Java Integration

Ringo's underlying JavaScript engine Rhino provides full access to any kind of Java class that has been loaded into the Runtime Environment. A feature that gives Ringo developers (nearly) the full power of Java at their fingertips, and let's them take advantage of available Java libraries within their application. You can call a class' static methods, access constants, instantiate new objects, and so forth.

There are three ways to integrate your Java classes (class files) and libraries (jar files) with Ringo:

  1. Drop the Java class or library into the classpath.
  2. Drop the Java library (jar file) in the Ringo lib directory.
  3. Add the Java library (jar file) or package (directory) to the classpath.

Dropping the Java class or library into the classpath allows seamless integration with Ringo (i.e. explicit declaration of which Java classes and libraries are to be added to the classpath is not required). An alternate way to seamlessly integrate libraries with Ringo is to drop the jar file in the lib directory. All the jar files in this directory are included in the classpath by default.

Finally, libraries and packages may be explicitly added to the classpath at runtime by calling the global addToClasspath(pathName) function in Ringo. The addToClasspath() function takes a single argument: the pathName, which is the absolute path name of the library or package to be added to the classpath. To add path names in the module path using the same lookup rules as the module loader, use the module.resolve(pathName) function. It takes a single argument: the pathName, which is the given path name in the module path and returns its absolute path.

To add a library to the classpath, use:


To add a package to the classpath, use:


Best Practice

It's generally a good practice to explicitly add specific libraries and packages to the classpath by using the addToClasspath() function in your Ringo modules, for the following reasons:


The first example shows how your application can use standard Java classes and methods:

// Packages is a top-level variable by Rhino to
// to access Java packages in your JS code
var user = new Packages.com.yourbusiness.User();

// Rhino provides a shortcut for java.* Packages
var log10 = java.lang.StrictMath.log10(1517.19234);

To load a whole package you can use importPackage(package):

// Add the Jena library to the classpath

// Import a whole package from the loaded library

// Use the com.hp.hpl.jena.query.Query class
var query = new Query();

For more information about Rhino's Java integration look at this article.

Internals of Java Class Loading

During the startup Ringo's custom classloader looks for classes and other resources in the $RINGO_HOME\lib directory. This directory contains all of the core classes and their dependencies. You can override this path by specifying a Java system property ringo.classpath.

Calling the global function addToClasspath() will invoke an org.ringojs.engine.AppClassLoader, which is a subclass of java.net.URLClassLoader. It checks if the URL has been already loaded and if not, adds it to the resource search path. If the given URL ends with / it will be treated as directory, otherwise it's assumed to refer to a JAR file. The AppClassLoader itself is tied to a Rhino engine.