Pack200: A Packed Class Deployment Format For Java™ Applications
JSR-200 Public Draft Specification



1. Introduction

This document specifies an archive format called "Pack200". It is optimized for applications written in the Javatm programming language. Such applications are usually delivered as collections of classes, sometimes with associated resource files.

This format allows any number (from one to hundreds of thousands) of Java classes to be encoded by a compressor, transmitted compactly in a single block of bytes, and decoded by a decompressor into equivalent Java class files. Because it can also represent class resources and other "side files", it can serve as an alternative to the JAR archive for some deployment tasks, notably downloading Java applications.

The Pack200 format can decrease the size of a Java application by a factor of seven to nine, compared with an equivalent JAR containing uncompressed ("stored") class files. By contrast, using the zip DEFLATE algorithm integral to JAR and ZIP archives gains a factor of two. The undocumented "crunch" mechanism, used to deploy SDK downloads in the past, gains a corresponding factor of five to six. Note that all these figures assume and incorporate the effects of a post-pass with DEFLATE or a similar off-the-shelf compression algorithm. (DEFLATE is documented here.)

The main motivation for this format is to decrease disk and bandwidth requirements for Java application packaging, transmission, and delivery. An earlier version has been used to package the downloads for Java 2 Standard Edition release 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 (code names "Hopper" and "Mantis").

This format is not intended for fast loading into a virtual machine, and does not attempt to improve start-up speed or memory footprint in running Java applications. The heavy engineering requirements on a directly loadable file format would make optimal compression impossible. The decompressor of an aggressively compressed file will have a complex job to do, and must be allowed memory and CPU time to do this job. We assume that Pack200 archives will be unpacked on the same classes of machine that run Java SE and J2EE applications.

This format is batch-oriented, optimized for packaging and transmission of Java classes. It does not support random access of individually stored classes. In order to emphasize the sequential nature of this archive format, we will use the verb transmit, rather than store, to refer to the formatting of data produced by a compressor and accepted by a decompressor.

This format does not attempt to duplicate work performed by DEFLATE or other byte-oriented compression algorithms. Typically, tools using Pack200 will further compress archives by storing them in ZIP files or using some other compression technique. The presence of such a post-pass compressor is an assumption made by the design of Pack200.

This specification is complex, and may seen to some readers needlessly complex. The design decisions reflected here have been motivated by extensive testing and experimentation with actual Java class files found in real products. An attempt to remove complexity from this specification is likely also to remove measurably significant compression efficiency.

2. Archive Inputs

A Pack200 archive, like a JAR file, carries images of class files and other ("resource") files arranged in a hierarchical directory structure.

No special compression or transformation is performed on any file other than class files, other than (possibly) reordering them by file type. The post-pass compressor is assumed to provide adequate compression on those spans of the archive which carry images of non-class files.

Classes are represented in a form which suppresses their individual constant pools, in favor of a large constant pool that serves the entire archive. Thus, when a class file is extracted from a Pack200 archive, a new constant pool will be created for it, and all constant pool references adjusted. This does not change the semantics of the class, but it will generally modify the bitwise image of the file, and perhaps even its size, as unused constant pool entries are deleted.

Note that every class file must be fully parsed by the compressor, so that all constant pool indexes may be found and (later) renumbered. This requirement applies to any class, field, method, or code attribute which refers to the constant. The Pack200 format supports a moderate range of attributes. A modest variety of new attribute layouts may be declared to the compressor, and the Pack200 format provides a place to transmit such layouts for use by decompressors.

3. Archive File Structure Summary

The archive file consists of a short archive header, followed by a number of independent file sections called bands. (There are about 100 of them; this number can vary.) Each band transmits an array of small integers, called the elements of the band. After the archive header, the archive consists only of bands.

Logically, a band is an implicitly sized array of 32-bit unsigned integers. However, it is rare for a band to physically require more than one or two bytes per element, since element encodings are chosen to transmit the actual band values more compactly.

A band has no fixed header, not even an indication of its size. The count of band elements is deduced by the decompressor from the contents of previous bands, or (ultimately) from the archive header.

The elements of any given band have a common meaning and role. For example, the names of all transmitted classes are in a single band, while all the class field counts are in a different band. Each band is transmitted as a contiguous segment of bytes within the archive. This contiguity is the main reason that a Pack200 archive, while compact to begin with, is very compressible by utilities like zip.

In some bands, each element helps describe one object. For example, each class is associated with a count of fields, which is given in the archive as a corresponding value in the class_field_count band. In other bands, one object may be described by a run of zero or more elements in a band. For example, the interfaces implemented by a class are given in the archive as a corresponding run of zero or more values in the class_interface band; each such value is an index referring to a single class.

A very few bands (less than 10) contain non-homogeneous bytes, such as the images of resource files. These few are called byte bands. Many of the bands contain references into the constant pool. Some contain access modifier flags and related bits. One band, called the char band, contains string characters in a specially chosen encoding called "CHAR3" (somewhat akin to UTF8, but not identical). The rest of the bands transmit integers with a variety of other interpretations.

One of the integer bands (cp_Utf8_big_chars) carries the characters of a single CONSTANT_Utf8 string selected for special treatment. Uniquely, this band is repeated zero or more times, depending on how many strings are selected for this special treatment. (These specially-transmitted "big strings" are explained later in this document.)

Most bands have an easily understood function, such as transmitting the number of methods in a class, or the name of a field, or the operand of a "getfield" bytecode instruction.

Except for the special case of byte bands, a band is never considered as a sized span of bytes, but rather as a counted series of elements which are encoded integers. Since integer encodings are typically variable-sized (when regarded as byte sequences), there is no firm rule for deriving a band's byte size from its element count. Indeed, finding the end of a band requires that it be parsed byte-by-byte.

4. Introduction to Integer Encodings

Each band uses one or more coding tactics to encode its elements as sequences of bytes. (The post-pass compressor is expected to turn these bytes into bit sequences, but its actions are not specified by this document.) The Pack200 compressor is free to choose and vary encoding tactics used by a band. The encoding tactics used in one band are independent of those used in other bands. The space of supported encoding tactics is an important part of the Pack200 specification. The present section introduces these encodings, which are defined in detail later in this document.

As one might expect, byte bands (which encode bytewise data such as the resource file images) encode their integers as unsigned 8-bit bytes. This encoding is named BYTE1 in this specification. (Compare the type "u1" in the class file definition.)

Other bands have values with a much larger dynamic range, including (in a few cases) negative numbers, and/or values all the way up to the 32-bit unsigned maximum. Most of these encodings are variable-length, in the expectation that the typical band element will be relatively small in magnitude, even though some elements may be large and require more bytes to represent. Some bands that are expected to exhibit strong correlations in their element sequences are encoded as successive differences (delta encoding) rather than absolute numeric values.

Each band is associated with a primary encoding which the compressor and decompressor agree to use when transmitting elements of that band. Except in the byte bands, the compressor can optionally specify a secondary encoding to use instead of the primary encoding. In essence, the band's encoding defaults to the primary, unless there is an explicitly declared secondary. This allows the Pack200 format to adapt more closely to the actual statistics of band elements.

For example, most bands, such as those holding counts and sizes, have a primary encoding called UNSIGNED5. This is a general-purpose unsigned encoding which represents values in the range [0..191] as a single byte, and scales up to a maximum size of five bytes for numbers larger than about fifty million. However, if a band contains only numbers in the range [0,255], the BYTE1 encoding is more compact, and the compressor is allowed to instruct the decompressor to use this instead.

When the compressor specifies a secondary encoding, it must emit an optional band coding specifier, which is described elsewhere. A customized encoding method often saves many bytes, if it matches more precisely the actual dynamic range of the band's element values.

4.1. Integer Encoding Schema

The Pack200 format is based on a schema of integer encoding systems, parameterized by four numbers (B,H,S,D). From this infinite set, about 10 selected encodings serve as primary encodings for bands, and about 100 more serve as optional encodings. The system of (B,H,S,D) encodings is explained at length in a later section. For the present purposes, a brief introduction will suffice.

The parameter B (1<=B<=5) is the maximum length in bytes of the encoding of a single integer. Less significant bits are always encoded in earlier bytes.

The parameter H (1<=H<=256) is the radix of the encoding. it also determines the conditions under which the encoding's byte sequences terminate. The co-parameter L (0<=L<=255) is defined as (256-H). Encoded byte sequences are allowed to contain only one byte with a value less than L, and that byte must be the last in the sequence. Thus, larger H values make for longer average encoding lengths. If H is 256 and L is zero, then the encoding method is fixed-length, because all encodings must be exactly B bytes long.

The parameter S (0<=S<=2) determines whether and how the encoding represents signed numbers. (More precisely, since band elements are conventionally regarded as unsigned 32-bit integers, S determines the coding of band elements larger than the largest 31-bit unsigned number, 2147483647. But we shall continue to refer to such numbers as negative, where the distinction is irrelevant.) S denotes the number of least-significant bits which serve as a sign bit. If S is zero, the numbers are unsigned. If S is one, the LSB of the unsigned number is exclusive-ored into the right-shifted remainder of the unsigned number to produce a corresponding signed number. If S is more than one, the signed number produced is negative only if all S least-significant bits are set, and otherwise these low bits contribute to the positive magnitude of the integer. This representation is efficient for bands containing mostly-positive numbers, such as bytecode branch offsets. The interpretation of sign bits is more precisely described elsewhere.

The parameter D (0<=D<=1) determines whether the band transmits its data via successive differences (i.e., delta encoding). In writing these encodings, the parameters S and D may be omitted if both are zero, and D may be omitted if zero.

Thus, the encoding (1,256,0,0), also written as (1,256), represents numbers as unsigned bytes, while (4,256) represents numbers as unsigned little-endian 32-bit integers. The encoding (1,256,1) maps single bytes to numbers in the range [-128,127]. The encoding (1,256,1,1) expresses any sequence of numbers whose successive differences are in the range [-128,127] (and whose first number is in that range).

The very common encoding UNSIGNED5 can represent the full unsigned range of 32-bit integers. A byte sequence in this encoding consists either of four bytes less than 192 followed by an arbitrary byte, or else from zero to three bytes less than 192 followed by a byte greater than or equal to 192. The unsigned value is formed by scaling each succeeding byte by successive powers of the radix 64, and adding all the scaled byte values together.

value byte 0 byte 1 byte 2 byte 3 byte 4
1 1        
191 191        
192 192 0      
193 193 0      
255 255 0      
256 192 1      
512 192 5      
1024 192 13      
2048 192 29      
12479 255 191      
12480 192 192 0    
798911 255 255 191    
798912 192 192 192 0  
51130559 255 255 255 191  
51130560 192 192 192 192 0
0xFFFFFFFF 255 252 252 252 252

Here is the set of primary encodings used by at least one band:

Type Name Purpose
(1,256) BYTE1 bytes
(3,128) CHAR3 Java characters
(5,4) BCI5 bytecode positions
(5,4,2) BRANCH5 bytecode branch offsets
(5,64) UNSIGNED5 general unsigned ints
(5,64,1) SIGNED5 general signed ints
(5,64,0,1) UDELTA5 monotonic sequences
(5,64,1,1) DELTA5 autocorrelated sequences
(5,64,2,1) MDELTA5 mostly monotonic sequences

5. Band Definitions

The file as a whole consists of about 200 bands in four major groups. After a header, the constant pool contents come first, followed by most of the class schema, followed by a consolidation of all attribute information (for classes, fields, methods, codes, and the archive as a whole), and ending with bytecodes for all methods.

Rather than describe the bands in a long and dull sequence, we use a simple, non-recursive grammar to present them in an organized fashion. This grammar roughly parallels the grammar of a class file:

        *band_headers :BYTE1

The terminals of this grammar are scalars and bands. To make the terminals easier to recognize, scalar names begin with pound sign "#" and band names begin with a star "*". A scalar is an encoded integer (or a small fixed number of them) which appears within the header of the archive file. When a scalar is mentioned in the grammar, it is followed by a colon and the encoding and bracketed count of the scalar value(s). Whenever a band is mentioned, it is followed by a colon and its primary encoding, followed by a comment in square brackets indicating its length. If the band encodes references into some other data structure, such as a constant pool, that structure is mentioned as a comment in parentheses. If the references are allowed to be null, that fact is mentioned also.

Here is an example:

        #single_scalar_integer :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #four_byte_scalar :BYTE1[4]
        *band_of_integers :UNSIGNED5 [#integer_count]
        *band_of_method_references :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*ref_counts)] (cp_Method)
        *band_of_strings_and_nulls :UNSIGNED5 [...] (null or cp_String)

Many of the band lengths are simply references to previous scalars (such as [#class_count]) or sums of previous bands which transmit counts (e.g., [SUM(*class_method_count)]). These bracketed lengths must be regarded as comments in the grammar, since the text of the specification defines band lengths verbally. Band counts which cannot be briefly summarized as sometimes specified in a partial expression which contains an ellipsis.

Occasionally we use additional grammatical notations. We use the ordinary regular expression operators (X | Y) means a match for either X or Y, (X)* means any number of matches for X, (X)+ means one or more matches for X, and (X)? means either a match for X or nothing. In one case, where a band may have several instances, the expression (band1) ** length(band2) means that there are as many instances of band1 as there are elements in band2. Likewise, in three cases, the expression (band1) ** #scalar indicates that there are zero or one instances of band1 according to the value (zero or one, respectively) of the boolean scalar value.

5.1. Archive Segmentation

The entire Pack200 archive format may be repeated one or more times in a transmission to the decompressor. In this case, each complete set of transmitted bands bands is viewed as a segment of the whole transmission. The decompressor is required to accept multiple segments, and to process each segment independently in order. The output files resulting from each segment are accumulated in order. If the decompressor is producing a JAR file, multiple segments must be accumulated into one output JAR file, whose elements are made up of the respective elements transmitted in each segment, in order.
Note that each segment begins anew with the Pack200 magic number and version numbers.

(With one caveat, this means that Pack200 archives may be concatenated with the natural meaning of combining the archives they represent. As will be seen below, if the #archive_size field is not present in each segment header, it must be inserted before another segment is appended, so that the decompressor can find the end of each segment. The segment header format is such that this adjustment can be made easily.)

When combined with a streaming transport layer, segmentation provides a way for a compressor to decrease latency or to decrease the decompressor's memory requirements, at a cost in compressor efficiency.

Segmentation can also help solve a scaling problem with very large archives (of many tens of megabytes), in which the width of indexes into the combined global constant pools can grow beyond the benefits of global constant sharing. By starting a new segment, the compressor resets the decompressor's constant pools, clearing out useless constants, at the cost of restating constants that are still in use. (The trade-offs are similar in flavor to the design of copying garbage collectors.)

5.2. Archive Header

The header consists of a magic number and version information, in a format exactly parallel to the Java class file format. However, besides the magic number, there are no other big-endian integers in the Pack200 format. All integer encodings in bands present arithmetically less-significant bits first.

Only the archive magic numbers (the first four bytes of the segment header) are fixed in size. All other archive structures are variable in size and must therefore be parsed sequentially. Generally speaking, decompressors must perform two passes over each segment of the archive, one to size and parse the bands, and one to sequentially extract information from the bands into each JAR element in the output.

        archive_magic archive_header

        #archive_magic_word :BYTE1[4]

        #archive_minver :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #archive_majver :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #archive_options :UNSIGNED5[1]
        (archive_file_counts) ** (#have_file_headers)
        (archive_special_counts) ** (#have_special_formats)

        #archive_size_hi :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #archive_size_lo :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #archive_next_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #archive_modtime :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #file_count :UNSIGNED5[1]

The archive_magic_word consists of the four bytes 0xCA, 0xFE, 0xD0, 0x0D. The #archive_minver must be the number 1. The #archive_majver must be the number 160. Both of the latter two values may be incremented in the future to reflect small revisions in this file format. Note that in a previous version of this standard, the minor and major version numbers were 7 and 150.

The header also contains initial counts of constant pool entries and other "top-level" entities. All of these counts are given in UNSIGNED5 format. Some of these counts are conditionally present, controlled by bits in the #archive_options word. The rule for a missing header value (and for missing values in general unless otherwise specified) is that the decompressor must behave as if it had received an explicit zero value.

