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Java: Packages - Defining

JavaFAQ Home » Java Notes by Fred Swartz Go to all tips in Java Notes by Fred Swartz

Bookmark and Share Multiple classes of larger programs are usually grouped together into a package. Packages correspond to directories in the file system, and may be nested just as directories are nested.

Reasons for using packages

  • To allow classes to be combined in a single ".jar" file.
  • To control the namespace.
  • To limit the scope of names.

Package declarations

Each file must have a package declaration which precedes all non-comment code. The package name must be the same as the enclosing directory. For example, here are two files in the packagetest directory.
package packagetest;
class ClassA {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
package packagetest;
class ClassB {
    static void greet() {
Note that these source files must be named ClassA.java and ClassB.java (case matters) and they must be in a directory named packagetest.

Compiling and running packages from a command line

To compile the above example, you must be outside the packagetest directory. To compile the classes:
   javac packagetest/ClassB.java
   javac packagetest/ClassA.java
To run the main program in ClassA.
   java packagetest.ClassA
   java packagetest/ClassA

In windows the "/" can be replaced by the "" in the javac command, but not in the java command. Generally use a forward slash ("/") because it is used more commonly than the backslash in other places as well.

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