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Tip: Dangers of Choosing the Wrong Class Loader

See how to avoid using the wrong class loader.


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This code uses the class loader that loads the current class and getClass() could return something unexpected, like a subclass, or a dynamic proxy. This is hardly ever what you want when you dynamically load an additional class, moreover in managed environments such as Servlet Engines or Java Webstart, application servers this is most certainly wrong.

Class myclass = Class.forName(name);
Class myclass = getClass().getClassLoader().loadClass(name);

This code will comport very differently depending on the environment in which it runs. Environments that use the context class loader to provide applications with a class loader should use it to retrieve their own classes.

ClassLoader cl = Thread.currentThread().getContextClassLoader();
If (cl == null)  cl = MyClass.class.getClassLoader(); 
Class myclass =  cl.loadClass(name);

 

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Octavia Andreea Anghel is a senior PHP developer currently working as a primary trainer for programming teams that participate at national and international software-development contests. She consults on developing educational projects at a national level. She is a coauthor of the book "XML Technologies--XML in Java" (Albastra, ISBN 978-973-650-210-1), for which she wrote the XML portions. In addition to PHP and XML, she's interested in software architecture, web services, UML, and high-performance unit tests.
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