5.2.1. Archive Options and File Properties

The #archive_options word is interpreted bitwise. Certain bits are given symbolic names as follows, where the LSB is numbered as bit zero:
Bit Name Meaning if set in #archive_options
0 have_special_formats archive_special_counts contains counts
1 have_cp_numbers cp_number_counts contains counts
2 have_all_code_flags code_flags_lo contains an element for every code
3   (unused, must be zero)
4 have_file_headers archive_file_counts contains counts
5 deflate_hint request compressed JAR file for all elements
6 have_file_modtime file_modtime contains modtimes
7 have_file_options file_options contains option bits
8 have_file_size_hi file_size_hi contains high-order size words
9 have_class_flags_hi class_flags_hi contains extra attribute flags
10 have_field_flags_hi field_flags_hi contains extra attribute flags
11 have_method_flags_hi method_flags_hi contains extra attribute flags
12 have_code_flags_hi code_flags_hi contains extra attribute flags
13   (unused, must be zero)
...   (unused, must be zero)
31   (unused, must be zero)

If have_special_formats (the LSB) is set, the band archive_special_counts will have two elements, as specified in the grammar. Otherwise this band will have zero elements. Similarly, if have_cp_numbers is set, the band cp_number_counts will have four elements, as specified in the grammar. Otherwise this band will have zero elements. If have_all_code_flags is set, the band code_flags must contain one element for every Code attribute. Otherwise this band may have fewer elements. (This option is useful when Code attributes are rich in sub-attributes, perhaps because the JAR contains large amounts of debugging information.) If have_file_headers is set, the band archive_file_counts will have five elements, as specified in the grammar. Otherwise this band will have zero elements. If deflate_hint is set, the decompressor is requested (but not required) to reduce the size of its output. For example, if it produces a JAR file, it may deflate the JAR elements. If the option have_file_modtime (or have_file_options, have_file_size_hi, have_class_flags_hi, have_field_flags_hi, have_method_flags_hi, have_code_flags_hi, respectively) is set, the corresponding band file_modtime (or file_options, file_size_hi, class_flags_hi, field_flags_hi, method_flags_hi, code_flags_hi, respectively) may be non-empty, as specified below. Otherwise that band will have zero elements. Other bits in the archive options must be zero and are reserved for future use.

Immediately after the #archive_options word is a pair of 32-bit numbers which together form a 64-bit length that helps decompressors easily buffer incoming data up to the end of the archive segment without reading beyond the segment. The value #archive_size is the unsigned 64-bit value composed of the unsigned 32-bit words #archive_size_lo and #archive_size_hi, where the former value is the low-order 32-bit word and the latter value is the high-order 32-bit word. The value #archive_size is either zero or declares the number of bytes in the archive segment, starting immediately after #archive_size_lo and before #archive_next_count and ending with the last band, the *file_bits band. (That is, a non-zero size includes the size of #archive_next_count, *file_bits, and everything in between.) This value is redundant, but if non-zero must be correctly supplied by any compressor. If the archive segment is transmitted as part of a stream, and if other data (such as additional segments) follow the archive, the #archive_size value must not be zero. Although it may be completely ignored by the decompressor, this value may help some decompressors to buffer their inputs more efficiently.

Immediately after #archive_size is another value #archive_next_count which estimates the number of archive segments immediately following the current one. This number need not be correct, and may always be zero. It is intended to provide decompressors with a hint as to the amount of remaining decompression work to do. (Such hints are routinely displayed in progress bars.)

If the #archive_modtime value is non-zero, the decompressor is requested (but not required) to adjust the system-specific modification time for its output. For example, if the decompressor produces a JAR file, it may set the modification date of each JAR element, or of the JAR file itself, to that date, in the absence of any more specific directive, such a non-zero file_modtime value. The #archive_modtime value is interpreted as the number of seconds since the epoch used by System.currentTimeMillis, which is 1/1/1970, 00:00:00 GMT. However, the special value zero is reserved to indicate the absence of any modification time for the archive as a whole. A decompressor may supply an arbitrary value in place of a missing archive modification time. If this is done, and if file_modtime values are present, those values are interpreted relative to modification time supplied for #archive_modtime by the compressor.

The #file_count value gives the number of files which are described in detail by the archive. Note that a class file which is simple enough (as described below) does not need to be described as a file, because it is enough that the class itself is transmitted. Therefore, #file_count may be less than the number of transmitted classes. (This latter number is called #class_count.) On the other hand, transmitted files do not need to contain classes, so that #file_count can also be greater than the number of classes.

5.2.2. Archive Entity Counts and Class Format

The archive file specifies twelve sets of constants called "constant pools". (These structures are analogous, but not identical, to a similarly named structure in class files.) These constant pools are described in detail in the next section.

The cardinality of each constant pool is given in UNSIGNED5 format in the cp_counts structure of the archive header:

        #cp_Utf8_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        (cp_number_counts) ** (#have_cp_numbers)
        #cp_String_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Class_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Signature_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Descr_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Field_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Method_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Imethod_count :UNSIGNED5[1]

        #cp_Int_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Float_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Long_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #cp_Double_count :UNSIGNED5[1]

        #band_headers_size :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #attr_definition_count :UNSIGNED5[1]

        #ic_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #default_class_minver :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #default_class_majver :UNSIGNED5[1]
        #class_count :UNSIGNED5[1]
The order in which these counts occur parallels the order in which the constant pools themselves are transmitted in the archive. This order is called the definition order of the constant pools.

The four numeric constant pools are sized by cp_number_counts. They specify numbers used occasionally by ldc bytecodes. Because a minority of classes actually use such bytecodes, the sizes are optional, under the control of #have_cp_numbers.

Every class file has a header that includes magic number and a minor and major version numbers. The magic number (0xCAFEBABE), being a fixed constant, is not transmitted in the Pack200 archive. However, the version numbers, which can vary somewhat, must be recorded.

In the expectation that particular version numbers will be prevalent, the archive header transmits default major and minor version numbers. Both of these numbers are given in UNSIGNED5 format.

Individual classes in the archive (as noted below) may optionally specify their own version numbers in a pseudo-attribute which overrides the #default_class_minver and #default_class_majver given in the archive header.

The count #band_headers_size gives the size in bytes of band_headers. The format of these bytes, which help define band coding specifiers for secondary codings, will be discussed much later, in the section on meta-coding.

The archive header also specifies the number of attribute types (#attr_definition_count), class definitions (#class_count), nested class declarations (#ic_count). These numbers are used to size various other bands, as noted in the definition of those bands.

The arithmetic sum of all 12 constant pool counts must be less than the value 536870912 (2^29). A compressor is forbidden to transmit an archive for which the sum reaches or exceeds this limit. This constraint is intended to allow decompressors to use, internally, a unified numbering of constants, even if certain constants (such as demangled inner class names or implicit SourceFile names) must be added on the fly during decompression to the constant pool.

Note on implementation: Because cp_counts transmits as many as 12 numbers, there are as many as 26 32-bit integers transmitted in the archive header. The segment header contains three optional sub-bands, containing two, five, and four values. The minimum size of the segment_header is therefore 19 bytes and its hypothetical maximum is 134 bytes. Moreover, a decompressor which wished to avoid any spurious read-ahead could read and buffer an initial block of 19 bytes, which would be certain to contain the #archive_size fields. (This assumes that the version numbers are small, as they are.) It could then immediately parse enough information to determine how many additional bytes of buffer storage would be required to scan the rest of the archive, at least up to the resource file images. By the time the resource file images in *file_bits must be parsed, the decompressor will have already read the *file_size bands, and will be able to remove any uncertainty originally present in #archive_size. (If the #archive_size fields are zero, the decompressor may be forced to read blindly up to the end of all data on the input channel in order to parse the archive.)

5.3. Constant Pools

There are twelve independent constant pools, eleven of which correspond directly to eleven types of constants in the Java class file format. In the Pack200 archive format, they are organized in a fixed logical ordering called their definition order. This order determines their presentation in the archive's band structure, and also the construction of certain constant numberings.

The constant pools consolidate the information in the constant pools of all input class files. Each constant pool contains a single type of constant value. Each of the eleven constant pool types found in class files is placed in its own constant pool. A twelfth pool holds signatures, which in class files are UTF8 strings that represent method and field types, but in Pack200 archives are a separately compressed data type.

The following table gives the twelve constant pools in their definition order. It also defines their correspondence with the constant types found in the Java class file format.

Name class file element class file tag Purpose
cp_Utf8 ConstantPool.cpUtf8 CONSTANT_Utf8 basic string data
cp_Int ConstantPool.cpInteger CONSTANT_Integer int constant
cp_Float ConstantPool.cpFloat CONSTANT_Float float constant
cp_Long ConstantPool.cpLong CONSTANT_Long long constant
cp_Double ConstantPool.cpDouble CONSTANT_Double double constant
cp_String ConstantPool.cpString CONSTANT_String String constant
cp_Class ConstantPool.cpClass CONSTANT_Class class reference
cp_Signature (see below) (none) method, field, or variable type
cp_Descr ConstantPool.cpNameAndType CONSTANT_NameAndType pair of (name, type)
cp_Field ConstantPool.cpFieldref CONSTANT_Fieldref field reference
cp_Method ConstantPool.cpMethodref CONSTANT_Methodref method call
cp_Imethod ConstantPool.cpInterfaceMethodref CONSTANT_InterfaceMethodref interface call
(none) CONSTANT_Unicode unused type

Each constant pool is logically a set of symbolic or numeric values, all of one type. In the Pack200 archive, it is structured as a sequence of such values, each with a unique index within the sequence. Elsewhere in the archive, whenever a constant must be mentioned, its index within the appropriate constant pool (or within a subset of a pool) is given. (Pool subsets will be described in passing along with the bands that contain references into them.)

Unlike the class file format, constant pool indexing in the Pack200 archive format starts at zero. In the rare places where null references are expected, the possibility is documented, and the null references themselves are encoded by a zero index, while all other index values are incremented by one. Where null references are not expected, they may still be encoded by the 32-bit index value -1.

Also unlike class files, there are no "gaps" or unused indexes associated with long or double values. Occasionally, we will refer formally to an element of a constant pool by using array notation. For example, the first three integers in the cp_Int constant pool are cp_Int[0], cp_Int[1], and cp_Int[2], and the last integer is cp_Int[cp_Int_count-1]. Note that both bands and constant pools are treated in this specification as arrays with zero origin.

It is illegal for a compressor to transmit the same constant twice. That is, all constant pool entries must be unique.

In a class file, with a few exceptions, constant pool references are strongly typed, in that every reference either is null or refers to a constant pool entry of a fixed tag associated with the context of the reference. The exceptions are ConstantValue attributes and operand fields of the ldc, ldc_w, and ldc2_w instructions.

However, because constant pools in a Pack200 archive are separately indexed, all constant references must be strongly typed, so that there is only one constant pool (or subset of a pool) into which any given index applies. This is accomplished either by deducing the constant type from context (in the case of ConstantValue attributes) or adding extra information to the context of the reference. (Within the bytecode stream, ldc is split out by constant type into distinct instructions aldc, ildc, etc.)

The layout of constant pool bands in the archive follows the definition order of the constant pools themselves. Each constant pool is represented in its turn by a sequence of one or more bands. The sequence of constant pool bands is therefore structured as follows:

        *cp_Int :UDELTA5 [#cp_Int_count]
        *cp_Float :UDELTA5 [#cp_Float_count]
        *cp_String :UDELTA5 [#cp_String_count] (cp_Utf8)
        *cp_Class :UDELTA5 [#cp_Class_count] (cp_Utf8)

As can be seen here, constant pools whose entries can be derived from a single 32-bit integer or a single reference are represented as single bands. The other constant pools are represented as groups of bands. Each constant pool gives its name to a corresponding grammar element. This production of cp_bands declares the order of each band or group of bands that transmits the constants in the eponymous constant pool.

Note the use of UDELTA5 as primary encodings for several bands. Although the Pack200 file format does not require any particular ordering of values in constant pools, it is generally advantageous to order them so that the encoded values in bands using UDELTA5 are monotonically increasing. (Negative deltas can be encoded, although expensively, by UDELTA5. Also, a signed secondary encoding may be chosen by the compressor instead of UDELTA5.) The choice of primary encodings in this specification reflects an expectation that high-quality compressors, when presented with a choice of output orderings, will make choices that result in good use of primary band encodings.

5.3.1. Scalar Constants
The encoding of the cp_Utf8 constant pool will be described shortly. First we will describe the coding of the numeric, string, and class constant pools.

The values in the cp_Int constant pool are directly represented by the values encoded in its band. The values in the cp_Float constant pool are obtained as if by applying java.lang.Float.intBitsToFloat to the 32-bit values encoded in its band.

The 64-bit values of the cp_Long band are obtained by adjoining, as high and low words, corresponding 32-bit values from the two bands cp_Long_hi and cp_Long_lo. (They contain the high and low words, respectively.) Likewise, the values of the cp_Double band are obtained by first adjoining high and low words from two other bands, and then retyping the resulting 64-bit integers as if by applying java.lang.Double.longBitsToDouble. The high and low words are in the bands cp_Double_hi and cp_Double_lo, respectively.

        *cp_Long_hi :UDELTA5 [#cp_Long_count]
        *cp_Long_lo :DELTA5 [#cp_Long_count]

        *cp_Double_hi :UDELTA5 [#cp_Double_count]
        *cp_Double_lo :DELTA5 [#cp_Double_count]

When floating point values are eventually written to class files, their bits must be accurately stored, as if they were processed by java.lang.Float.floatToRawIntBits or java.lang.Double.doubleToRawLongBits. In this way "NaN" values are transmitted faithfully, without normalization.

(Note: Although it would be possible to extend the band-coding techniques of Pack200 to encode 64-bit values directly, this file format always transmits 64-bit values as pairs of 32-bit values, transmitted in pairs of bands. This simplifies implementations, allowing them to process band data with 32-bit data paths.)

Each string in a cp_String constant pool is represented in its band by a reference to the string's spelling, as a cp_Utf8 constant.

Likewise, each class in a cp_Class constant pool is represented in its band by a reference to the class's spelling, as a cp_Utf8 constant. (As in the class file and the VM, the spelling uses the slash character to delimit package prefix components.)

5.3.2. Utf8 Constants
Each value in the cp_Utf8 constant pool is an array of zero or more 16-bit Java characters. (The name "Utf8" is an anachronism, referring only to the basic character string type in Java class files. No part of the Pack200 file format uses any UTF encoding, but the term "Utf8" is retained to emphasize the connection with class files.) As in the class file format, all character string data is transmitted in this one kind of constant pool entry. When the context is clear enough, we loosely refer to these arrays as "strings", even though they are distinct from the Java constants in the cp_String constant pool.

If cp_Utf8 is not empty, its first value is always the empty string. Thus, the empty string is always given an index of zero. No band values are transmitted to represent this empty string. (Values in the bands cp_Utf8_prefix and cp_Utf8_suffix pertain to strings after the empty string in cp_Utf8.) Because constants cannot be duplicated, all other elements of cp_Utf8 contain at least one character.

Each string in the cp_Utf8 constant pool is represented in the archive file in two parts, a prefix and a suffix. The suffix is represented both by a count and a sequence of character codes. The prefix is represented only by a count; the characters of the prefix are duplicated from the previous string. This technique allows the compressor (if it chooses) to represent strings by means of their successive differences. The first suffix value and the first two prefix values are suppressed in the transmitted archive. The values, if transmitted, would always be zero, since the first cp_Utf8 string is always empty, and the second string can never share a non-empty prefix with the first string.

Each suffix is transmitted in exactly one of two ways, as a small suffix or a big suffix. Small suffixes are transmitted contiguously in one large band. Big suffixes are rare; they are intended as a way to compactly transmit strings with unusual statistics, such as strings which are really tables of numeric data. Each big suffix is transmitted in its own band. This allows the compressor the option to choose an efficiently customized secondary coding for the characters in each large, unusual string.

        *cp_Utf8_prefix :DELTA5      [MAX(0,#cp_Utf8_count-2)]
        *cp_Utf8_suffix :UNSIGNED5   [MAX(0,#cp_Utf8_count-1)]
        *cp_Utf8_chars :CHAR3        [SUM( *cp_Utf8_suffix )]
        *cp_Utf8_big_suffix :DELTA5  [COUNT(0, *cp_Utf8_suffix )]
        (*cp_Utf8_big_chars :DELTA5)
          ** length(cp_Utf8_big_suffix)  [SUM( *cp_Utf8_big_suffix )]
(Note: It is helpful, but not required by this specification, to order the strings lexicographically and find maximal common prefixes between adjacent strings. It is permissible to ignore the prefix sharing feature and declare all prefixes to be zero.)

