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The Java® Language Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Fourth Edition by Alex Buckley, Gilad Bracha, Guy Steele, Bill Joy, James Gosling

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12.2. Loading of Classes and Interfaces

Loading refers to the process of finding the binary form of a class or interface type with a particular name, perhaps by computing it on the fly, but more typically by retrieving a binary representation previously computed from source code by a Java compiler, and constructing, from that binary form, a Class object to represent the class or interface.

The precise semantics of loading are given in Chapter 5 of The Java Virtual Machine Specification, Java SE 7 Edition. Here we present an overview of the process from the viewpoint of the Java programming language.

The binary format of a class or interface is normally the class file format described in The Java Virtual Machine Specification, Java SE 7 Edition ...

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