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3 The Class File Format

This chapter recapitulates the Java Virtual Machine class file format. Each class file contains the definition of a single class or interface. The official description of the class file format is given in Chapter 4 of The Java Virtual Machine Specification [Lindholm-Yellin]. This chapter gives only an overview, in order to give a comprehensive description of where the BML specifications are stored.

A class file contains the following items:

The last item is an array of atributes that describe additional information associated with a class file. A standard Java Virtual Machine recognizes attributes SourceFile and Deprecated. BML-related class attributes, such as class specifications, declarations of ghost fields etc. and the second constant pool that contains all specification-only constants, are described in Class Attributes.