Although classes are the central unit ofobject-oriented design in Java, packages provide an additional level of organizational support. Packages are used to store setsor related classes and interfaces. (packages usually correspond to a directory in which you store your class files). As such,packages define relationships between classes and how they should work together. They also protect the name space sincethey provide the JVM another way to identify classes by name. Thus, you may have two classes of the same name so long as they reside in separate packages.
You can specifically define a package name using the "package" keyword on the first line of aclass such as in:
Another benefit of using packages is it allows you to refernce entire packages of classes using the "import"keyword. Thus, rather than specifying a class absolutely, youcan import its package and reference it relative to its package.Thus, you often see the line:
In this case, you can use any class inthe awt package using only its name. Consider the following code:
public class myApplet extends Applet
Without the import, you would need to write the following:
public class myApplet extends java.applet.Applet
Note that you get all the classes in java.lang for free since it isloaded automatically by the JVM
Relationships between classes arealso handled by modifiers or access specifiers. We'll talkabout this in just a minute.