The Java ClassLoader is a crucial, but often overlooked, component of the Java run-time system. It is the class responsible for finding and loading class files at run time. Creating your own ClassLoader lets you customize the JVM in useful and interesting ways, allowing you to completely redefine how class files are brought into the system.
This tutorial provides an overview of the Java ClassLoader and takes you through the construction of an example ClassLoader that automatically compiles your code before loading it. You'll learn exactly what a ClassLoader does and what you need to do to create your own.
A basic understanding of Java programming, including the ability to create, compile, and execute simple command-line Java programs, as well as an understanding of the class file paradigm is sufficient background to take this tutorial.
Upon completion of this tutorial, you will know how to:
- Expand the functionality of the JVM
- Create a custom ClassLoader
- Learn how to integrate a custom ClassLoader into your Java application
- Modify your ClassLoader to accommodate the Java 2 release