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Author outside jar

Markus Schmider
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 25, 2007
Posts: 116
I am writing a JMS client application. I want the not to be packaged in the jar, but to be lying outside the jar, so that users can alter it easily. How can I do this?


Martijn Verburg

Joined: Jun 24, 2003
Posts: 3275

In theory that properties file simply needs to live on your CLASSPATH, putting it in the same directory that you put the JAR file in usually does the trick.

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Richard Blaha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 13, 2007
Posts: 34
I am having a similar problem. I followed the advice above, but didn't get good results.

I am using Netbeans 6.5 to create my program. I run the java class via the command line given with the Netbeans compile, but I first place the file in the dist directory. The file has two properties in it.

<related jars>

With command line:

java -jar "C:\source\NonWorkingCode\NonWorkingCode.jar"

Running the test program returns results as follows:

Dec 31, 2008 10:27:05 AM listJndiProperties
SEVERE: NamingException in listJndiProperties().
javax.naming.NoInitialContextException: Need to specify class name in environment or system property, or as an applet parameter, or in an application resource file: java.naming.factory.initial
at javax.naming.spi.NamingManager.getInitialContext(Unknown Source)
at javax.naming.InitialContext.getDefaultInitCtx(Unknown Source)
at javax.naming.InitialContext.getEnvironment(Unknown Source)

Please help me with what I am missing. Thank you.
Raf Szczypiorski
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 21, 2008
Posts: 383
The directory that contains the file should be in the classpath. For example:

the classpath should be: lib/sth.jar ther (assuming you are in app, if windows is your os the separator is ; not

The directory trick is the same as if you added non-packaged class files - in this case you simply add the directory that contains the class files.
[ December 31, 2008: Message edited by: Raf Szczypiorski ]
Richard Blaha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 13, 2007
Posts: 34
I really appreciate the information and advice. I am doing what I can to make this work as you have said.

OK. I am really a greenhorn at this. I created a project in NetBeans early last year which required the That project has the classpath set somehow to see the I cannot figure out for the life of me how that NB project sets up the classpath and this new one doesn't. I will continue comparing projects and build files, but this really has me stumped.

I realize this is a two pronged problem - one of finding the file and the other is setting NetBeans up to provide the classpath information. I appreciate your patience as I work with the two.
Raf Szczypiorski
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 21, 2008
Posts: 383

To check / modify the classpath, do this:
1. Right-click on the project in question
2. A new window appears, that has a tree widget at the left side
3. Click on "Libraries", you will see a panel with 4 tabs: "Compile", "Run", "Compile Tests", "Run Tests"
4. Click on the one that you need to check out / modify (I will use "Compile", it is propagated to all of the other ones)
5. There should be a list of jar files and folders that are parts of your classpath
6. If the directory that contains your is not listed, add it clicking the "Add JAR / Folder", browse you filesystem and add it. Remember it must be the directory that contains the file, not the file itself, as you would do with JAR files.
7. Check if the project contains any stale classpath entries - for instance, the filesystem (and the paths to jars and may have changed or it may be a completely different machine. Delete / edit such entries and provide correct paths.

That should do it.

Note: I was using NetBeans 6.1, there are newer versions and I don't know which one you use, but it should be at least very similar to my version anyways.
Richard Blaha
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 13, 2007
Posts: 34
Thank you. I did that. It doesn't appear to help. The other project I have that works doesn't have the classpath setup in that way for it to work. As a test I put my jndi.Properties list display code in the working project and it lists out just fine. (Just another indication that the problem is having the InitialContext read the jndi.Properties file.).

On a side note I noticed something very interesting when I added the Folder to the classpath. The problem comes that in the 'dist' directory the 'lib' directory that is normally created to hold the two persistence unit project jar files is no longer created and does not have the persistence unit jars copied to it. This renders the project completely useless.

Any other thoughts on what I am missing?

As a matter of note I am using NB 6.5.
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