The band cp_Utf8_suffix contains one less than #cp_Utf8_count elements. It specifies, in order, the small suffix length of each constant pool string (except the implicit first string, which is empty). The band cp_Utf8_prefix contains two less than #cp_Utf8_count elements. It specifies, in order, the prefix length of each constant pool string (except the first two strings, which always have zero prefix lengths). The prefix length encodes the length of a prefix substring shared by both cp_Utf8[i-1] and cp_Utf8[i]. If there are fewer than three strings in cp_Utf8, then cp_Utf8_prefix is empty. The prefix length is typically a large proportion (sometimes half) of the total length.

Each value in the band cp_Utf8_chars is a 16-bit number expressing a Java character. This band contains the characters of all small suffixes, in order. For each successive string, cp_Utf8_chars contains an additional run of values encoding the characters of its small suffix, if any. Therefore, the total length of this band is the sum of all values in the cp_Utf8_suffix band.

Whenever a small suffix length for a constant pool entry is zero, the string has no small suffix, but a big suffix instead. The length of each big suffix is given by an element of the cp_Utf8_big_suffix band. (Therefore, the length of this band is precisely the count of zero values in the cp_Utf8_suffix band.) Each big suffix is transmitted as a separate band of 16-bit character values, one band element per character. There is one such band per big suffix. These bands immediately follow the cp_Utf8_big_suffix band, and are collectively called the cp_Utf8_big_chars bands. Although normally data of the same type are collected into a single band, these strings are placed in separate bands so that they may be independently encoded. These strings typically encode arrays of binary data, rather than true Java characters.

A big suffix can have a length of zero, which means that the constant pool entry is a non-empty prefix of the previous string. In such a case, the corresponding suffix band will occupy no space in the archive file, since bands of zero length occupy no bytes at all.

Please see the Appendix section for pseudo-code explaining this concept.

5.3.3. Type Signatures
Each cp_Signature constant pool entry represents a type string, exactly as field and method types are declared in the class file format. Although the class file format uses simple Utf8 constant pool entries for such strings, the Pack200 file format allocates a separate constant pool for them, in order to use more compact representation than for general strings.

Signature constants are special in that they can contain embedded references to cp_Class constants. The signature constant is equivalent to a Utf8 constant, once the embedded class references are expanded into their spellings. Signature constants are flexible enough to represent arbitrary strings, but are intended for strings that often contain class names following the capital letter ell 'L'. These include field, method, and local variables types, and generic Signature attributes.

Each signature string is decomposed into a form and a sequence of zero or more class references. The class references are obtained by locating in the original signature string all sequences that match the pattern "Lclassname", removing the classname part, and treating it as a reference into the cp_Class constant pool. The form is defined as the residue after the class names have been removed from the original string.

The form is not allowed to contain any occurrences of the letter ell ('L'), other than those which mark removed class names.

Thus, the form will contain the character 'L' wherever the original type string refers to a class. By counting the number of these characters in a form, the decompressor may deduce the number of classes to which the original type string refers. This number is called the class length of the form.

Note that cp_Class constants are not required to refer to existing classes, nor are they even required to have valid class name spellings. Therefore, the compressor has considerable latitude in choosing which class names (if any) it will extract from signature strings. In an extreme case, the compressor can make each form identical to its corresponding signature string, and simply satisfy its class length by emitting references to a fictitious class with an empty name. (This class length would have to include any occurrences of 'L' in the class names themselves.)

Note also that these encoding rules do not require a class name to be followed by any particular character, although it will generally be a semicolon, or perhaps a left-angle bracket, in the case of an instance of a generic type in a Signature attribute.

The rules also allow the compressor to decide, arbitrarily, how many characters (if any) after each letter ell 'L' will be transmitted as part of a class name. Therefore, a given signature string may be representable by several forms, any of which the decompressor must be prepared to process.

Here are some examples:

Type Signature String Form Class
F F 0  
[Z [Z 0  
[[[LLL; [[[L; 1 LL
[[[LLL; [[[LLL; 3 (empty), (empty), (empty)
([Ljava/lang/String;)V ([L;)V 1 java/lang/String
Ljava/util/List<Lpkg/Item;>; L<L;>; 2 java/util/List, pkg/Item
(Ljava/lang/String;II)Lpkg/Item; (L;II)L; 2 java/lang/String, pkg/Item
Ljava/util/List<Ljava/lang/Byte;>; L<L;>; 2 java/util/List, java/lang/Byte
<ELEM:>(Ljava/util/List<TELEM;>;)TELEM; <EL:>(L<TEL;>;)TEL; 1 EM, java/util/List, EM, EM
ALLOWABLE ALLOWABLE 3 (empty), (empty), (empty)

The forms of all strings in the cp_Signature constant pool are given in order in the cp_Signature_form band, as one cp_Utf8 reference per signature string. For each form, the class-length sequence of classes required to reconstitute the signature string is transmitted as a run of cp_Class references in the cp_Signature_classes band. As a consequence of these definitions, the length of the cp_Signature_classes band is the total number of letter ell 'L' occurrences in the sequence of spellings of forms mentioned in cp_Signature_form.

        *cp_Signature_form :DELTA5 [#cp_Signature_count](cp_Utf8)
        *cp_Signature_classes :UDELTA5 [COUNT('L',...)] (cp_Class)

Please see the Appendix section for pseudo-code explaining this concept.

5.3.4. Tuple Constants
The remaining constant pools contain ordered pairs of various kinds of values (types, names, strings, or classes). Each cp_Descr constant is an ordered pair of a name (represented as a cp_Utf8 reference) and a type (represented as a cp_Signature reference). These references are transmitted in corresponding elements of the cp_Descr_name and cp_Descr_type bands.

Likewise, each cp_Field, cp_Method, or cp_Imethod constant is an ordered pair of a class (represented as a cp_Class reference) and a name-and-type descriptor (represented as a cp_Descr reference). Again, these references are transmitted in corresponding elements of the associated bands.

        *cp_Descr_name :DELTA5 [#cp_Descr_count] (cp_Utf8)
        *cp_Descr_type :UDELTA5 [#cp_Descr_count] (cp_Signature)
        *cp_Field_class :DELTA5 [#cp_Field_count] (cp_Class)
        *cp_Field_desc :UDELTA5 [#cp_Field_count] (cp_Descr)
        *cp_Method_class :DELTA5 [#cp_Method_count] (cp_Class)
        *cp_Method_desc :UDELTA5 [#cp_Method_count] (cp_Descr)
        *cp_Imethod_class :DELTA5 [#cp_Imethod_count] (cp_Class)
        *cp_Imethod_desc :UDELTA5 [#cp_Imethod_count] (cp_Descr)

5.4. File Attributes

Since a JAR archive consists of a sequence of files, each with contents and a few other attributes, the Pack200 archive can also represent a sequence of files with their attributes. Of course, the contents of class files are specially transmitted, but whether a file (i.e., a JAR archive element) contains a class or another resource, the Pack200 archive is able to transmit the following attributes:

A class file whose contents are compressed by Pack200 is marked as a "stub" with a special option bit. A class stub file must be declared to have a length of zero. It may be declared to have the empty string for its name. If there are not enough class stub files transmitted to match with the number of classes transmitted, the decompressor must act as if the compressor had transmitted an additional series of trivial stubs, with no name or contents, and modification time and deflation hint copied from the archive header.

Each resource file is transmitted in the Pack200 archive as a simple bytewise image, under a relative pathname using slash '/' as a directory separator. (This is the same pathname convention as is used in ZIP archives.) Each file (both resource files and class files) can optionally be associated with a deflation hint and a modification date.

        *file_name :UNSIGNED5 [#file_count] (cp_Utf8)
        *file_size_hi :UNSIGNED5 [#file_count*(#have_file_size_hi)]
        *file_size_lo :UNSIGNED5 [#file_count]
        *file_modtime :DELTA5 [#file_count*(#have_file_modtime)]
        *file_options :UNSIGNED5 [#file_count*(#have_file_options)]
        *file_bits :BYTE1 [SUM(*file_size)]

There are no additional file attributes, such as comments, extra attributes, or CRC values. An application which requires such attributes on some files may encode those files into an appropriate archive file format (such as ZIP), and transmit those archives as resource files in a Pack200 archive.

Each file name is transmitted as an element of the file_name band, and each length (in bytes) is transmitted in the corresponding elements of the file_size_lo band and (if present) the file_size_hi band. All three bands are of length #file_count, except that file_size_hi has zero elements if the have_file_size_hi bit in the #archive_options is clear.

The length in bytes of each file is the corresponding unsigned 32-bit value taken from the file_size_lo band, if the file_size_hi band is empty. Otherwise, the file length is the unsigned 64-bit value composed of the corresonding unsigned 32-bit elements of the file_size_lo and file_size_hi bands, where the former value is the low-order 32-bit word and the latter value is the high-order 32-bit word.

The bytes of all non-class (i.e., resource) files follow immediately in the file_bits band. Each file is given as a corresponding run of byte values.

The optional band file_modtime, if not empty, supplies a modification time for each resource file (and potentially for class files, if class file stubs are present). Each integer value gives a difference (in seconds) from the #archive_modtime value. (Therefore, if the #archive_modtime value is zero, the individual file times must be interpreted as absolute values.) The order of transmission of file_modtime is consistent with file_name. This band is empty if the have_file_modtime bit in the #archive_options is clear.

The optional band file_options, if not empty, supplies flag bits for each resource file (and potentially for class files, if class file stubs are present). This band is empty if the have_file_options bit in the #archive_options is clear. Each file_options word is interpreted bitwise. Certain bits are given symbolic names as follows, where the LSB is numbered as bit zero:

Bit Name Purpose
0 deflate_hint request compressed JAR file element
1 is_class_stub this file contains class bytecodes

If deflate_hint (the LSB) is set, the decompressor is requested (but not required) to reduce the size of its output. For example, if it produces a JAR file, it may deflate the JAR elements. Since the deflate_hint bit in the #archive_options word has the same effect, the two bits are in effect combined with a logical OR for each file. If is_class_stub (the second LSB) is set, this resource file description is actually a stub, and the file contents are defined as the bytecodes of one of the classes defined in the Pack200 archive. Other bits in the file options must be zero and are reserved for future use.

If a transmitted file is marked as a class stub, its contents must be transmitted as if the file were empty. (That is, file_size_hi and file_size_lo must both be zero, and there may not be any corresponding bytes in file_bits.) The decompressor is required to supply contents for the resource file by reconstituting the contents of a class file for a class transmitted in class_this, etc. Like any other resource file, the class stub is allowed to have a name, a modification time and a deflate_hint.

The class stubs and classes correspond in order. Define the derived parameter #class_stub_count as the number of files marked as class stubs. (It is also the count of is_class_stub bits set in file_options.) Then #class_stub_count must be no larger than #class_count. The first class stub defines a file which receives bytecodes for the first class, and so on. Although a class stub has a name (transmitted in file_name), this name may be the empty string. In this case, the decompressor is required to use the standard name for the class file, which is created from the class's bytecode name (using slash '/' for a package separator) by appending the string ".class". (Thus, a classfile can have an arbitrary non-standard name, but the compression works best if its name is derived from its class in the usual way.)

If #class_count is larger than #class_stub_count, then the decompressor must behave as if a sufficient number of trivial extra class stubs were transmitted after the last explicit file. These trivial stubs have an empty name string and a zero deflate_hint or file_modtime.

Thus, in the simple case where there are no class stubs at all (perhaps because have_file_options is zero), the decompressor must produce its files in their transmission order, followed by the transmission order of the classes. Each class file must have its standard name, and a modification time and deflation hint inherited from #archive_modtime and the deflate_hint bit in #archive_options. But at the cost of extra transmission size, the compressor can direct the decompressor to present the resources and class files in any fixed order, with arbitrary names, modification times, and deflation hints for each output file. The decompressor must honor this ordering, if its output is in a form (such as a JAR archive) where order is significant.

Compressors are free, unless otherwise directed, to choose any ordering of files. It is often advantageous to place files with similar statistics next to each other, so that the post-pass compressor (if any) may process their contents together (in the same window, in the case of the DEFLATE algorithm). It is likely that a compressor which is able to reorder its input files for efficient transmission will have a command option which forces it to retain the order in which input files were presented, because this order is significant to some (but not all) deployment applications.

Compressors are free to transmit class files as if they were resource files. This provides a way to transmit class files which must be preserved bit-for-bit, or which compressors cannot transmit compressed with sufficient accuracy. Decompressors are required to accept class files transmitted "bitwise" as resource files.

Note: The bands controlling files and their attributes are transmitted last in the archive, in order to ease decompressor implementation slightly, since the last thing a decompressor does is to assemble output files. In particular, resource files can be of arbitrary size, and placing their bits at the end of the archive allows the decompressor to avoid allocating temporary storage for them.

5.5. Flags and Attributes

The Pack200 file format directly supports up to 16 modifier bits in all output flags fields, as defined by the class file format. It also directly supports certain predefined attributes, such as Code, InnerClasses, and ConstantValue It is also possible for the compressor to define additional attributes, passing enough information to the decompressor to properly extract their data from bands and reconstitute them in class files. The presence or absence of all attributes is controlled by the setting of certain bits in flag bands.

Five sets of flag bands carry modifier bits and/or attribute control bits. The ic_flags band carries modifier bits for nested classes. Also, modifier and attribute control bits are carried by class_flags_lo, field_flags_lo, method_flags_lo, and code_flags_lo, and the four corresponding optional high word bands, class_flags_hi, field_flags_hi, method_flags_hi, and code_flags_hi. (There is no high word for ic_flags.) Each value in these bands is interpreted as an unsigned 32-bit binary number. Each bit in these bands independently specifies the presence of a Java access modifier (such as ACC_PRIVATE), or of a class, field, method, or code attribute (such as Deprecated or SourceFile), or of some other necessary control information (such as whether a class file has a non-default version number).

Every class (resp. field, method, Code attribute) has a corresponding flags value of up to 63 bits transmitted in class_flags_lo (resp., field_flags_lo, method_flags_lo, code_flags_lo) and optionally in class_flags_hi (resp., field_flags_hi, method_flags_hi, code_flags_hi). These flags values, assembled into 64-bit numbers, are named class_flags (resp., field_flags, method_flags, code_flags). Except for Code attributes, each of the low sixteen flag bits may be used to transmit access flags. The high sixteen bits (or forty-seven, if the optional high word is transmitted) are used to indicate the presence of attributes, either predefined or compressor-defined. The sixty-fourth bit position of a flags value (if transmitted) is reserved and must be zero.

The flags value for a Code attribute is optional and taken to be zero if missing. A Code attribute has a corresponding flags value transmitted if and only if either the have_all_code_flags bit in the #archive_options is set, or else the element of code_headers corresponding to the Code attribute has the special value zero. (See the discussion of code headers below.)

For classes, nested classes, fields, and methods, the assignment of flag bit positions to modifiers is the same as that in the class file format. (For example, the LSB always represents ACC_PUBLIC, in both Pack200 archive and class file formats.) An overflow attribute is an attribute whose presence is not indicated directly via a flag bit, and but is instead indicated by a occurrence of its index in a separate band. For classes, fields, methods, and codes, bit 16 (as set in the mask 0x0001000) indicates the presence of overflow attributes. For nested classes, flag bit 16 indicates the presence of explicit outer class and name fields, as explained below.

Bit Meaning
16 overflow (more band data elsewhere)
The modifiers marked with a star (*) are new to recent versions of Java. They are present here for information only, and are not part of the Pack200 specification.
5.5.1. Assignment of Flag Bits to Attributes
The assignment of flag bit positions to attributes is done at the option of the compressor, and is independently specified by the compressor for the four kinds of flag words that have to do with attribute-carrying objects (in classes, fields, methods, and codes). When a flag bit position is assigned to an attribute, if that bit is visible in the class file, it must be forced clear before the decompressor writes it to the class file. Therefore, if the compressor expects the decompressor to reproduce a particular non-zero flag bit as output, the compressor must refrain from assigning that bit position to attributes.

In particular, the low-order 16 bits of class, field, and method flags are visible in the class file, and can thus carry modifier bits. None of the bits of a code flags word is visible in the class file; these flag bits are used only for code sub-attributes.

