java pkg.Main or java pkg/Main?

Which format do you use to run a java application? I always pass the fully-qualified class name to java command, namely, java com.whatever.Main. In fact, either way is acceptable:

build/classes > java javahowto.Member
build/classes > java javahowto/Member
I've tried java command with both forms in JDK 1.4, JDK 5, and JDK 6 on Linux without any error. On Windows, you can use either pkg.Main, or pkg/Main, but not pkg\Main:
C:\javahowto\build\classes>java javahowto.Main
In Main.main(String[])
C:\javahowto\build\classes>java javahowto/Main
In Main.main(String[])
C:\javahowto\build\classes>java javahowto\Main
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javahowto\Main (wrong name: javahowto/Main)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass1(Native Method)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(ClassLoader.java:620)
at java.security.SecureClassLoader.defineClass(SecureClassLoader.java:124)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.defineClass(URLClassLoader.java:260)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.access$000(URLClassLoader.java:56)
at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(URLClassLoader.java:195)
at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(URLClassLoader.java:188)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:306)
at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Launcher.java:276)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:251)
at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClassInternal(ClassLoader.java:319)
In any event, do not include .class in the class name. When running from the root of class directory on Unix, one can use the shell auto-completion to fill the class name, instead of typing the FQN. That's a big plus for the the second format. On Windows, auto-complete doesn't help in this case, since \ is class name is not accepted. I guess from now on, I will be using the slash form more often.

Unlike java command, javac operates on java source files and always takes file paths as arguments.


Steve Smith said...

Great and Useful Article.

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