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Put an End to Jar File and Class Name Conflicts : Page 4

Uncover hard-to-find class name conflicts and jar file version discrepancies and redundancies with a simple audit utility.

End Class Name Conflicts
Getting a handle on the resources in your Java development platform or server is critical for avoiding insidious class conflicts in your applications. Understanding classloading will save you hours of debug time, attempting to discern why an application that previously worked is suddenly failing. The auditor, available for download here, can provide you with valuable insights into your classpath environment and help you ferret out the cause of a class name conflict. If used proactively, it can also help you anticipate class conflicts before they become a problem.

Enhancements on the Way
If you've followed the discussion of classloading and how the auditor works closely, you might have noticed a hole in the algorithm. The thorniest, most difficult-to-find classloading conflicts occur between classes that are in differently named jar files and/or share the same class name but are packaged differently. Currently, the auditor identifies duplicates and conflicts only when the jar files have the same name. It won't catch identically named classes in different jar files. I'm working on an enhanced version of the auditor that patches this hole. Keep an eye out for a follow-up announcement on DevX.

Doug Tillman is a senior Java developer at the FindMRO business unit of W.W. Grainger. He recently designed a distributed RMI search application and set up the Java- and Jython-driven open source load testing tool, the Grinder. Reach him at doug.tillman@attbi.com.
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