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From Mike Engelhart <>
Subject Re: cocoon.jar?
Date Sat, 05 Feb 2000 18:24:37 GMT
Mark Schlough wrote:
> According to Sun's own Java Tutorial, they state:
> The JavaTM Archive (JAR) file format enables you to bundle multiple files into
> a single archive file. Typically a JAR file will contain the class files and
> auxiliary resources associated with applets
> and applications.
> </QUOTE>
> So, yes you are technically correct.  You can put anything you want in a jar
> file.  However, they state that a jar file is "Typically" a bundle of class
> files.  The "secret handshake" element comes into play when the jar file is
> used in an atypical scenario, without annoucing it's atypical nature.
> It would be akin to distributing a windows only program in a "tar" format. Yes
> WinZip can handle it, yes it technically is just a bundle of files, and it is
> most _certainly_ is confusing to those that are just entering the arena.
> I wonder whether the questions that need to be asked sre these:
I'm not really wanting to continue this thread anymore but since you're
wearing an asbestos suit I figure it's safe :-)
As the quote you mention says it typically contains class files AND
"auxiliary resources associated with applets and applications".  This is
just semantics and I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones who didn't get
burned by this.  I'm used to un-jarring jar's to see what's in them before I
spend a lot of time trying to configure server side applications. This
wasn't a secret handshake or anything I learned from reading some arcane
literature (other than the JAR documentation) - I just tried it after an
application didn't work after 5 minutes. Many times there is a separate
readme or other document describing the jar.

> Does the selection of the "jar" format as a distrubtion add any value that
> would not be there in say a tgz or zip format?  Does the choice of the jar
> format act as a barrier of entry for those who are just beginning?
I would say yes.  The reason being that you can open it on any platform that
has a JVM.  Granted most platforms have gunzip, unzip, tar ports to deal
with these but it's kind of nice to not have to download these if you're
using a non-unix platform.  I use a mac and there isn't any good
zip/gzip/tar tools that do more then unzip/untar them. JAR provides zip/gzip
compression and archiving similar to tar in one cross-platform package.

> I suppose if tar were for more than just tape archives it would not be just
> t.a.r.
> Rummaging through my closet to find asbestos suit......


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