15.13 JarURLConnection


Applets often store their .class files in a JAR archive, which bundles all the classes in one package that still maintains the directory hierarchy needed to resolve fully qualified class names like com.macfaq.net.QueryString . Furthermore, since the entire archive is compressed and can be downloaded in a single HTTP connection, it requires much less time to download the . jar file than to download its contents one file at a time. Some programs store needed resources such as sounds, images, and even text files inside these JAR archives. Java provides several mechanisms for getting the resources out of the JAR archive, but the one that we'll address here is the jar URL. The JarURLConnection class supports URLs that point inside JAR archives:

 public abstract class JarURLConnection extends URLConnection// Java 1.2 

A jar URL starts with a normal URL that points to a JAR archive, such as http://www.cafeaulait.org/network.jar or file:///D%7C/javafaq/network.jar . Then the protocol jar : is prefixed to this URL. Finally, !/ and the path to the desired file inside the JAR archive are suffixed to the original URL. For example, to find the file com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class inside the previous .jar files, you'd use the URLs jar:http://www.cafeaulait.org/network.jar!/com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class or jar:file://D%7C/javafaq/network.jar!/com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class . Of course, this isn't limited simply to Java .class files. You can use jar URLs to point to any kind of file that happens to be stored inside a JAR archive, including images, sounds, text, HTML files, and more. If the path is left off, the URL refers to the entire JAR archive, e.g., jar:http://www.cafeaulait.org/network.jar!/ or jar:file:///D%7C/javafaq/network.jar!/ .

Web browsers don't understand jar URLs, though. They're used only inside Java programs. To get a JarURLConnection , construct a URL object using a jar URL and cast the return value of its openConnection() method to JarURLConnection . Java downloads the entire JAR archive to a temporary file, opens it, and positions the file pointer at the beginning of the particular entry you requested . You can then read the contents of the particular file inside the JAR archive using the InputStream returned by getInputStream( ) . For example:

 try {   //Open the URLConnection for reading   URL u = new URL(    "jar:http://www.cafeaulait.org/course/week1.jar!/week1/05.html");   URLConnection uc = u.openConnection( );   InputStream in = uc.getInputStream( );          // chain the InputStream to a Reader   Reader r = new InputStreamReader(in);   int c;   while ((c = r.read( )) != -1) {     System.out.print((char) c);   }  } catch (IOException ex) {   System.err.println(ex); } 

Besides the usual methods of the URLConnection class that JarURLConnection inherits, this class adds eight new methods, mostly to return information about the JAR archive itself. These are:

 public URL           getJarFileURL( )                        // Java 1.2 public String        getEntryName( )                         // Java 1.2 public JarEntry      getJarEntry( ) throws IOException       // Java 1.2 public Manifest      getManifest( ) throws IOException       // Java 1.2 public Attributes    getAttributes( ) throws IOException     // Java 1.2 public Attributes    getMainAttributes( ) throws IOException // Java 1.2 public Certificate[] getCertificates( ) throws IOException   // Java 1.2 public abstract JarFile getJarFile( ) throws IOException     // Java 1.2 

The getJarFileURL() method is the simplest. It merely returns the URL of the jar file being used by this connection. This generally differs from the URL of the file in the archive being used for this connection. For instance, the jar file URL of jar:http://www.cafeaulait.org/network.jar!/com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class is http://www.cafeaulait.org/network.jar . The getEntryName( ) returns the other part of the jar URL; that is, the path to the file inside the archive. The entry name of jar:http://www.cafeaulait.org/network.jar!/com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class is com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class .

The getJarFile( ) method returns a java.util.jar.JarFile object that you can use to inspect and manipulate the archive contents. The getJarEntry( ) method returns a java.util.jar.JarEntry object for the particular file in the archive that this URLConnection is connected to. It returns null if the URL points to a whole JAR archive rather than a particular entry in the archive.

Much of the functionality of both JarFile and JarEntry is duplicated by other methods in the JarURLConnection class; which to use is mostly a matter of personal preference. For instance, the getManifest( ) method returns a java.util.jar.Manifest object representing the contents of the JAR archive's manifest file. A manifest file is included in the archive to supply metainformation about the contents of the archive, such as which file contains the main( ) method and which classes are Java beans. It's called MANIFEST.MF and placed in the META-INF directory; its contents typically look something like this:

 Manifest-Version: 1.0 Required-Version: 1.0 Name: com/macfaq/net/FormPoster.class Java-Bean: true Last-modified: 10-21-2003 Depends-On: com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class Digest-Algorithms: MD5 MD5-Digest: XD4578YEEIK9MGX54RFGT7UJUI9810 Name: com/macfaq/net/QueryString.class Java-Bean: false Last-modified: 5-17-2003 Digest-Algorithms: MD5 MD5-Digest: YP7659YEEIK0MGJ53RYHG787YI8900 

The name-value pairs associated with each entry are called the attributes of that entry. The name-value pairs not associated with any entry are called the main attributes of the archive. The getAttributes() method returns a java.util.jar.Attributes object representing the attributes that the manifest file specifies for this jar entry, or null if the URL points to a whole JAR archive. The getMainAttributes( ) method returns a java.util.jar.Attributes object representing the attributes that the manifest file specifies for the entire JAR archive as a whole.

Finally, the getCertificates() method returns an array of digital signatures (each represented as a java.security.cert.Certificate object) that apply to this jar entry, or null if the URL points to a JAR archive instead of a particular entry. These are actually read from separate signature files for each jar entry, not from the manifest file. Unlike the other methods of JarURLConnection , getCertificates( ) can be called only after the entire input stream for the jar URL has been read. This is because the current hash of the data needs to be calculated, which can be done only when the entire entry is available.

More details about the java.util.jar package, JAR archives, manifest files, entries, attributes, digital signatures, how this all relates to Zip files and Zip and JAR streams, and so forth can be found on Sun's web site at http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/guide/jar/ or in Chapter 9 of my book, Java I/O (O'Reilly).

Java Network Programming
Java Network Programming, Third Edition
ISBN: 0596007213
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 164

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