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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Classloaders and optional.jar (was Re: My itches for 1.6)
Date Tue, 16 Jul 2002 07:47:40 GMT
On Mon, 15 Jul 2002, <> wrote:

> IMHO the biggest problem at this moment is the fact that
> optional.jar is loaded in the system class loader.

We probably all agree on this. 8-) We could dramatically improve the
situation by a very simple step though, splitting up optional.jar
along its dependencies.

People don't want to extract a couple of classes from optional.jar to
get <junit> working the way they'd like it to work, but simply moving
junit-tasks.jar out of ANT_HOME/lib would probably work for them.

I'm willing to make that my itch after the top level tasks thingy is
done. 8-)

Combine this with a new class loader scheme for antlibs only.
Further, make it possible to use the now split up parts of
optional.jar as antlibs, if the user asks for it - but keep them on
the system classpath by default.  Finally, provide all new tasks as

This would mean 100% backwards compatibility in the default install, a
better classloader hierarchy for new tasks and the option to use that
improved hierarchy for the old ones.

And then there isn't even a reason to stop at the optinal tasks.

> There are 2 solutions for that - one is to use a tomcat-like loader
> hierarchy. The other is to do a small hack

+1 on a non-hacky clean hierarchy.


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