I have just started with Java, using 1.4.2, in windows. I have a couple of questions about where 3rd party jar files should be placed.
I am using iText, a set of java classes to create PDF files. Now to get my programs to compile, I placed the itext-1.3.jar file in the same folder as my java source file. Now I know that is definitely not the place to really put it. Should I create a seperate folder solely for itext, or do I put the jar file under the jre folder under the j2sdk folder, or some other place.
2nd Question: To get my java code to compile, I copied servlet.jar to my local folder, as it does not seem to be in the jre path. Is servlet.jar part of j2SDK1.4.2, and I just wasn't setting it up correctly. Or did I have to download it, and where should it be placed, in which folder?
I create a lib folder and place my .jars in there. (C:\user\java\lib\ is where mine is...) Then, I set the CLASSPATH to include the .jars in that directory. (Note that you have to specify each .jar explicitely in the CLASSPATH; specifying the lib directory is not sufficient.)
As far as your second questions, no, servlet.jar is not part of the J2SDK -- it's part of the J2EESDK. If you need to use it in a non-J2EE application, then yes, you need to include it manually.
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Not sure what you're using for development in terms of IDE. Assuming you are using and IDE this is what I do.
Create a lib directory inside the project directory, by sructure looks like:
In the lib directory goes the jar I'm using, if a jar requires other jars I create a subdir for that (just for me to keep things straight in case I want to add/remove/change something).
During development let the IDE handle the classpath issues for compilation. When you get ready to release create a manifest file setting all the jars in the lib directory. When you do a release you can create a jar from source and put it and the lib directory into a zip. The user then only has to unzip and doubleclick the jar. Of course there are more elegant, though more difficult, installation methods.
If you are using a text editor dealing with the classpath becomes more tedious.
I tend to stay away from putting jars into the java\jre\lib\ext folder. It keep me from running into the problem of 'works on my dev machine, but not anywhere else'.