By contrast, the low-order 16 bits of nested class records are used solely for modifiers, since nested class records do not contain attributes. In the rest of this section on attributes, we will disregard the flag words associated with nested class records.

Any of the 63 bit positions in a flags value can be assigned by the compressor to indicate to the decompressor the presence of some particular attribute. The compressor may "take over" a modifier bit by assigning it an attribute definition. (This is done by emitting a definition for the attribute, which mentions that bit position.)

If the compressor "takes over" a bit (modifier or not) that is being used by default for another purpose, the bit loses its previous meaning. However, the compressor may not emit an explicit definition for the same bit twice (in the same context).

Each kind of attribute is defined by four pieces of information: the entity to which it applies (class, field, method, or code), the bit position, if any, to which it is assigned, the name of the attribute (as it appears in the class file), and the layout of the attribute (which allows the decompressor to properly format occurrences of the attribute in the class file). It is an error for the compressor to specify the same name and layout twice in the same context. It is not an error to repeat a name with a different layout, or a layout with a different name.

The first two items are bit-encoded into a single-byte "header", and transmitted in the attr_definition_headers band. The last two items are transmitted as cp_Utf8 references in corresponding elements of the attr_definition_name and attr_definition_layout. Thus there are three bands by which the compressor declares attribute types to the decompressor, and each band is of length #attr_definition_count.

        *attr_definition_headers :BYTE1 [#attr_definition_count]
        *attr_definition_name :UNSIGNED5 [#attr_definition_count] (cp_Utf8)
        *attr_definition_layout :UNSIGNED5 [#attr_definition_count] (cp_Utf8)

The least significant two bits of an attribute definition header byte are treated as an unsigned field, and give the attribute's context type, which is type of entity to which the attribute applies:

(h & 0x03) Context Type
0 attribute applies to classes
1 attribute applies to fields
2 attribute applies to methods
3 attribute applies to Code attributes

The most significant six bits of an attribute definition header byte are treated as an unsigned field, and give the optional bit position to which the attribute is assigned in the flags word.

(h >> 2) Flag Bit Assignment
0 overflow attribute, not assigned to any bit
1 attribute assigned to bit 0 (LSB of lo word)
2 attribute assigned to bit 1
3 attribute assigned to bit 2
32 attribute assigned to bit 31 (MSB of lo word)
33 attribute assigned to bit 32 (LSB of hi word)
63 attribute assigned to bit 62
(no value) bit 63 must be zero (MSB of hi word)

Every class attribute, whether predefined in this specification or explicitly defined by the compressor, has a unique number called its attribute index. If the attribute is assigned a flag bit, then its attribute index is identical to the flag bit's position (a number in [0..62]). (All predefined attributes are assigned a flag bit by default.)

If a class attribute is not assigned a flag bit, it is an overflow attribute, and its index is assigned sequentially in the order in which class attributes are defined (i.e., transmitted). The first index to be assigned sequentially in this way is 32 if #have_class_flags_hi is clear, and 63 if it is set. These indexes are used within the archive to declare attribute occurrences for individual classes.

Likewise, field, method, and code attributes are assigned their own attribute indexes, independently of class attributes and of each other. Therefore, an attribute (i.e., a name and layout pair) is uniquely specified within the archive by its context type and attribute index. The field and method attributes may be assigned to flag bits, or else they are overflow attributes with indexes of 32 or larger. Like other attributes, code attributes may be assigned explicit numbers or implicitly assigned indexes starting with 32. (As with class attributes, if the high flag word bands are selected by the appropriate bit of #archive_options, then field, method, or code overflow attributes have indexes of 63 or larger.)

Some attributes are predefined, and do not require the compressor to emit definitions for them. They have implicitly defined layouts and flag bit assignments (i.e., indexes).

Attribute indexes less than 63 are usable in all cases, but they may conflict with those assigned to predefined attributes, including predefined attributes defined (in the range 16 to 62) in future expansions of the Pack200 format. In the present version, all predefined attributes have indexes in the range [17..31], so that modifier flags are not taken over by default, and high flag words do not need to be used routinely.

Here are the names and index assignments of the predefined attributes. (The predefined layouts are given below.)

Index Context Type Name
16 C,F,M (overflow attributes)
17 Class SourceFile
18 Class EnclosingMethod
19 C,F,M Signature
20 C,F,M Deprecated
21 C,F,M RuntimeVisibleAnnotations
22 C,F,M RuntimeInvisibleAnnotations
23 Class InnerClasses
24 Class "class-file version"
17 Field ConstantValue
17 Method Code
18 Method Exceptions
23 Method RuntimeVisibleParameterAnnotations
24 Method RuntimeInvisibleParameterAnnotations
25 Method AnnotationDefault
0 Code StackMapTable
1 Code LineNumberTable
2 Code LocalVariableTable
3 Code LocalVariableTypeTable
16 Code (overflow attributes)

Bit 16 is predefined as an indicator of the presence of overflow attributes for classes, fields, methods, and codes. If an entity has overflow attributes, it will possess a corresponding count in an "attr_count" band, and each overflow attribute will be part of a run of values in an "attr_indexes" band, which specifies the layouts of the overflow attributes. This processing of overflow attributes is described more fully below.

These predefined attribute indexes determine not only which bit positions are used to select those attributes, but also the fixed band order in which the attribute data are transmitted, as described below.

Certain bits are predefined to support the five types of metadata attributes on classes, fields, and methods, RuntimeVisibleAnnotations, RuntimeInvisibleAnnotations, RuntimeVisibleParameterAnnotations, RuntimeInvisibleParameterAnnotations, and AnnotationDefault. (The last three types apply only to methods.) The meaning and format of these attributes is defined by JSR 175.

It is permissible for a compressor to refrain from setting bits in any flag words except for bit 16, and transmit all attribute layout indexes explicitly in class_attr_indexes or a similar band. Decompressors are required to process either kind of occurrence of an attribute index. (It is also permissible, though useless, for an attribute count to be an explicitly transmitted as zero.) Compressors are encouraged to make clever choices and clear bit 16 and set other assigned flag bits when possible.

Note that none of the predefined bits interfere with any present or future flag bits in the 16-bit flag values stored in the class file format. However, compressors are free to reuse one of the low-order 16 bits of the flags word, by binding them to other attributes, if no file actually sets them.

The InnerClasses attribute is treated specially, as documented elsewhere, and it is an error for the compressor to emit an attribute definition for it in the class context. The Code attribute is also treated specially. It is an error to emit an attribute definition for it in the method context.

This specification does not define how a compressor is informed of the existence or format of attributes which are not predefined. It simply assumes that compressors are informed of such attributes, and it requires that compressors properly transmit this information to decompressors. As a special case, it is reasonable for any compressor to transmit an attribute containing no bytes (i.e., of zero length) as if its layout were known to be the empty string.

5.5.2. Attribute Layout Definitions
Attribute layouts govern the compressor as it parses attribute bodies from class files into collections of scalar values. Layouts also govern the decompressor as it decodes transmitted bands of those scalar values, and stores them, correctly formatted, into class files. For example, when a class file stores an unsigned integer in two bytes (in big-endian order) in an attribute, the decompressor uses a layout declaration to this effect, so that it can take a band element (which is a 32-bit integer that in this case happens to be less than 65536) and store it correctly into a class file. The transmission of such an integer is very different from the transmission of a constant pool reference, even though they appear as undifferentiated bytes in the class file format.

In what follows, we say that some given element of an attribute layout governs a scalar value stored in a class file attribute, if the decompressor must use that element to reconstitute, into a class file, the representation of that scalar value. We also say that the given layout element governs the band in which the scalar value is transmitted.

An attribute layout is defined by a string in a "little language". The string must be parsed by the decompressor into a sequence of layout elements, each of which governs the transmission and storage of attribute values. In particular, the layout declares the locations of all constant pool references, allowing their values to be transmitted with appropriate representations, either as constant pool indexes or else some other sort of number.

The simplest usable attribute layout would be a sequence of constant pool reference declarations, intermixed with one-byte declarations to govern everything else, and compressors are free to use such layouts to describe attributes. However, more specific attribute layouts lead to better compression.

Attributes typically contain constant pool references and small integers. They often contain integers which control the replication of subsequent patterns. Constant pool references are strongly typed where possible, and the encoding provision for null references must be declared also. Small integers which encode flag bits or bytecode indexes are also declared as such, so that special encoding techniques may be used on them.

Layout declarations are UTF8 strings formed according to the following grammar. (This grammar is independent of the grammar which describes band structure, or any other grammar appearing in other parts of this specification.)

        ( layout_element )* | ( callable )+
        ( integral | replication | union | call | reference )

        '[' body ']'
        ( layout_element )+

        ( unsigned_int | signed_int | bc_index | bc_offset | flag )
        'S' uint_type
        ( unsigned_int | signed_int )
        ( 'P' uint_type | 'PO' uint_type )
        'O' any_int
        'F' uint_type
        ( 'B' | 'H' | 'I' | 'V' )

        'N' uint_type '[' body ']'

        'T' any_int (union_case)* '(' ')' '[' (body)? ']'
        '(' union_case_tag (',' union_case_tag)* ')' '[' (body)? ']'
        ( numeral | numeral '-' numeral )
        '(' numeral ')'

        reference_type ( 'N' )? uint_type
        ( constant_ref | schema_ref | utf8_ref | untyped_ref )
        ( 'KI' | 'KJ' | 'KF' | 'KD' | 'KS' | 'KQ' )
        ( 'RC' | 'RS' | 'RD' | 'RF' | 'RM' | 'RI' )

        '(' ('-')? (digit)+ ')'
        ( '0' | '1' | '2' | '3' | '4' | '5' | '6' | '7' | '8' | '9' )

Each occurrence of an attribute in a class file is associated (by the compressor) with a corresponding layout definition which describes accurately the meaning of that attribute's bytes. The compressor must assign each format element its own band for transmitting successive values of that format element. In the case of the predefined attributes, the bands assigned to their layout elements are defined by name in this specification.

Each value governed by an attribute layout element is converted by the compressor into a 32-bit value and transmitted as an element of a band uniquely created for and governed by that layout element. For integral layout elements, the conversion simply represents the number stored in the class file under the given type, while reference elements convert a local constant pool reference (local to the class file, that is) into a global, typed reference within the archive.

Multiple occurrences of the same kind of layout element are regarded as distinct layout elements. Also, bands are never shared by layouts. Therefore, every new layout definition transmitted by the compressor implicitly defines its own set of bands. Reassigning an previously defined attribute layout to a new index creates a new set of bands; it does not reuse the previously defined sets of bands.

If the compressor defines new attributes, it must also create the bands they govern. It must transmit these bands, immediately after the place reserved in the band grammar for predefined attributes (at the end of class_attr_bands, field_attr_bands, method_attr_bands, or code_attr_bands). The ordering of these bands must correspond to the definition order of the attribute layout elements that govern them. In this way, the decompressor will be able to find those attribute values.

The definition order of two layout elements in the same attribute layout string corresponds to their order of occurrence within that string. The definition order of two layout elements not in the same attribute layout string corresponds to the index order of their layout definitions in the attr_definition_layout band. (That is, bands for layouts with lower indexes precede bands for layouts of the same context type but with higher indexes. This is true even if the lower-indexed layout happens to be defined later in the attr_definition_layout band.) Note that the bands governed by predefined attributes appear to follow such an ordering also. However, the bands of predefined class attributes precede all the other class attribute bands, and likewise for fields, methods, and code attributes.

Integer values stored in attributes are sized as 1, 2, or 4 bytes, depending on the use of the format character 'B', 'H', or 'I', respectively. A integer type is normally unsigned but prefixed with 'S' becomes signed. This signing governs the lengthening of 1-byte and 2-byte types to 32-bit values (either sign extension or zero filling). It also determines the primary encoding used to transmit the 32-bit values. Because all integers stored in class files are "big-endian", all integral format elements refer to integers coded with higher-order bits in earlier bytes.

Integral layouts (i.e., those elements under the integral nonterminal) govern signed or unsigned integer values. Integral layouts whose declarations include the 'P' or 'O' characters use special primary encodings (BCI5 or BRANCH5) as described below. Any other integral layouts whose declarations include the 'S' character govern bands with a primary encoding of SIGNED5. Unsigned integer and flag layout elements govern bands with a primary encoding of UNSIGNED5, except that the integer layout 'B' (unsigned byte) governs a band with a primary encoding of BYTE1.

(Note that there is no special encoding for signed bytes. If an attribute contains a signed byte field, it may be just as well to treat that field as if it were unsigned, and give it a plain 'B' layout element. Besides completeness, the 'SB' layout is intended to allow small-magnitude one-byte integers to be transmitted using a byte alphabet in which sign bits are rare. This is desirable when the post-pass compressor uses Huffman coding to represent bytes; such codings perform best when a consistent byte alphabet is presented to the compressor.)

A stored bytecode index is declared with the layout prefix 'P'. This layout element may only be used on methods or codes. Any number may be stored in a bytecode index. However, before the stored numbers are transmitted as band elements, they are renumbered in the expectation that byte positions not on instruction boundaries will be rare.

The BCI renumbering compactly indexes instruction boundaries, and also provides a coding (somewhat less compact) for all other 32-bit integers, such as the addresses of bytes inside instructions or outside the bounds of the bytecodes. In particular, the first byte of the first instruction is numbered zero, the first byte of the second instruction is numbered one, and so on through all instructions. The byte position one past the last instruction is numbered with the next number (the number of instructions). The second byte of the first multibyte instruction is numbered with the next number, which is one more than the number of all instructions. All remaining unnumbered bytes are assigned subsequent numbers, without any further disturbances of ordering. For large enough positive numbers, and for negative numbers, the renumbering is the identity function.

For purposes of locating instruction boundaries for BCI renumbering, the _wide bytecode (0xc4) is taken to be part of the following instruction, whose format it helps determine. If the compressor transmits byte_escape (254) or ref_escape (253) pseudo-instructions, the decompressor must accept the bytecode sequences produced by each of these instructions as integral instructions, when computing BCI renumberings. Thus, there will be an instruction boundary for each byte in bc_codes (except _wide bytecodes), plus an extra boundary for each "aload_0_xxx" variation (such as "aload_0_getstatic_this"), because these pseudo-opcodes expand to pairs of bytecode instructions.

Please see the Appendix section for pseudo-code explaining this concept.

If the layout element is prefixed by 'P' and not 'PO', then the renumbered bytecode index is transmitted. This renumbering is called the bytecode index renumbering. The primary encoding for bands containing bytecode indexes is BCI5.

Here is an example of how this works. Imagine a method with 20 bytes of bytecode data and five instructions, at the following positions: { 0, 4, 6, 10, 17 }. BCI renumbering translates these particular numbers compactly to [0..4]. More completely, BCI renumbering translates [0..20] to the numbers { 0, 6, 7, 8, 1, 9, 2, 10, 11, 12, 3, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 4, 19, 20, 5 }, and anything outside the range [0..20] stays the same after BCI renumbering. If a attribute of this method has a 'P' layout element, and has the number 6 stored in the class file, the number 2 will be transmitted, since 6 is the offset of the third instruction.

If the layout prefix is 'PO', the previous layout element must also have been a bytecode index of layout type 'P' or 'PO'. (There must not be intervening structure, such as brackets '[' or ']'.) In this case, the value transmitted in the band governed by the 'PO' element is the difference between the renumbered bytecode index governed by the current 'PO' element, and the renumbered bytecode index governed by the previous 'P' or 'PO' element. (In the case of a previous 'P' element, this is in fact the value transmitted at the corresponding position in the previous band.)

The 'PO' layout elements govern the same kind of attribute data as 'P' elements, but they use an encoding which expects that adjacent bytecode indexes are correlated. This renumbering, including a difference with the previous element, is called the bytecode offset renumbering The primary encoding for bands containing bytecode offsets is BRANCH5. This encoding is used even if the layout element contains the 'S' or the 'B' character.

A bytecode offset is declared with the layout prefix 'O'. This layout element must immediately follow a previous bytecode index element (with prefix 'P' and not 'PO'). Any value governed by this layout element is regarded as an offset, which when applied to the corresponding previously stored bytecode index, produces another bytecode index. That is, both the previous value and the sum of the previous value and the current value are expected to refer to instruction boundaries. As with the 'PO' layout, the value transmitted is the difference of the two renumbered bytecode indexes. Bands governed by 'PO' layouts contain bytecode offsets, and use the BRANCH5 primary encoding. Unlike the 'PO' layout, the stored value governed by an 'O' layout is the difference between two bytecode indexes.

