaged channel; meaning methods like IChannel#getGuild make no fundamental sense if the type of the channel is private. Should the method return null, or throw an exception? This ambiguity is made worse by the fact IVoiceChannel extends IChannel; meaning IVoiceChannel conceptually represents a guild's text channel, a privately messaged channel, and a guild voice channel! Most methods in IVoiceChannel throw an exception as they make no sense in the context of an actual voice channel (you cannot send a message in a voice channel, for instance). Additionally, categories are channels, but in v2 they are not represented this way via ICategory. v3 fixes all these issues with a much better entity hierarchy structure.

  3. RequestBuffer/RequestBuilder were workarounds for rate limiting when it was introduced (yes, v2 was built before rate limiting was a concept for Discord). This makes their usage cumbersome as they should be applied to every possible request to Discord. This makes knowing when to use them entirely unclear (which methods, exactly, should either be applied to?), and its existence not balancing its requirement for bot development as a lot of users do not realize these two features exist. v3 fixes this as rate limits will be automatically handled and requests will be executed in order.

  4. The MessageHistory API is confusing as its construction is spread out across 15 different methods with unexpected, unorthodox, and/or confusing naming and behaviors. Additionally, since MessageHistory is a List, all messages must be obtained before manipulating them; meaning for very large message histories, it is very likely to reach an OutOfMemoryError when attempting to obtain a history of these channels. v3, in contrast, only has 2 methods to obtain a "message history", with all of the functionality of v2's message history being applicable and more. Additionally, because of Reactor, messages can be retrieved on-demand so not all messages have to be loaded in memory before utilizing them for some purpose (like bulk-delete).

  5. v2 is riddled with inconsistencies across its API. Some methods return null, others throw an exception, while others return Optional. v3 has been heavily focused on staying consistent across its entire API to prevent any unexpected behaviors or lopsided functionality. If something can be "absent", it'll return Optional. If it can make a request to Discord, it returns either a Mono or Flux. There are no surprises on what a method may attempt to accomplish or inconsistencies with handling specific cases.

  6. Manipulating entities in v2 is both inefficient and cumbersome. Most entities when being created or edited can set multiple properties at once. For instance, when you create a channel you can set the name, type, position, permission overwrites, etc. all in one request, however, in v2 this is impossible. In order to create/edit with multiple properties you must call individual methods one at a time which makes an entire request to Discord on each and every single invocation. This is tremendously wasteful and quickly makes your bot approach a rate limit. v3 fixes this by utilizing Specs.

  7. While it is "possible" to disable the cache in v2, it instantly causes a crash on startup when attempted. v3 was designed with caches being disabled in mind, allowing very lightweight configurations if desired. We have tested v3 running on some of Tatsumaki's shards, and v3 was able to stay under 10 MB of RAM usage. v3's Store API is also far more flexible, allowing other configurations such as off-heap caching to be possible.

  8. v2 is completely mutable which is susceptible to many race conditions that are incredibly hard to replicate, track down, and/or fix. v3 attempts to be as immutable as possible which has numerous benefits for us as a library and you as a user.

  9. v2 follows some unusual conventions. I prefixes for interfaces (which is a C# convention, but not a Java one), as well as a questionable package hierarchy structure (most events are under impl, for example). v3's follows proper Java industry conventions, and a package hierarchy that makes intuitive sense.

Where is RequestBuffer/RequestBuilder?#

Classes like RequestBuffer and RequestBuilder have been completely removed in v3. By default, v3 will execute requests in order and handle rate limits.

Where is MessageHistory?#

MessageHistory has been completely removed in v3. A "message history" can be obtained by calling either MessageChannel#getMessagesBefore or MessageChannel#getMessagesAfter.

Migration steps#

Important: This section focuses on Discord4J v3.1 rather than v3.0.

