Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Java Class Loading and Distributed Data Processing Frameworks

Java class loading is one of the most fundamental and powerful concepts provided by the Java Platform. Understanding the class loading mechanism helps you when designing and building extensible application frameworks. You can also avoid spending many hours in debugging exceptions such as ClassCastException and ClassNotFoundException, among others. In this post, we will talk about how Java class loading works and how we designed an extensible application framework with a flexible class loading strategy.

In Java, a class represents the code to be executed by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Before a class can be used, it needs to be loaded into the JVM process. A loaded class is represented by an instance of java.lang.Class. There is a special class responsible for performing the class loading: the java.lang.ClassLoader.

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