Thus, bands governed by both 'O' and 'PO' layouts contain bytecode offsets, and use BRANCH5 to encode those offsets. But attribute values governed by both 'P' and 'PO' layouts store absolute bytecode indexes; only 'O' layouts govern stored bytecode offsets. The stored offsets are treated as unsigned fields in the class file unless the 'S' character is present. By contrast, stored indexes are always treated as unsigned fields.

If the preceding example attribute for a 20-byte method also has a 'PO' layout element following its 'P' element, and the number 20 is stored in the class file, the number to be transmitted is found by renumbering 20 to 5, and then subtracting the previous transmitted number (5-2). The number 3 will therefore be transmitted. If instead the stored number is 7 (a BCI inside the instruction at position 6), the transmitted number will be (10-2) or 8. The same transmitted values (3, 8), if governed by an 'O' layout element instead of 'PO', would correspond to stored values of 14 (20-6) and 1 (7-6), instead of 20 and 7.

A flag element (with prefix 'F') encodes integer values which are expected to encode short array of bits, rather than arithmetic values. The bits are not required to be interpreted as access modifiers. The primary encoding for bands transmitting flag layout elements is UNSIGNED5, except that 'FB' layouts use a primary encoding of BYTE1.

Integral values transmitted under the 'V' format character instead of 'B', 'H', or 'I' occupy no bytes at all in the class file attribute. These layout elements allow the decompressor to use counts or tags to control transmission without having them appear directly in class file attributes. For example, consider an attribute which is an array of bytes that is not self-sizing but expands to fill the byte-count mentioned in the attribute header in the class file. Such an attribute might have a layout specification of 'NV[B]'. The compressor would be responsible to decide which values to transmit for a 'V' layout element. (Such decisions would have to make use of detailed information about attribute formats that is not part of this specification.) In all cases, the decompressor must respect these values (when used as counts or tags) but must not store them in the class file.

A replication is introduced by a prefix 'N', which is followed by an integer element called the replication count, and by then a series of elements, called the replication body, enclosed in square brackets. The attribute data governed by this layout consists of a replication count followed by an array of data counted by the replication count. Each array element is governed by the layouts in the replication body.

A replication count layout element governs a band transmitting the replication counts, which has a primary encoding of UNSIGNED5 (or BYTE1, if the layout starts with 'NB'). The bands governed by the corresponding replication body may be sized by summing the values transmitted in the band containing the counts.

A union is introduced by a prefix 'T', which is followed by an integer element called the union tag, and by then a series of labeled, bracketed groups of elements, called the union cases. (The numerals can have any number of digits, but their arithmetic values are truncated to 32-bit integers before being compared with band values, which also are 32 bits in size.) Each label but the last consists of one or more parenthesized, possibly signed decimal numerals, called union tags. The last label (which is the default case) must be an empty pair of parentheses. (No union may contain two occurrences of the same case tag.) The attribute data governed by this layout consists of an integral tag value followed by data whose format is determined by the tag. The data following the tag is governed by the (unique) union case whose label matches the tag's value, or else the default case. The bands governed by each union case may be sized by counting the number of values in the band governed by the tag's layout. As with plain integral bands, the primary encoding of union tag band is SIGNED5, BYTE1, or UNSIGNED5, depending on whether the layout contains an 'S' character, is 'TB', or otherwise.

In a union tag, two numerals separated by a hyphen specify an inclusive range. The second number must be greater than the first. This is an abbreviation for the list of all numerals from the first to the second, inclusive. The layout is treated exactly as if the abbreviation were replaced by the complete list.

Constant pool references in an attribute may be typed strongly, and transmitted as indexes into one of the archive's constant pools. The layout types beginning with 'KI', 'KJ', 'KF', 'KD', and 'KS' must govern stored indexes in the local constant pool to constants of type integer, long, float, double, and string. Likewise, the layout types beginning with 'RC', 'RS', 'RD', 'RF', 'RM', 'RI', and 'RU' must govern stored indexes in the local constant pool to symbols of type class, signature, descriptor (pair of name and type), field reference, method reference, interface method reference, and UTF8 string. All these references are transmitted as 32-bit indexes into the corresponding global constant pools, in bands with primary encoding of UNSIGNED5. (This is true even of layouts which contain 'B'.) See table below.

Note that signature references (layout 'RS') are identical to Utf8 references (layout 'RU') within a class file, but lead to different coding tactics in the archive file, since the cp_Utf8 and cp_Signature constant pools have independent indexes and are transmitted differently.

The layout elements beginning 'KQ' may only occur in attributes on fields. They refer to constants in a constant pool whose identity is determined by the field's signature. (This layout element is probably useful only for ConstantValue attributes, which are predefined.) The following table gives field signatures legal for use with 'KQ' layouts, and the corresponding constant pools in which the corresponding stored references must be found.

Field Signature 'KQ' Constant Pool
B cp_Int
S cp_Int
C cp_Int
Z cp_Int
I cp_Int
J cp_Long
F cp_Float
D cp_Double
Ljava/lang/String; cp_String
Ljava/lang/Class; cp_Class

If a constant pool reference cannot be strongly typed, the compressor must use an untyped_ref ('RQ'). The encoding of such an untyped reference is an index into all the pools, renumbered in the order they occur within the Pack200 archive. The sequence of all constants, in this natural order of occurrence, is called cp_All. For example, all the elements of the cp_Utf8 pool are numbered the same in the 'RQ' and 'RU' layouts. But the first element (element zero) of the cp_Int pool is numbered, for untyped references, as cp_Utf8_count, and the first element of the cp_Float pool is numbered, for untyped references, as cp_Utf8_count+cp_Int_count.

If a compressor is faced with an attribute which contains a constant pool index of an unexpected type, it may either refuse to transmit the attribute, or elect to transmit the attribute under a relaxed layout definition using 'RQN' elements instead of more strongly-typed elements. Decompressors are required to honor all legal layout definitions transmitted by compressors, even if they might produce illegally formatted class files. (In an extreme case, a compressor may elect to transmit a class file as if it were a resource file, obtaining no class-specific compression, but preserving unusually formatted attributes with bit-for-bit accuracy.)

If a reference layout type includes the character 'N', all band values encoding constant pool entries are incremented by one, and the null value is encoded as zero. Otherwise, the null value is encoded as negative one (-1).

The effect on primary band encodings of the rules given above may be summarized as a list of prioritized rules for layout elements, where the first applicable rule determines the encoding:

Here is a table summarizing bands and encodings for various layout elements. (Not all possible combinations of types and integer sizes are shown.)

B u1 x BYTE1
FB u1 x BYTE1
SB u1 (byte)x SIGNED5
SH u2 (short)x SIGNED5
PH u2 renumber_bci(x) BCI5
POH u2 renumber_bci(x) - renumber_bci(x0) BRANCH5
OH u2 renumber_bci(x0+x) - renumber_bci(x0) BRANCH5
NB[...] u1 x (also serves as size count) BYTE1
NH[...] u2 x (also serves as size count) UNSIGNED5
NI[...] u4 x (also serves as size count) UNSIGNED5
TB... u1 x BYTE1
TSB... u1 (byte)x SIGNED5
TH... u2 x UNSIGNED5
TSH... u2 (short)x SIGNED5
KIB u1 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Int) UNSIGNED5
KIH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Int) UNSIGNED5
KII u4 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Int) UNSIGNED5
KINH u2 1+indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Int) UNSIGNED5
KJH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Long) UNSIGNED5
KFH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Float) UNSIGNED5
KDH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Double) UNSIGNED5
KSH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_String) UNSIGNED5
KQH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_fieldSpecific) UNSIGNED5
RCH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Class) UNSIGNED5
RSH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Signature) UNSIGNED5
RDH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Descr) UNSIGNED5
RFH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Field) UNSIGNED5
RMH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Method) UNSIGNED5
RIH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Imethod) UNSIGNED5
RUH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_Utf8) UNSIGNED5
RQH u2 indexOf(lcp[x], cp_All) UNSIGNED5
RQNH u2 1+indexOf(lcp[x], cp_All) UNSIGNED5
RQNI u4 1+indexOf(lcp[x], cp_All) UNSIGNED5

Here, the variable X names a value stored in the attribute, governed by the layout element. The variable X0 names the stored value governed by the immediately previous layout element, which must have begun with 'P'. The expression renumber_bci(I) denotes the renumbering of a bytecode index I to shorten references to instruction boundaries, as described above. The expression lcp[I] denotes a local constant pool reference, with index I, or a distinct null value if I is zero.

The expression indexOf(lcp[I], cp) denotes the index (zero-based) in a Pack200 global constant pool cp of the constant lcp[I], which is assumed to be of a type appropriate to cp. This expression has the value -1 if lcp[I] has the distinct null value.

Note that a null reference can always be transmitted in a band containing references, by transmitting the value zero (if the band is specified to accept nulls) or by transmitting the value -1 (otherwise). The UNSIGNED5 encoding can represent -1 in five bytes.

The name cp_All refers to a combined array created (as described above) by concatenating all Pack200 global constant pools in their order of transmission. The name cp_fieldSpecific refers to a global constant pool selected by the enclosing field's signature, as described above.

5.5.3. Recursive Layouts
The top-level structure of a layout specification may be a series of bodies which are independently callable layouts. In such a case, the attribute data governed by the whole layout specification is governed by the first body in the sequence of callables. The other callables can govern data, but they only do this if they are actually called. The effect is to define a mutually recursive set of layout specifications, and give control to the first. Note that callables may not be nested inside any other syntax. This feature is useful for supporting recursively structured class file attributes, such as metadata.

A call layout element is a parenthesized signed decimal numeral N. It refers to the Nth callable in the top-level structure of the layout specification, relative to the callable in which the call appears. (It is illegal for calls to appear outside of callables.) We will refer to this callable as the call's callee.

(For example, the layout element '(2)' calls the second callable layout after the one in which the call appears. There must be a matching callee for every callable. A call spelled '(1)' must not appear in the last callable of a layout, and likewise a call spelled '(-1)' must not occur in the first callable. Note that the self-call spelled '(0)' is always legal.)

A call layout element indirectly governs the attribute data more directly governed by the callable that the layout element calls. As far as class file format is concerned, the effect is the same as if the text within the callable's body were substituted instead of the call.

However, this substitution semantics does not describe the effect of a call layout element on band structure. A call layout element does not directly govern any bands, but rather specifies that the data it indirectly governs is to be transmitted in the bands governed more directly by the callee.

If a call's callee begins textually later than the call itself, the call is a forward call. The effect of a forward call is simply to make the bands of the callee sharable by the call and any other forward calls to the same callee. For example, the following layout specification has two bands, the latter of which transmits data indirectly governed by either of the union cases. (The default union case governs no bands, so that a tag byte other than ASCII 'A' or 'B' has no following bytes. Whitespace has been added to the layout for ease of reading.)

          (65) [(1)]
          (66) [(1)]
          (  ) []

A call's callee can also begin textually earlier than the call itself. Such a call, which must have a spelling of the form '(0)' or '(-N)', is referred to as a backward call. Its callee is referred to as a backward callable. (Callables which are the target of no calls or only of forward calls are not backward callables; all others are.) Backward calls and callables introduce the possibility of recursion and looping. Here is an example of an N-ary tree whose leaves are Utf8 strings preceded by a zero-byte, and whose internal nodes are counted arrays of tree nodes preceded by a one-byte: In this example, the callee encloses the call, for a direct recursion. The layout governs three bands, under the elements 'TB', 'NH', and 'RUH'.

          (1) [NH[ (0) ]]
          (0) [RUH]

The sizing of bands governed by such mutually-recursive layouts is assisted by explicit counts of backward calls, transmitted before any of the layout's attribute bands, in class_attr_calls and three similar bands, which are described later.

5.5.4. Default Attribute Layouts
The layout definitions of the predefined attributes are as follows:
Context Type Name Layout Definition
Class "class-file version" (empty) *(see note)
Class InnerClasses (empty) *(see note)
Class EnclosingMethod RCHRDNH
Class SourceFile RUNH *(see note)
Class Signature RSH
Class (metadata) (see below)
Class Deprecated (empty)
Field ConstantValue KQH
Field Signature RSH
Field (metadata) (see below)
Field Deprecated (empty)
Method Code (empty) *(see note)
Method Exceptions NH[RCH]
Method Signature RSH
Method (metadata) (see below)
Method Deprecated (empty)
Code StackMapTable (see below)
Code LineNumberTable NH[PHH]
Code LocalVariableTable NH[PHOHRUHRSHH]
Code LocalVariableTypeTable NH[PHOHRUHRSHH]

The star '*' in the layout definitions of "class-file version", InnerClasses, SourceFile, and Code reflects the fact that these attributes are given special processing. For a class, the "class-file version" pseudo-attribute is transmitted as if using the format VV, but the decompressor does not store the result in a class file attribute, but rather in the class file header. (See the discussion below.) For a class, the InnerClasses attribute is partially transmitted as if using the format NV[RCVTV[(0)[]()[RCNVRUNV]]], but the decompressor processes the received values further before (possibly) emitting an InnerClasses attribute. (See the discussion below.) When a SourceFile attribute is transmitted using the predefined layout, a special rule allows it to default to the obvious standard string. Finally, for a method, the Code attribute is transmitted under the code_bands.

5.5.5. Stack Map Layouts
There is a predefined attribute layout for the StackMapTable attribute of a Code attribute. With some whitespace and abbreviation added for readability, it is as follows:

    (64-127)  [(2)]
    (247)     [(1)(2)]
    (248-251) [(1)]
    (252)     [(1)(2)]
    (253)     [(1)(2)(2)]
    (254)     [(1)(2)(2)(2)]
    (255)     [(1)NH[(2)]NH[(2)]]
    ()        []
    (7) [RCH]
    (8) [PH]
    ()  []
The following observations may be deduced by comparing this layout specification with the class file format specification which defines the StackMapTable attribute. The second callable describes a stack_map_frame structure from the class file format specification. Within the union in the second callable, the cases stand for the following stack_map_frame union members, respectively: same_locals_1_stack_item_frame, same_locals_1_stack_item_extended, chop_frame (and also same_frame_extended), append_frame (for three layout union cases), full_frame, and (in the default layout union case) same_frame. The third and fourth callables describe an offset_delta value and a verification_type_info structure from the class file format specification.
5.5.6. Metadata Layouts
The predefined attribute layouts for non-parameter metadata annotations are the same in all three contexts. With some whitespace added for readability, the layout is as follows:

  [RSH NH[RUH(1)]]
    (66,67,73,83,90) [KIH]
    (68)  [KDH]
    (70)  [KFH]
    (74)  [KJH]
    (99)  [RSH]
    (101) [RSH RUH]
    (115) [RUH]
    (91)  [NH[(0)]]
    (64)  [RSH [RUH(0)]]
    ()    []
Both visible and invisible annotations use this layout. The second callable describes an annotation structure from the metadata specification. The third callable describes a member_value structure from the metadata specification. This last callable, all by itself, is used for the AnnotationDefault attribute on methods. Method parameter annotations (both visible and invisible) are also predefined using this layout, with a prepended callable to count the number of parameters:

  [RSH NH[RUH(1)]]
5.5.7. Unusual Layout Usages
It is possible for the compressor to emit any number of definitions for the same attribute name. These definitions are assigned different attribute indexes (and perhaps flag bits), and are treated as distinct attributes, despite having the same name. If an attribute is too complex to define in the layout language, each occurrence of that attribute can be given a separate definition by the compressor. The minimum requirement is that each layout accurately declare the size of the corresponding attribute occurrence, and locate all constant pool references within that occurrence.

5.6. Source File Abbreviation

When a null reference is transmitted in the band governed by the predefined SourceFile attribute, the decompressor is required to replace it by a reference to a Utf8 string whose spelling consists of the associated class name string, with the following modifications made, in order:

This rule matches the historical behavior of many Java compilers, and allows the compressor to avoid allocating Utf8 strings for "obvious" derived SourceFile names. (If a compressor needs to transmit an irregular SourceFile attribute with a true null reference, it must use a non-standard layout.) Here is a table of examples of class names and the corresponding derived SourceFile names.