Client building#

  1. The main utility class Discord4J was removed. If you used Discord4J::enableJettyLogging you should read up on Logging.
  2. DiscordException is not used anymore, and you should attempt to migrate towards reactive Error handling or if you decide to block, catch RuntimeException or ClientException.
  3. If your login flow consisted in obtaining an IDiscordClient instance, you should now either expect GatewayDiscordClient or DiscordClient
  4. ClientBuilder is now replaced with DiscordClientBuilder. Several options don't exist anymore or have replacements elsewhere. It comes with default options to allow a monolithic multi-shard bot to function. You can start with DiscordClient::create or DiscordClient::builder.
  5. ClientBuilder::setDaemon does not have an equivalent as it uses Reactor threading. Check the Threading page for more information.
  6. ClientBuilder::withPingTimeout is now called setMaxMissedHeartbeatAck and can be set at DiscordClient::gateway.
  7. ClientBuilder::setMaxReconnectAttempts now live under ReconnectOptions which can be set at DiscordClient::gateway. See v3.1 Migration Guide
  8. Shard options like ClientBuilder::withShards, ::setShard and ::withRecommendedShardCount are present under DiscordClient::gateway. See v3.1 Migration Guide
  9. ClientBuilder cache-related options like setMaxMessageCacheCount and setCacheProvider now live under the Stores abstraction and can be replaced using a combination of MappingStoreService and CaffeineStoreService. These options are set under DiscordClient::gateway. See also Stores-Caffeine
  10. ClientBuilder::registerListener variants are moved to GatewayDiscordClient::on method, or GatewayDiscordClient::getEventDispatcher.
  11. ClientBuilder::set5xxRetryCount is now abstracted to DiscordClientBuilder::onClientResponse where you can set a custom retrying policy. Discord4J retries most 5xx errors by default.
  12. Event processing options now live under EventDispatcher abstraction and can be replaced at DiscordClient::gateway, then GatewayBootstrap::setEventDispatcher. See EventDispatcher class for some built-in factories.
  13. Setting an initial presence/status is done at DiscordClient::gateway then GatewayBootstrap::setInitialPresence.
  14. Calling DiscordClient::login directly uses all defaults for Gateway. To customize go through DiscordClient::gateway, customize the given GatewayBootstrap and then call GatewayBootstrap::login.
// v2.10.x
IDiscordClient client = new ClientBuilder()
// v3.1.x
GatewayDiscordClient client = DiscordClient.create(bot.getToken())

Event dispatching#

  1. Use GatewayDiscordClient::on to attach a subscriber to receive all events for that type.
  2. If you relied heavily upon @EventSubscriber from v2 you can create an EventSubscriberAdapter class yourself and use it in the following way:
GatewayDiscordClient client = DiscordClient.create(token).login().block();
EventSubscriberAdapter adapter = new EventSubscriberAdapter() {
public void onMessageCreate(MessageCreateEvent event) {"> {}", event.getMessage().getContent().orElse(""));
gateway.onDisconnect().block(); // we should block until it disconnects

Since @EventSubscriber was removed you can use that pattern, overriding the methods you wish to get notified. There is also a reactive alternative ReactiveEventAdapter you can use similarly.

  1. If you previously used IListener<E> you can also migrate it to EventSubscriberAdapter
  2. Events now live under the discord4j.core.event package.
  3. ReconnectSuccessEvent -> ReconnectEvent
  4. ReconnectFailureEvent -> ReconnectFailEvent
  5. DisconnectedEvent has split into ReconnectStartEvent and DisconnectEvent
  6. UserBanEvent -> BanEvent
  7. UserPardonEvent -> UnbanEvent
  8. MessageReceivedEvent -> MessageCreateEvent

Event processing#

  1. In general, if an Event returns a Mono or Flux, it means it involves a request that might incur latency and therefore we use Reactor to properly route and schedule that action asynchronously. Such methods are safe to call Mono::block or Flux::blockLast upon to use the contained type in a blocking way.
  2. All entities have different names now, but the correlation should be easy to follow, for example: IMessage -> Message
  3. Checking if a MessageChannel is private can be done through instanceof PrivateChannel or using getType after blocking, or .ofType(PrivateChannel.class) before blocking.
  4. DiscordClient::getOurUser -> GatewayDiscordClient::getSelf and optionally block

Working with permissions#

Consider the following call:

boolean hasPermission = message.getChannel().getModifiedPermissions(message.getAuthor())

To migrate this you should know:

  1. To work with PermissionSet rather than EnumSet<Permission>. Build one using PermissionSet::of.
  2. Since Message::getChannel returns a Mono<MessageChannel> and calls like this only make sense under Guild channels, you must ensure first the actual type is GuildChannel: message.getChannel().ofType(GuildChannel.class)
  3. If you block such a Mono and the underlying channel is not a guild one, it will return null. There is also Mono::blockOptional to get an Optional
  4. After blocking, you can then call GuildChannel::getEffectivePermissions using the Snowflake for a member or role

The resulting code should look like:

Snowflake authorId = message.getAuthor()
boolean hasPermission = message.getChannel().ofType(GuildChannel.class)
.flatMap(channel -> channel.getEffectivePermissions(authorId))
.map(set -> set.containsAll(PermissionSet.of(Permission.MANAGE_MESSAGES)))