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This week, we're updating our course layouts and descriptions. Presentation and materials always gently change over time, but just occasionally there's a need to make a step change to clear out some of the old and roll in the new. That's now happening - but over a long and complex site it's not instant and you'll see sections of the site changing up to and including 19th September.

See also [here] for status update
 
Java CLASSPATH explained

When you run a Java program (be it though the java virtual machine or as a servlet within a web or application container such as Tomcat), it's only the main code (class) that's initially loaded. Any other code (classes) are loaded in dynamically as needed.

Where are these classes loaded from?

They're loaded from EITHER directory structures OR jar files, and the locations of these are in part defaulted (for the standard stuff) and in part defined by the CLASSPATH - an environment variable in which you list the root of the tree in which the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) should start looking. Let's see an example:
   export CLASSPATH=/home/demo/packages:/usr/local/tomcat/shared/lib/wellhouse.jar:.
will cause the JVM to start looking in the packages subdirectory of the demo user's home directory, in a shared directory in your Tomcat installation, and in your current directory.

But that's only where it will start looking. If you're calling in a class called (say) net.wellho.tomcourse.Animal, then the extra package names will be added on to the base path and the actual files looked for on your disc will be:
   /home/demo/packages/net/wellho/tomcourse/Animal.class (an absolute path)
   /usr/local/tomcat/shared/lib/wellhouse.jar ... within in, the file ./net/wellho/tomcourse/Animal.class
   /net/wellho/tomcourse/Animal.class (i.e. below the current directory)


There are even more places that will be searched if you add some import statements to your Java class. Let's say you're loading from a class that includes:
    import net.wellho.general.*;
    import net.wellho.tomcourse.*;
    import org.apache.tomcat.*;

then you'll end up looking in no less that 12 places if you simply call up a class called Animal using the earlier CLASSPATH example:
   /home/demo/packages/Animal.class (an absolute path)
   /home/demo/packages/net/wellho/general/Animal.class (an absolute path)
   /home/demo/packages/net/wellho/tomcourse/Animal.class (an absolute path)
   /home/demo/packages/org/apache/tomcat/Animal.class (an absolute path)
   In /usr/local/tomcat/shared/lib/wellhouse.jar for Animal.class
   In /usr/local/tomcat/shared/lib/wellhouse.jar for net/wellho/general/Animal.class
   In /usr/local/tomcat/shared/lib/wellhouse.jar for net/wellho/tomcourse/Animal.class
   In /usr/local/tomcat/shared/lib/wellhouse.jar for org/apache/tomcat/Animal.class
   ./Animal.class (below the current directory)
   ./net/wellho/general/Animal.class (below the current directory)
   ./net/wellho/tomcourse/Animal.class (below the current directory)
   ./org/apache/tomcat/Animal.class (below the current directory)


Remember too that the Java compiler (known as javac) checks your code - so that it needs access to all necessary classes on the machine you're developing / compiling on to ensure that you're only calling classes - and methods within them - that actually exist. So if you're writing a Servlet, for example, you'll need to have the Servlet API on your CLASSPATH on the development machine and in the development environment, as well as on the test and production servers.
(written 2008-11-26)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
A503 - Web Application Deployment - Java - Sourcing, Installing, Initial Testing
  [2184] Choosing the right version of Java and Tomcat - (2009-05-16)
  [2153] Class Loading and Variable Conversion in Java - (2009-05-02)
  [2080] Using ApacheBench and jconsole to test and monitor Tomcat - (2009-03-14)
  [2079] Java - Memory Allocation and garbage collection - (2009-03-14)

A912 - Web Application Deployment - Upgrading and tuning Tomcat
  [3018] Tuning Apache httpd and Tomcat to work well together - (2010-10-27)
  [2082] Jmeter - a first test case - (2009-03-14)
  [2060] Database connection Pooling, SSL, and command line deployment - httpd and Tomcat - (2009-03-01)
  [1718] Increasing Java Virtual Machine memory for Tomcat - (2008-07-24)
  [1377] Load Balancing with Apache mod_jk (httpd/Tomcat) - (2007-10-02)

J601 - Java Introduction
  [2536] All the Cs ... and Java too - (2009-12-13)
  [2423] What is a JVM, a JRE, a JDK - components of the core Java Environment - (2009-09-26)
  [2115] Finding your java program - the CLASSPATH variable - (2009-04-02)
  [1766] Diagrams to show you how - Tomcat, Java, PHP - (2008-08-22)
  [1557] Trying out our Java examples on our web site - (2008-02-27)
  [1497] Training Season Starts again! - (2008-01-07)
  [1466] Effective Java training - the bootcamp approach - (2007-12-09)
  [1418] A Golf Club Decision - Perl to Java - (2007-11-01)
  [1158] Private Java Course - A customer's pictures - (2007-04-22)
  [1049] Java 6, Apache Tomcat 6. - (2007-01-21)
  [871] Java oversold? - (2006-09-19)
  [792] Is Java the right language to learn? - (2006-07-04)
  [317] Programming languages - a comparison - (2005-05-20)
  [124] PHP v Java - (2004-11-20)
  [111] Training notes available under Open Distribution license - (2004-11-07)
  [25] Release numbers - (2004-08-23)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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