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Thread: File locations?

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    Default File locations?

    Hello,

    I want my Java program (developed with the Eclipse IDE) to parse an XML file.

    Parsing the XML file looks simple enough, but I don't know where to put the XML file. When deployed, the XML should accompany the Java application, but I don't know where to put the XML file while developing.

    I tried putting the file in the bin directory, but I get a file not found error...

    Any advice on where Java expects its files to be at run-time?

    Thanks

    Willsy


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    Crazy Cat Lady KevinWorkman's Avatar
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    Default Re: File locations?

    Java doesn't "expect" anything. You have to tell it where the file is located. That can be an absolute path, or it can be relative. To figure out where Java thinks a relative path is, simply print out the absolute path of a File you create with a relative path.

    Something like:
    System.out.println(new File("test.xml").getAbsolutePath());

    But if you'll eventually be including the File in a jar, you should be using resources instead anyway.
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    Default Re: File locations?

    where Java expects its files to be at run-time
    Depends on how the program is executed. If executed from a commandline, the current directory would be here the prorgam would start looking for the files.
    Also it would depend on the path used in the program and what class/method is used to read the files.


    Make a Short, Self Contained, Correct Example to show how you are trying to read the files.
    If you don't understand my answer, don't ignore it, ask a question.

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    Default Re: File locations?

    Thanks for the swift reply. After trying your suggestion I can see that Java thinks it's "home" (at least when running my app in the Eclipse environment) is C:\Documents and Settings\Willsy\workspace\F3assembler\test.xml

    That's fine for developing; I now know where to put the file while developing, but I'm worried about deployment time. I would expect the XML file to be placed in the same directory as the .class or jar files?

    --- Update ---

    That was my plan; when I test my program away from the IDE environment I'm just planning to plonk the XML file into the same directory as the java files. That hopefully will do it.

    Later on, I guess I'll create a JAR with an appropriately configured manifest file.

    Thank you for your advice. I'm very new to Java ( < 1 week) but I'm enjoying the language a lot. It's a steep learning curve though, coming from a low-level (assembly language and Forth) background!

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    Default Re: File locations?

    It depends how you're deploying it. Are you deploying as a jar or a directory of class files? Are you providing the xml file, or is the user? What code you use depends entirely on what you want to do.
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    Default Re: File locations?

    Hi Kevin

    The XML file is to be supplied *with* the application.

    Originally, I was intending to simply distribute the class files (zipped) so the XML file would go in the same directory as the class files. However, I've read that JAR files are less hassle for the end user (no worries about ClassPath IIRC).

    I'm open to suggestions and reccomendations.

    Thanks again.

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    Default Re: File locations?

    Jar files are definitely less hassle, especially if your users might not be programmers.

    If you're using a jar, you have a few options. You could still distribute the xml file along with the jar. That gives the user the freedom to modify it if they want, but they could also break things if they move the jar but not the xml file.

    The other option is to put the xml file *inside* the jar. But then it's not called a file anymore, and the File class will no longer work. Stuff inside jar files are called *resources*, and they have their own functions. It's actually much easier than it sounds, and a quick google of "java package resources into jar" gives you several informative links.

    You could even do something fancier and take a hybrid approach: check for the xml file next to the jar, and if it's there, use it. If not, use the default xml file (resource) inside the jar. I'm not sure you want to give your user that much freedom, so it's up to you.
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    Willsy (April 10th, 2013)

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    Default Re: File locations?

    If you are supplying the XML file and it won't be changed, it should go in the jar file with the other resources.
    If you don't understand my answer, don't ignore it, ask a question.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Norm For This Useful Post:

    Willsy (April 10th, 2013)

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    Default Re: File locations?

    Thanks guys. I'll need to google for using Resources. I'll need to look at this now as I'm already halfway through coding the XML decoder (using SAXParser which I really like) and it might influence the code that connects the XML file to the SAXParser, which at the moment is nothing more than:

    saxParser.parse("thefile.xml",handler)

    Hopefully the parse method can accept a Resource as input, rather than a string describing the path and file.

    Thanks

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