Class SourceFile

5.7. Nested Classes

A nested class record is a four-tuple specifying two classes, a name, and some flags, as documented for the InnerClasses attribute of class files. It is primarily represented in the Pack200 archive by four bands, whose contents are applied equally to all class files in the archive.
        *ic_this_class :UDELTA5 [#ic_count] (cp_Class)
        *ic_flags :UNSIGNED5 [#ic_count]
        *ic_outer_class :DELTA5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]  (null or cp_Class)
        *ic_name :DELTA5 [LENGTH(*ic_outer_class)] (null or cp_Utf8)
These four-tuples are shared globally, like constant pool entries. In this specification, they are conventionally written <C,F,C2,N>, even though they are stored in a different order in the class file format. As a set, these globally defined four-tuples are called ic_All. There is usually no explicit linkage from individual classes in the archive to nested class records. Instead, when extracting a class file from a Pack200 archive, an subset of nested class records may be selected which is sufficient to describe all nested classes actually mentioned in the extracted class file's constant pool. For any class file X to be extracted, this subset will be called ic_Relevant(X), the relevant subset for X of ic_All. The algorithm for selecting the relevant subset is described later. Optionally, the compressor can specify, for any given class, an adjustment to its relevant subset, by transmitting a local InnerClasses attribute. This also is described in a later section on class attributes.

The ic_this_class and ic_flags bands are both of length #ic_count, and the corresponding elements of these bands specify, for each tuple, the nested class identity (represented as a cp_Class reference) and the flags bitmask.

The nested class flag bit at position 16 (as set in the mask 0x00010000) is inside the archive file to indicate if there are corresponding entries for the tuple in the ic_outer_class and ic_name bands. Thus, the length of both of these bands is the sum of all flag bits at position 16. Typically, only a few percent of nested classes need to set this bit and specify outer and name fields explicitly.

If a tuple has an entry in the ic_outer_class and ic_name bands, these specify its outer class and simple name. (They are represented respectively as a possibly null cp_Class reference and a possibly null cp_Utf8 reference.) Otherwise, the tuple's outer class and name are said to be predicted. In this case, they must be correctly predictable from the name of the nested class itself, by parsing its spelling.

A nested class has a bytecode name which names the class within class files. The spelling of this name, sometimes called a "mangled name", has extra punctuation signs and perhaps digits as well as the name of a containing class. If the bytecode name can be parsed into an outer class and a class name, and this class and name are identical with the true outer class and class name of the nested class, then we say the outer class and class name are predictable.

The extraction of the predictable outer class and class name must follow the following grammar for class bytecode names, as applied to the spelling of the nested class name. (This grammar is independent of the grammar governing band structure, or any other grammar appearing in other parts of this specification.) The terminal DOLLAR refers to any character (such as '$' or '#') whose code is 0x2D or lower. The terminals SLASH refers to the slash or dot characters '/' or '.', which have the codes 0x2E and 0x2F. The terminal DIGIT refers to an ASCII decimal digit, one of the ten character codes from 0x30 to 0x39 inclusive. The terminal LETTER refers to any other character. That is, it refers to any character whose code is 0x3A or higher.

        (bcnCase1 | bcnCase2 | bcnCase3 | bcnCase4)
        packageQual (namePart)? DOLLAR number
        packageQual (namePart)? DOLLAR number DOLLAR predictableICName
        predictableOuter DOLLAR predictableICName
        packageQual (namePart)?

        packageQual namePart

        (LETTER | DIGIT | DOLLAR)+
        (namePart SLASH)*

This grammar ambiguously divides an arbitrary class name into several parts, which may include an optional predictedOuter prefix, an optional predictedICName suffix, and a optional numeric suffix. Any ambiguity must be resolved by preferring the alternative cases for bcn nonterminal in the order given. E.g., if bcnCase1 matches, it is used, even though either or both other cases may match also.

The predictable nested class name is the string corresponding to the predictableICName nonterminal, if it was parsed. Otherwise the predictable nested class name is taken to be null.

If a predictableOuter outer nonterminal is parsed, the corresponding string is the predictable outer class name. Otherwise the predictable outer class reference is taken to be null. Note that if a number nonterminal is parsed, no predictableOuter can be parsed. Here are some examples of prediction, nonprediction, and misprediction:

nested class: member named Entry of java/util/Map
mangled name: java/util/Map$Entry
outer, name: java/util/Map, Entry
predictable? yes (since Map.Entry is a member of Map)
nested class: anonymous
mangled name: java/util/AbstractList$1
outer, name: (none), (none)
predictable? yes (since the ic_name is null)
nested class: non-member, named Local
mangled name: java/util/AbstractList$2$Local
outer, name: (none), Local
predictable? yes (since the ic_name is Local)
nested class: non-member, named Local
mangled name: java/util/AbstractList#2#Local
outer, name: (none), Local
predictable? yes (since the ic_name is Local)
nested class: member named $2$Local of Foo
mangled name: Foo$$2$Local
outer, name: (none), Local
predictable? no (outer name missing, ic_name mispredicted)
nested class: class named Red$Herring
mangled name: Red$Herring
outer, name: Red, Herring
predictable? no (the predicted ic_name Herring)
nested class: member named Q of X$1
mangled name: X$1$Q
outer, name: (none), Q
predictable? no (since Q is a member of X$1)
nested class: member named Z of X$Y
mangled name: X$Y$Z
outer, name: X$Y, Z
predictable? yes (since X$Y.Z is a member of X$Y)
nested class: member named Y$Z of X
mangled name: X$Y$Z
outer, name: X$Y, Z
predictable? no (outer name and ic_name are mispredicted)

When a decompressor is processing a nested class name marked "predictable", it must parse the nested class's bytecode name into an enclosing class, an optional number, and an optional name. (The compressor might choose to always specify outer classes and names explicitly, in which case the decompressor would not be required to parse the nested class names at all. However, decompressors must always be prepared to perform this parsing.)

If the compressor did not transmit an entry in cp_Utf8 or cp_Class for a predicted name or outer class, the decompressor must create such a constant internally. It will be referred to as a cp_Utf8 or cp_Class entry, even though it is not in the constant transmission sequence cp_All. However, if the compressor did transmit a constant with the same spelling as the predicted name or outer class, the decompressor must use that constant rather than creating a new one. The creation of such internal constants within the decompressor is detectable in an output file because they are inserted in a special order in the output file's constant pool. (See discussion of the output ordering rules below.)

Please see the Appendix section for pseudo-code explaining this concept.

When the decompressor receives the ic_this_class, ic_flags, ic_name, and ic_outer_class bands, and performs any required name parsing, it creates the set ic_All of four-tuples. This set is the primary source of InnerClasses attributes synthesized for individual class files by the decompressor.

5.8. Class Schema

The purpose of the Pack200 archive is to transmit a set of classes in a form which a decompressor can later use to reconstruct class files. As a rule, each separate kind of data stored in class files is transmitted in a band dedicated to all values of that kind. Here is the band structure for all class-specific information except bytecodes:
        *class_this :DELTA5 [#class_count] (cp_Class)
        *class_super :DELTA5 [#class_count] (cp_Class)
        *class_interface_count [#class_count] :DELTA5
        *class_interface :DELTA5 [SUM(*class_interface_count)] (cp_Class)
        *class_field_count :DELTA5 [#class_count]
        *class_method_count :DELTA5 [#class_count]

        *field_descr :DELTA5 [SUM(*class_field_count)] (cp_Descr)

        *method_descr :MDELTA5 [SUM(*class_method_count)] (cp_Descr)


The class_this, class_super, class_flags_lo, class_flags_hi (if present), class_interface_count, class_field_count, and class_method_count bands are all of length #class_count, and the corresponding elements of these bands transmit in turn each class's name and super-class, and the number of implemented interfaces, declared fields, and declared methods. (The access modifier bits in each class's flags word are mixed with attribute indicators, and are transmitted in class_flags_lo, as defined above.)

The class_interface band contains runs of class interface declarations, one run for each element of class_interface_count, and applying to the corresponding class.

Each element of class_this, class_super, and class_interface is a reference (in fact, a non-null reference) to the constant pool cp_Class.

In the unique case of java/lang/Object, the stored super-class must be a null reference. Rather than disturbing the transmission of all other elements of the class_super band, we use the convention that a compressor, when it encounters a null super-class reference, must transmit in its place a duplicate of the current class's reference. (Since it is illegal for a class to inherit from itself, this renumbering of null references is unambiguous.)

The field_descr bands contain one run of elements for each element of class_field_count, and apply to successive fields in the corresponding class. The method_descr bands contain one run of elements for each element of class_method_count, and apply to successive methods in the corresponding class.

(Unlike the class file format, field and method descriptors are stored as single references to a "name-and-type" constant pool, rather than as pairs of name references and type references.)

The method_descr band has a primary encoding which performs best if the method references are mostly sorted. Compressors may elect to take advantage of this fact by sorting the methods in each class. (Note: It is generally acceptable for compressors to reorder methods for best compression, but fields must not be reordered, since their order is apparent through reflection and significant to some facilities, such as serialization.)

Attribute bands are placed in the positions indicated by the grammar. They are described below. The attribute bands include flags bands, which carry both access modifiers and attribute indicators for the corresponding classes, fields, and methods.

The Pack200 archive ends with bands devoted to method code blocks and the bytecodes themselves. If a method has a code attribute, the compressor must mention it in the flags bit (the 6th LSB) to which it is assigned, or as an overflow attribute (with an index of 6). The fields of a Code attribute are transmitted in the bands organized under the code_bands nonterminal.

The specification of each Code attribute begins with three key parameters, which declare the number of stack and local slots, and the number of handlers. #Stack is the number of stack slots used by the code. #NALocal is the number of non-argument locals used by the code. (The actual number of locals declared in the class file will be #NALocal plus the number of locals required by method parameters, as determined by the method's signature.) #Handler is the number of exception handlers.

. The code_headers band contains a series of bytes, each of which tersely encodes the first three key parameters of a code attribute: Each of the 255 non-zero byte values encodes a unique triple of #NALocal, #Stack, and #Handler. There is (of course) one code header for each Code attribute transmitted.

The special code header byte zero (0x00) indicates that the code attribute's three parameters are to be found, instead, in the code_max_stack, code_max_na_locals, and code_handler_count bands. If the code header byte is non-zero, these three bands do not transmit entries for the corresponding Code attribute.

The code_flags_lo band transmits an entry for a corresponding Code attribute if and only if one or both of the following is true: the Code attribute's code header byte is zero, or the have_all_code_flags bit is set in the #archive_options word. If a Code attribute does not have a transmitted code_flags_lo value, its flags word is taken to be zero, and it has no sub-attributes. The code_flags_hi band transmits a corresponding entry if and only if the code_flags_lo value was transmitted as just described, and also #have_code_flags_hi is set.

Non-zero code header bytes denote code attribute parameters according to the following scheme:

Header Range #Stack #NALocal #Handler
1 <= x <= 144 (x-1) % 12 (x-1) / 12 0
145 <= x <= 208 (x-145) % 8 (x-145) / 8 1
209 <= x <= 255 (x-209) % 7 (x-209) / 7 2
x = 0 code_max_stack code_max_na_locals code_handler_count
This scheme allows a single byte to describe a Code attribute in about 95% of all cases. (Note: If debugging attributes are not stripped, the compressor should probably set the have_all_code_flags bit, so that the presence of these attributes will not force the use of the special zero code header byte.)

Regardless of whether the exception handler count is encoded in the one-byte code header, or whether it is an explicit element of code_handler_count, for each code attribute there is a run of values in code_handler_start_P, code_handler_end_PO, code_handler_catch_PO, and code_handler_class_RCN, one for each handler, as if those bands were governed by an attribute layout 'NV[PHPOHPOHRCNH]' (there is no band governed by the 'NV' layout element itself; it is the handler count).

That is, each triplet of Handler.start, Handler.end, and Handler.catch values are transmitted as renumbered (by renumber_bci). Also, Handler.end is transmitted as a difference of its renumbering with that of Handler.start in the same triplet, and Handler.catch is transmitted as a difference of its renumbering with that of Handler.end in the same triplet. Finally, code_handler_class_RCN is transmitted as an incremented reference into cp_Class, or zero if the handler class reference is null.

        *code_headers :BYTE1 [COUNT(Code,...)]

        *code_max_stack :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(0,*code_headers)]
        *code_max_na_locals :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(0,*code_headers)]

        *code_handler_count :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(0,*code_headers)]
        *code_handler_start_P :BCI5 [SUM(*code_handler_count)]
        *code_handler_end_PO :BRANCH5 [SUM(*code_handler_count)]
        *code_handler_catch_PO :BRANCH5 [SUM(*code_handler_count)]
        *code_handler_class_RCN :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*code_handler_count)] (null or cp_Class)


5.9. Attribute Bands

Here, collected in one place, are the bands which transmit attributes. If the compressor sets bits in the flags word of a class, field, or method, and those bits are assigned (by the compressor) to attributes, then the compressor must also retrieve the stored values governed by each selected attribute layout and transmit them in the bands governed by that layout.

If the compressor marks a class (resp. field, method, or code) as having overflow attributes, it must transmit a corresponding element in the class_attr_count band (resp. field_attr_count, method_attr_count, or code_attr_count band). This count, in turn, specifies the size of a run in class_attr_indexes (resp. field_attr_indexes, method_attr_indexes, or code_attr_indexes) of indexes of attribute layouts governing attributes of the class (resp. field, method, or code). The compressor must transmit a attribute layout definition index for each overflow attribute.

For each attribute layout selected by a bit in an element of class_flags or by an element of class_attr_indexes, the compressor must retrieve data governed by the layout elements from the class attribute and transmit elements encoding this data in the bands governed by the layout. Similar conditions apply for field, method, and code attributes.

For each attribute layout that transmits data and contains backward calls, the compressor must transmit the number of times each backward callable will be the subject of a backward call as the decompressor works its way through attribute layouts. These call counts are transmitted in the class_attr_calls, field_attr_calls, method_attr_calls, and code_attr_calls bands, according to the context type of the layouts they apply to. The call counts are transmitted, one per backward callable, in the definition order of the callables. (See above.) Call counts are only transmitted for backward callables which occur within layouts that are used at least once. Call counts do not count entries to any callable because of a forward call, nor do they count the initial call to a callable which initiates attribute processing. A call count might be zero if a backward callable occurs in a layout that is used, but which does not happen to reach the backward callable. These call counts are needed to break a circularity inherent in the sizing of bands for mutually-recursive layouts. They provide the minimum information necessary for the decompressor to locate all the bands in the archive, prior to distributing the band values to the various output classes. For this reason, the call counts are supplied one per layout, summed over all attribute occurrences of that each layout.

The decompressor is responsible for processing any explicit attribute layout definitions transmitted by the compressor. It must prepare to receive the additional bands governed by those layouts. When it reads layout definition indexes, it must prepare to read in the correct number of values transmitted in each of those additional bands.

The grammar of bands defined in this specification includes bands governed by all predefined attribute layouts. For clarity, some band names mention a part of the layout element that created them. Note that the Deprecated attributes have no bands, because their layouts are empty.

Attributes named "Synthetic", although part of the standard class file format in earlier versions of Java, are not directly supported in this specification, because that attribute has been replaced by a new flag bit (ACC_SYNTHETIC, 0x1000) in more recent versions of Java. However, compressors are encouraged to process Synthetic attributes, and any other zero-length attributes not predefined here, by assigning them unused flag bits, and emitting explicit zero-length layout definitions for decompressors to follow.

If the compressor elects to define new layouts, the bands governed by those layouts are added immediately after the bands for the predefined layouts. (The order and structure of the predefined attribute bands reflects the predefined layout definitions in a regular way, as if the compressor had in fact defined them explicitly.)

        *class_flags_hi :UNSIGNED5 [#class_count*#have_class_flags_hi]
        *class_flags_lo :UNSIGNED5 [#class_count]
        *class_attr_count :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]
        *class_attr_indexes :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_attr_count)]
        *class_attr_calls :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *class_SourceFile_RUN :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(SourceFile,...)] (null or cp_Utf8)
        *class_EnclosingMethod_RC :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(EnclosingMethod,...)] (cp_Class)
        *class_EnclosingMethod_RDN :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(EnclosingMethod,...)] (null or cp_Descr)
        *class_Signature_RS :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Signature,..)] (cp_Signature)
        *class_file_version_minor_H :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(version,...)]
        *class_file_version_major_H :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(version,...)]

