Including external JARs in a JAR using Netbeans
The task of including external JARs when exporting a Java project into a JAR file should have been easy and straight forward. However, Java demands extra effort for doing this and Eclipse IDE does not provide it automatically (maybe there is a plugin for this, which I did not come along).
The solution is simple and it is a standard computer science solution: use another IDE... and the winner is NetBeans! In general, Netbeans (especially version 6.x) is in a way a smarter IDE than Eclipse. I like the interaction with the user and the ease of customization. The developers have made a good job on the HCI part, which is something great for a non commercial platform.
HOW TO INCLUDE JARs while exporting your Java classes in a JAR using Netbeans 6.x?
- Just create a new Java Project with Netbeans.
- Go to its Properties -> Sources -> Compile tab and add all the JARs that you want to be included.
- Go to the Compiling options and enable Track Java Dependencies. This may be optional in some cases.
- At the Run options you have to define a Main class for your program.
- When you build your project there would be a JAR file in the dist folder which is ready to be used with no ClassNotFound error messages. Netbeans does that by default. Great! Be careful - do not move the file from this directory without the rest of the contents of the folder because the links with the external JAR files will be broken.
- It is nice that you will not have to care about the Manifest file or to create any Ant scripts.