One of the challenges in compiling Java is that the transitive closure of the class tree must be compiled. Finding classes means searching through the class path and local directory. If a .class file is older than the associated .java file, the .java file must be recompiled. On top of this compiled classes are stored in .jar files (Java ARchive). These classes must be uncompressed from the jar file. A number of people/groups have looked at dependency issues. The only tool that I have been able to find published in source for (in this case Java source) is Warren Pfeffer's JavaDepend. If you know of other tools in open source form that unpack jar files or handle dependencies, please send me e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oddly, this tool is under the Ptolemy domain. Ptolemy is a system for hardware/software codesign of VLSI chips. JavaDepend is a Java dependency generator by Warren Pfeffer. JavaDepend generates a Makefile for the Java class hierarchy.
Ian Kaplan, April 3, 2000
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