        *field_flags_hi :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_field_count)*#have_field_flags_hi]
        *field_flags_lo :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_field_count)]
        *field_attr_count :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]
        *field_attr_indexes :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*field_attr_count)]
        *field_attr_calls :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *field_ConstantValue_KQ :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(ConstantValue,...)] (cp_Int, etc.; see note)
        *field_Signature_RS :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Signature,...)] (cp_Signature)

        *method_flags_hi :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_method_count)*#have_method_flags_hi]
        *method_flags_lo :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_method_count)]
        *method_attr_count :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]
        *method_attr_indexes :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*method_attr_count)]
        *method_attr_calls :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *method_Exceptions_N :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Exceptions,...)]
        *method_Exceptions_RC :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*method_Exceptions_N)] (cp_Class)
        *method_Signature_RS :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Signature,...)] (cp_Signature)

        *code_flags_hi :UNSIGNED5 [...*#have_code_flags_hi]
        *code_flags_lo :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_attr_count :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]
        *code_attr_indexes :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*code_attr_count)]
        *code_attr_calls :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_StackMapTable_N :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(StackMapTable,...)]
        *code_StackMapTable_frame_T :BYTE1 [SUM(*code_StackMapTable_N)]
        *code_StackMapTable_local_N :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(255,*code_StackMapTable_frame_T)]
        *code_StackMapTable_stack_N :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(255,*code_StackMapTable_frame_T)]
        *code_StackMapTable_offset :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_StackMapTable_T :BYTE1 [...]
        *code_StackMapTable_RC :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(7,*code_StackMapTable_T)]
        *code_StackMapTable_P :BCI5 [COUNT(8,*code_StackMapTable_T)]
        *code_LineNumberTable_N :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_LineNumberTable_bci_P :BCI5 [...]
        *code_LineNumberTable_line :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTable_N :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTable_bci_P :BCI5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTable_span_O :BRANCH5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTable_name_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)
        *code_LocalVariableTable_type_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *code_LocalVariableTable_slot :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTypeTable_N :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTypeTable_bci_P :BCI5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTypeTable_span_O :BRANCH5 [...]
        *code_LocalVariableTypeTable_name_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)
        *code_LocalVariableTypeTable_type_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *code_LocalVariableTypeTable_slot :UNSIGNED5 [...]

A class possesses a "class-file version" pseudo-attribute if its class file's minor or major version differs from the #default_class_minver or #default_class_majver, respectively. This pseudo-attribute is a pair of 16-bit integers giving the major and minor version numbers of the class's file. These integers are stored in the header of the class's file, rather than in an attribute record. As is the convention with classfiles, the minor version number comes first. Thus minor version numbers are transmitted in the band class_file_version_minor_H, and major version numbers in class_file_version_major_H. Decompressors are not required to process archives with greater minor or major version numbers than those of the specification they were engineered to process. Decompressors are required to process archives with the same major and smaller or equal minor version numbers.

Local InnerClasses Attributes
A transmitted class may possess a local InnerClasses attribute, which is taken to be an adjustment to that class file's eventually written InnerClasses attribute. Specifically, the local InnerClasses attribute specifes a set of four-tuples which must be combined with a corresponding relevant subset drawn from ic_All. The algorithm for doing this is described fully later, but it amounts to starting with the subset of four-tuples from ic_All which pertain to CONSTANT_Class entries of the output constant pool (barring CONSTANT_Class entries required only by the InnerClasses attribute itself), and then forming the set symmetric difference between that relevant set and the local InnerClasses attribute.

The four-tuples of all local InnerClasses attributes are transmitted in five bands:

        *class_InnerClasses_N :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(InnerClasses,...)]
        *class_InnerClasses_RC :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_InnerClasses_N)] (cp_Class)
        *class_InnerClasses_F :UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_InnerClasses_N)]
        *class_InnerClasses_outer_RCN :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(!=0,*class_InnerClasses_F)]  (null or cp_Class)
        *class_InnerClasses_name_RUN :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(!=0,*class_InnerClasses_F)] (null or cp_Utf8)

Each four-tuple <C,F,C2,N> transmitted in these attribute bands is called a local IC tuple. (Note that the class file format stores the elements of these four-tuples in a different order, (C,C2,N,F).) For a given class file X, the sequence of local IC tuples is called ic_Local(X).

For each local IC tuple, the compressor transmits, at minimum, a C value and an F value. If a transmitted flags value F is not zero, there are also corresponding transmitted constant pool references C2 and N. As a whole, the transmitted local tuple may or may not be equivalent to a global tuple from ic_All.

As an abbreviation, the compressor may transmit only a C and a flags value of zero, if the local IC tuple to be transmitted is equivalent to a member of ic_All, and no other member of ic_All defines the same class C. In this case the decompressor must behave exactly as if all four tuple components had been explicitly transmitted.

(If all four components of a local tuple are transmitted, and the flags value to be transmitted is in fact zero, the value 0x00010000 must be transmitted instead of zero for the flags.)

Frequently, the compressor will not need to transmit any local IC tuples at all, since the set of four-tuples to be stored in the class's InnerClasses attribute will be exactly ic_Relevant(X), with no adjustment required. If extraneous four-tuples (beyond those required by a minimized constant pool) are found in the input class file, then some local IC tuples will be needed (with zero flags), to provide local "roots" for the extra InnerClasses entries. This can occur if a compiler requires an InnerClasses entry for a class mentioned only in a signature. Compressors are required to predict which classes require such extra local roots, and transmit only the unexpected four-tuples.

5.9.1. Metadata Transmission
There are nine groups of bands governed by the metadata layouts. They are summarized here.



        *class_RVA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        *class_RVA_type_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *class_RVA_pair_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        *class_RVA_name_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)
        *class_RVA_T :BYTE1 [...] 
        *class_RVA_caseI_KI :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Int)
        *class_RVA_caseD_KD :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Double)
        *class_RVA_caseF_KF :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Float)
        *class_RVA_caseJ_KJ :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Long)
        *class_RVA_casec_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *class_RVA_caseet_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *class_RVA_caseec_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)
        *class_RVA_cases_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)
        *class_RVA_casearray_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        *class_RVA_nesttype_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *class_RVA_nestpair_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        *class_RVA_nestname_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)

        *class_RIA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        (analogous to class_RVA_bands)

        *field_RVA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        (analogous to class_RVA_bands)

        *field_RIA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        (analogous to field_RVA_bands)

        *method_RVA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        (analogous to class_RVA_bands)

        *method_RIA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        (analogous to method_RIA_bands)

        *method_RVPA_param_NB :BYTE1 [...] 
        *method_RVPA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        (analogous to method_RVA_bands)

        *method_RIPA_param_NB :BYTE1 [...] 
        *method_RIPA_anno_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        (analogous to method_RVPA_bands)

        *method_AD_T :BYTE1 [...] 
        *method_AD_caseI_KI :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Int)
        *method_AD_caseD_KD :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Double)
        *method_AD_caseF_KF :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Float)
        *method_AD_caseJ_KJ :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Long)
        *method_AD_casec_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *method_AD_caseet_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *method_AD_caseec_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)
        *method_AD_cases_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)
        *method_AD_casearray_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        *method_AD_nesttype_RS :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Signature)
        *method_AD_nestpair_N :UNSIGNED5 [...] 
        *method_AD_nestname_RU :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Utf8)

As an aid to understanding the metadata layout, here is a brief description of each of the method metadata bands, as used by classfiles which comply with JSR 175. The class and field metadata bands function in a similar way.

Note that JSR 175 does not allow embedded references to CONSTANT_Class entries, even where a reference to a class is required. Instead, JSR 175 requires that references to classes be encoded as field signatures. (Their names are bracketed by 'L' and ';'.) The Pack200 archive transmits all such values as references into cp_Signature, not cp_Class.

For each use of a parameter annotation attribute, the method_RVPA_param_NB band or method_RIPA_param_NB band (for invisible annotations) transmits an unsigned byte indicating the parameter count. For each use of a non-parameter annotation attribute, the method_RVA_anno_N band or method_RIA_anno_N band (for invisible annotations) transmits an annotation count. Likewise, for each annotated parameter, the method_RVPA_anno_N band or method_RIPA_anno_N band (for invisible annotations) transmits an annotation count.

For each visible non-parameter annotation, the method_RVA_type_RS band transmits an annotation's type, and the method_RVA_pair_N band transmits the number of that annotation's member-value pairs. Analogous values for invisible annotations and parameter annotations are transmitted in the bands method_RIA_type_RS, method_RIA_pair_N, method_RVPA_type_RS, method_RVPA_pair_N, method_RIPA_type_RS, and method_RIPA_pair_N. For each member-value pair transmitted as a direct part of a visible non-parameter annotation, the method_RVA_name_RU band transmits the member name. Analogous values for invisible annotations and parameter annotations are transmitted in the bands method_RIA_name_RU, method_RVPA_name_RU, and method_RIPA_name_RU.

For each value transmitted with a visible non-parameter annotation, whether directly, or indirectly via a nested value or annotation, the method_RVA_T band transmits a byte which selects the format of the annotation value, and analogous values are transmitted in the bands method_RIA_T, method_RVPA_T, method_RIPA_T, and (for annotation defaults) method_AD_T, Direct uses of these value tag bands are counted by summing the values of the corresponding preceding pair-count band (method_RVA_pair_N, etc.). This count also includes the sum of the corresponding following nested pair-count band (method_RVA_nestpair_N, etc.) and nested array length bands (method_RVA_casearray_N, etc.).

Since those latter sums come from backward calls in the attribute layout, they cannot be directly computed by the decompressor, but their sum is reported by the compressor as an element of method_attr_calls. (Note that the last callable in each metadata layout is the target of two backward calls from inside itself.) That band contains these backward call counts for method_RVA_T, method_RIA_T method_RVPA_T, method_RIPA_T method_AD_T, in that order. If there are no occurrences of a method metadata attribute, then the corresponding backward call is omitted. (Thus, there are up to five backward call counts transmitted for method metadata.) If there are compressor-defined recursive layouts used in the archive, their backward call counts follow the counts for metadata in method_attr_calls.

For each value tag of 'B', 'C', 'I', 'S', or 'Z', there is a corresponding element transmitted in method_RVA_caseI_KI which supplies the value as a cp_Int reference. Analogous integer references within invisible and parameter annotations and annotation defaults are transmitted in the bands method_RIA_caseI_KI, method_RVPA_caseI_KI, method_RIPA_caseI_KI, and method_AD_caseI_KI. For each value tag of 'e', the bands method_RVA_caseet_RS and method_RVA_caseec_RU transmit the signature of the class and name of the member of an enumeration constant, as references into cp_Signature and cp_Utf8. For each value tag of '[', the band method_RVA_casearray_N transmits the length of a nested value array. For each value tag of '@', the bands method_RVA_nesttype_RS and method_RVA_nestpair_N transmit the class signtaure of a nested annotation and the number of its pairs. For each pair in such a nested annotation, the band method_RVA_nestname_RU transmits the name of the pair.

The bands in the following table transmit appropriately-typed constant pool references for each occurence of specific tag characters.

Tag(s) Band Reference
'B','C','I','S','Z' method_RVA_caseI_KI cp_Int
'D' method_RVA_caseD_KD cp_Double
'F' method_RVA_caseF_KF cp_Float
'J' method_RVA_caseJ_KJ cp_Long
'c' method_RVA_casec_RS cp_Signature
'e' method_RVA_caseet_RS
's' method_RVA_cases_RU cp_Utf8

Analogous groups of bands transmit values within the other four method annotation types, and within the visible and invisible annotations of classes and fields.

5.10. Bytecode Instructions

The last part of the Pack200 archive is a series of bands transmitting the bytecodes themselves. The bytecodes of each method code are parsed into instructions and operands transmitted in their own bands. Each method code corresponds to a run of bytecodes which ends with the distinguished code value 0xFF (255), which serves as an end marker. (Note that it is unusual for band data to be delimited by an end marker: Usually it is sized by a count in a previous band.)

Here are the bands which transmit bytecode instructions:

        *bc_codes :BYTE1 [...]
        *bc_case_count :UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(switch,*bc_codes)]
        *bc_case_value :DELTA5 [...]
        *bc_byte :BYTE1 [...]
        *bc_short :DELTA5 [...]
        *bc_local :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *bc_label :BRANCH5 [...]
        *bc_intref :DELTA5 [...] (cp_Int)
        *bc_floatref :DELTA5 [...] (cp_Float)
        *bc_longref :DELTA5 [...] (cp_Long)
        *bc_doubleref :DELTA5 [...] (cp_Double)
        *bc_stringref :DELTA5 [...] (cp_String)
        *bc_classref :UNSIGNED5 [...] (current class or cp_Class)
        *bc_fieldref :DELTA5 [...] (cp_Field)
        *bc_methodref :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Method)
        *bc_imethodref :DELTA5 [...] (cp_Imethod)
        *bc_thisfield :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Field, only for current class)
        *bc_superfield :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Field, only for current super)
        *bc_thismethod :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Method, only for current class)
        *bc_supermethod :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Method, only for current super)
        *bc_initref :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_Field, only for most recent new)
        *bc_escref :UNSIGNED5 [...] (cp_All)
        *bc_escrefsize :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *bc_escsize :UNSIGNED5 [...]
        *bc_escbyte :BYTE1 [...]

In order to transmit bytecode instructions more efficiently, some instructions may be rewritten into a transmission form. The ldc, ldc_w, and ldc2_w bytecodes must be rewritten by the compressor into strongly-typed operations; see below. Some getstatic, putstatic, getfield, putfield, invokevirtual, invokespecial, and invokestatic bytecodes may (at the compressor's option) be rewritten into more specialized and compact forms which, because they are context sensitive, select their operands from a smaller set of possibilities.

In all cases, the first byte of each instruction (perhaps rewritten) is determined by a byte transmitted in bc_codes. All operand bytes are decoded into operands and transmitted in separate bands according to the type of operand encoded. The padding bytes of switch instructions and the last two bytes of invokeinterface instructions are discarded, because they can be reconstructed by the decompressor.

A "wide" prefix bytecode is transmitted in bc_codes. The instruction following the prefix is decoded in its wide format, but (except in the case of iinc) it is transmitted in the same way, and using the same bands, as the normal (non-wide) format. The wide format of the iinc instruction uses bc_short instead of bc_byte to transmit its second operand.

Every branch instruction transmits its target (or targets, in the case of the switches) in the bc_label band, encoded as the difference between the renumbered BCI of the branch target and the renumbered BCI of the branch itself. (The renumbering, as described above, numbers the first instruction as zero, the second as one, and so forth.) Differences between renumbered BCIs are very compact; the primary encoding of BRANCH5 also takes advantage of the fact that most such differences are positive, because most branches are forward branches.

The bc_classref band carries incremented indexes into the cp_Class constant pool. The incrementing (by unity) reserves the code zero, which always refers to the current class. (This provides a a compact form for the most common class reference, which is a self-reference.)

The bc_byte and bc_short bands carry fixed-sized operands. These operands are not transmitted as general 32-bit integers because their instructions, as originally defined, already serve as specially compressed transmission formats. Integer values of these bands are treated as unsigned, even when they are semantically signed as operands. The bc_byte band is used for the last operands of multianewarray and non-wide iinc instructions, and for the operands of bipush and newarray instructions. The bc_short band is used for the last operands of wide iinc instructions, and for the operands of sipush instructions.

The bands bc_intref, bc_floatref, bc_longref, bc_doubleref, bc_stringref, bc_fieldref, bc_methodref, and bc_imethodref transmit ordinary indexes into the constant pools cp_Int, cp_Float, cp_Long, cp_Double, cp_String, cp_Field, cp_Method, and cp_Imethod, respectively.

For every lookupswitch or tableswitch instruction, the number of cases is transmitted in bc_case_count, and the default label is transmitted in bc_label. Each case value and case target of a lookupswitch is transmitted in bc_case_value and bc_label, respectively. The initial case value of a tableswitch is transmitted in bc_case_value, and each of its case targets is transmitted in bc_label.

