4.7. Class Paths

The class loader classes described previously provide programmable ways to locate and load classes and resources. To simplify the task of installing software components on a system supporting the Java platform, common and user-specific places are available in which to put such components in order to allow them to be automatically discovered by the Java runtime system.

In JDK 1.0 and 1.1, a well-known, built-in, systemwide search path called CLASSPATH is set in a platform-specific way. On UNIX systems, for example, CLASSPATH can be set via the shell environment variable CLASSPATH. Essentially, all classes or JAR files containing classes on the local file system must reside on this path to be discovered. It also is where all system ...

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