If the first byte of an instruction has a code in the range [202..255], or if an instruction's operands cannot be parsed according to the requirements of this specification, it is a non-standard instruction. Every byte of a non-standard instruction must be transmitted in a special envelope in order to warn the decompressor to accept it literally. The envelope consists of a series of "byte_escape" and "ref_escape" opcodes in the bc_code band, corresponding sizes in bc_escsize and bc_escrefsize, bytes in bc_escbyte, and constant pool references in bc_escref. Every constant pool reference in a non-standard instruction must be escaped and transmitted in the bc_escref band. Each ref_escape wraps one such constant pool reference, of size up to four bytes. The transmitted reference is an index into cp_All, such that zero refers to the first CONSTANT_Utf8 constant, and so on.

byte_escape N<=255 N bytes bc_escsize bc_escbyte 254
ref_escape N<=2 N bytes bc_escrefsize bc_escref 253

There is no need for special transmission of any other operand type within non-standard instructions, because the Pack200 format exactly preserves all instruction bytes except for constant pool references. This specification does not address the means by which compressors adapt to the presence and format of non-standard instructions. It simply requires decompressors to decode them correctly.

Here is a table of the specially rewritten transmission forms for instructions:

Operand Transmission
ldc cp_String[i] aldc yes 18 (=ldc)
ldc cp_Class[i] cldc yes 233
ldc cp_Int[i] ildc yes 234
ldc cp_Float[i] fldc yes 235
ldc_w cp_String[i] aldc_w yes 19 (=ldc_w)
ldc_w cp_Class[i] cldc_w yes 236
ldc_w cp_Int[i] ildc_w yes 237
ldc_w cp_Float[i] fldc_w yes 238
ldc2_w cp_Long[i] lldc2_w yes 20 (=ldc2_w)
ldc2_w cp_Double[i] dldc2_w yes 239
getstatic (this class member) getstatic_this no 202
putstatic (this class member) putstatic_this no 203
getfield (this class member) getfield_this no 204
putfield (this class member) putfield_this no 205
invokevirtual (this class member) invokevirtual_this no 206
invokespecial (this class member) invokespecial_this no 207
invokestatic (this class member) invokestatic_this no 208
aload_0; getstatic (this class member) aload_0_getstatic_this no 209
aload_0; putstatic (this class member) aload_0_putstatic_this no 210
aload_0; getfield (this class member) aload_0_getfield_this no 211
aload_0; putfield (this class member) aload_0_putfield_this no 212
aload_0; invokevirtual (this class member) aload_0_invokevirtual_this no 213
aload_0; invokespecial (this class member) aload_0_invokespecial_this no 214
aload_0; invokestatic (this class member) aload_0_invokestatic_this no 215
getstatic (super class member) getstatic_super no 216
putstatic (super class member) putstatic_super no 217
getfield (super class member) getfield_super no 218
putfield (super class member) putfield_super no 219
invokevirtual (super class member) invokevirtual_super no 220
invokespecial (super class member) invokespecial_super no 221
invokestatic (super class member) invokestatic_super no 222
aload_0; getstatic (super class member) aload_0_getstatic_super no 223
aload_0; putstatic (super class member) aload_0_putstatic_super no 224
aload_0; getfield (super class member) aload_0_getfield_super no 225
aload_0; putfield (super class member) aload_0_putfield_super no 226
aload_0; invokevirtual (super class member) aload_0_invokevirtual_super no 227
aload_0; invokespecial (super class member) aload_0_invokespecial_super no 228
aload_0; invokestatic (super class member) aload_0_invokestatic_super no 229
invokespecial (this class <init>) invokespecial_this_init no 230
invokespecial (super class <init>) invokespecial_super_init no 231
invokespecial (new class <init>) invokespecial_new_init no 232

Every bytecode instruction is contained by a class, called the current class. The superclass (if any) of the current class is the current super class. The operand of the textually most recent "new" instruction (in the same method) is called the current new class.

If an instruction refers to a field or method in the current class, it may (at the compressor's option) be rewritten for transmission as a corresponding opcode spelled with "_this". Likewise, an instruction referring to a field or method in the current super class may be rewritten as a corresponding opcode spelled with "_super". In either case, if the immediately preceding instruction is aload_0 (opcode 42), the transmission of that instruction may be suppressed by the compressor, and the corresponding opcode spelled with "aload_0_" selected instead; otherwise the "aload_0_" variant may not be selected.

If an invokespecial instruction refers to a method named <init> in the current class, the current super class, or the current new class, the compressor may choose to rewrite it as an invokespecial_this_init, invokespecial_super_init, or invokespecial_new_init, respectively.

Field (resp. method) operands of rewritten instructions spelled with "_this" (but not "_init") are transmitted in the special band bc_thisfield (resp. bc_thismethod). The numbering of these operands is defined by taking the sequence of symbols in cp_Field (resp. cp_Method) and selecting only members of the current class. The resulting subset, without changing its order, is renumbered starting with zero. This provides a compact mapping of small integers to members of the current class.

Likewise, operands of rewritten instructions spelled with "_super" (but not "_init") are transmitted in the bc_superfield or bc_supermethod band, and renumbered as a subset of cp_Field or cp_Method, selecting only members of the current super class.

Finally, operands of the rewritten instructions spelled with "_init" are transmitted in the band bc_initref, and renumbered as a subset of cp_Method, selected according to the appropriate class (current, current super, or current new), and also selected to have the name <init>. (The index transmitted is usually very small; in effect it selects only the signature of the invoked method, and most classes possess only a few constructors.)

Here is a table summarizing the transmission of instructions of more than one byte.

Instruction Operand Transmitted
bipush (byte) x x & 0xFF bc_byte
sipush (short) x x & 0xFFFF bc_short
ildc cp_Int[i] i bc_intref
fldc cp_Float[i] i bc_floatref
aldc cp_String[i] i bc_stringref
cldc current class 0 bc_classref
cldc cp_Class[i] i+1 bc_classref
ildc_w cp_Int[i] i bc_intref
fldc_w cp_Float[i] i bc_floatref
aldc_w cp_String[i] i bc_stringref
cldc_w current class 0 bc_classref
cldc_w cp_Class[i] i+1 bc_classref
lldc2_w cp_Long[i] i bc_long
dldc2_w cp_Double[i] i bc_double
*load locals[i] i bc_local
*store locals[i] i bc_local
ret locals[i] i bc_local
iinc locals[i] i bc_local
iinc (not wide) (byte) x x & 0xFF bc_byte
iinc (wide) (short) x x & 0xFFFF bc_short
if** pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
if_** pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
goto pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
jsr pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
goto_w pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
jsr_w pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
tableswitch case count count bc_case_count
tableswitch default pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
tableswitch first case value value bc_case_value
tableswitch each case pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
lookupswitch case count count bc_case_count
lookupswitch default pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
lookupswitch each case value value bc_case_value
lookupswitch each case pc (delta/renumbered) bc_label
new current class 0 bc_classref
new cp_Class[i] 1+i bc_classref
newarray type code value bc_byte
anewarray current class 0 bc_classref
anewarray cp_Class[i] 1+i bc_classref
checkcast current class 0 bc_classref
checkcast cp_Class[i] 1+i bc_classref
instanceof current class 0 bc_classref
instanceof cp_Class[i] 1+i bc_classref
multianewarray cp_Class[i] 1+i bc_classref
multianewarray rank rank & 0xFF bc_byte
getstatic cp_Field[i] i bc_fieldref
putstatic cp_Field[i] i bc_fieldref
getfield cp_Field[i] i bc_fieldref
putfield cp_Field[i] i bc_fieldref
invokevirtual cp_Method[i] i bc_methodref
invokespecial cp_Method[i] i bc_methodref
invokestatic cp_Method[i] i bc_methodref
invokeinterface cp_Imethod[i] i bc_imethodref
**_this this_fields[i] i bc_thisfield
**_this this_methods[i] i bc_thismethod
**_super super_fields[i] i bc_superfield
**_super super_methods[i] i bc_supermethod
invokespecial_this_init this_constructors[i] i bc_initref
invokespecial_super_init super_constructors[i] i bc_initref
invokespecial_new_init new_constructors[i] i bc_initref

6. Specification of Band Coding

A Pack200 band consists of a sequence of small integers, each of which is representable in 32 bits. Depending on the intended use of these numbers, they may be interpreted to possess a twos-complement sign.

Each integer is coded for transmission as a byte sequence, using between one and five bytes, according to a previously determined encoding. The encoding may by a primary encoding for the current band as specified as part of this Pack200 archive format specification, or the encoding may depend on information transmitted before the occurrence of the encoded integer.

(Note: In this account of encodings, bytes are indivisible octets which express unsigned values in [0,255].)

6.1. Encoding of Small Whole Numbers

There is a small but flexible set of possible encodings allowed by the archive. They are all based on a two-parameter scheme of codings for small unsigned integers, which is further parameterized by options for sign representation and delta encoding, and by special modes for slowly varying encodings, and for the compact renaming of frequent values.

6.1.1. Scheme of Multiple Codings

The encoding of a small whole number depends on two independent parameters B and H, and a derived parameter L:
Name Range Meaning
B [1..5] maximum byte length
H [1..256] number of high byte values
L [0..255] number of low byte values, defined as (256-H)

Given any two values B and H, there is a coding (B,H) which establishes a one-to-one correspondence between an initial sequence of non-negative integers, and an "encoding sets" of short sequences of bytes.

Moreover, no byte sequence in the encoding set is a proper prefix of another byte sequence in the same set. prefix. This means, informally, that encodings are self-sizing, or "parseable".

Also, the encoding set is as full as possible, so that every long-enough sequence of bytes begins with a unique prefix of bytes drawn from the encoding set. In particular, every sequence of B bytes has a (unique) prefix in the encoding set for the (B,H) coding.

6.1.2. Definition of Encoding Byte Sequences

Relative to a given (B,H) coding, we say that a byte is "high" if its value is in the range [256-H..255]. We also say that a byte is "low" if L is positive and the byte's value is in the range [0..L-1]

Given a (B,H) coding, a sequence of bytes is in its encoding set if and only if all of the following are true:

As a consequence of this definition, the encoding set be regarded as satisfying this regular expression, in terms of high and low bytes:

  encoding_set = (high* low) | (high)^B

(Note: In this specification the up-caret sign '^' denotes exponentiation, either of regular expressions as above, or of numbers.)

If n is less than B then the number of (B,H) encodings of length exactly n is (H^(n-1) * L). The number of (B,H) encodings of length exactly B is (H^(B-1) * (L+H)). The sum of these values for all n in [1..B] is the total size of the encoding set for a (B,H) coding. It is called Card(B,H) and is therefore defined as:

  Card(B,H) = (L * (1-H^B)/(1-H)) + H^B
    if H>1, or else
  Card(B,1) = B*255+1

If H is 256, there are no low bytes, and the encoding set consists of all possible sequences of exactly B bytes, and Card(B,H) is 256^B.

Otherwise, the encoding set consists of sequences of various lengths, from 1 to B inclusive. In particular, there are L one-byte sequences. We will use these elsewhere to encode the "favored" integers of the highest frequency. Note that the encoding rules specified elsewhere in this document are designed to produce smaller integers more frequently than larger ones.

Note that L can be viewed as a "sharpness" parameter, expressing the sharpness of the distribution about zero of the expected values to be encoded. The larger L is, the more the encoding favors distributions of values which are close to zero, and rarely far from it. Larger H values favor "flatter" distributions, up to H=256, L=0, which favorably encodes completely random data within the range of the coding.

6.1.3. Definition of Decoded Whole Number Values

The range of a (B,H) coding is the integers in [0..Card(B,H)-1]. (Note that this range applies only to the unsigned codings introduced so far in this section.)

Given the sequence of N byte values b[0] .. b[N-1], the sorting-based definition given above implies that the decoded integer value of this byte sequence is the little-endian base-H scaled sum of the bytes, and is called Decode(B,H; b):

  Decode(B,H; b[*]) = Sum[0<=i<N]( b[i] * H^i )

As a consequence of this definition, each byte sequence in the encoding set corresponds uniquely to an arithmetic integer value in that range. This correspondence may be observed by ordering the byte sequences first by length, and second according to their antilexicographic (little-endian) order. Each element in resulting sequence decodes into its own zero-based index within the sequence.

Note that the number zero is always encoded by a sequence of B zero bytes (if H is 256) or else by single zero byte.

The largest encoded arithmetic value is always encoded by a sequence of B bytes of value 255.

Note that the (B,H) encodings (1,256), (2,256), and (4,256) are identical with the conventional little-endian representations of unsigned bytes, unsigned 16-bit integers, and unsigned 32-bit integers.

Note that some may represent arithmetic values greater than 2^31-1 or even 2^32-1. This is a feature of the (B,H) coding scheme. (But sometimes intermediate 64-bit values are required when multiple sign bits are being used, as described below. The rules given below for signed values require the compressor to emit the simplest encoding that will suffice to transmit the required 32-bit integer, even if more complex sequences would produce the same 32-bit value, after truncation.)

Note that implementations are not always free to truncate intermediate values when computing (B,H) coding values. However, the final decoded values (after restoration of signs) will always fit in 32 bits, as described in the next section.

6.2. Encoding of Signed Integers

In order to encode signed 32-bit numbers we add another parameter to the (B,H) coding scheme.
Name Range Meaning
B [1..5] maximum byte length
H [1..256] number of high byte values
L [0..255] number of low byte values, defined as (256-H)
S [0..2] number of sign bits

The whole number U obtained from a (B,H) coding is converted to a signed 32-bit value X in a manner which depends on the parameter S. This process is called sign conversion.

Informally, sign conversion is performed by 32-bit truncation if S=0. Otherwise, the low-order bits of U are collectively treated as a sign bit, so that X will be negative only if all sign bits are set. The two conversions from U to positive X and U to negative X are independently dense and monotonic in opposite directions, as defined below.

Unlike the (B,H) coding, a (B,H,S) coding represents only numbers in a specifically defined range, which is never larger than [-2^31..2^31-1].

In what follows, for each (B,H,S) coding, we define Range(B,H,S), and the method used to represent 32-bit signed values with that coding.

A (B,H) encoding byte sequence is not a legal input to a corresponding (B,H,S) coding if it represents a whole number U which does not convert into the range of the (B,H,S) coding. Also, if there are two byte sequences encoding values U1 and U2 which both map into the same point X in the signed range, only the byte sequence for the smaller of U1 and U2 is legal.

Thus, a (B,H,S) coding may have a smaller cardinality than the corresponding (B,H) coding, due to illegal encoding byte sequences.

The range of a (B,H,S) coding contains all 32-bit signed integers [-2^31..2^31-1] if Card(B,H) is 2^32 or more. (Negative values are represented by 31-bit unsigned overflow.) If the coding encodes fewer unsigned values, the top of its range is clipped to 2^31-1, and the bottom of its range is clipped to -2^31.

More precisely, the range of a (B,H,S) coding is called Range(B,H,S) and is defined (partially, for S=0) as:

  Range(B,H,S) = [-2^31..2^31-1]
    if S=0, Card(B,H) >= 2^32, or
  Range(B,H,S) = [0..2^31-1]
    if S=0, 2^31 < Card(B,H) < 2^32, or else
  Range(B,H,S) = [0..Card(B,H)-1]
    if S=0, Card(B,H) <= 2^31
A compressor is not allowed to emit a byte sequence which, when interpreted according to the current coding, decodes to a value outside of that coding's range.

(Note that decompressors can produce arbitrary answers for out-of-range codings, since compressors are not allowed to emit them. This allows decompressors to use 32-bit arithmetic for most calculations, ignoring the possibility of undesired wraparond.)

If S>0, the decoding of a byte sequence is performed first by decoding it as a (B,H) coding, and then by converting the decoded whole number into a signed 32-bit number. This sign conversion depends only on the arithmetic value U obtained from the (B,H) coding, and on the value of S. The arithmetic value must be preserved beyond 32 bits of precision, if the sign conversion will produce a value within the range of the coding. If the cardinality of the (B,H) coding is 2^32 or more, the (B,H,S) coding produces all possible signed 32-bit negative values, by 32-bit truncation of the intermediate unsigned whole number. The intermediate unsigned arithmetic can be carried out (with some care) using 32-bit unsigned numbers, or it can be carried out on 64-bit signed or unsigned numbers.

More precisely, the sign conversion operation SignConvert(S;U) is defined as:

  SignConvert(S; U) = Cast32(U)
    if S==0; or
  SignConvert(S; U) = U - Floor(U / 2^S)
    if S>0, (U % 2^S) < 2^S-1, Card(B,H) < 2^32
  SignConvert(S; U) = Cast32(U - Floor(U / 2^S))
    if S>0, (U % 2^S) < 2^S-1, Card(B,H) >= 2^32
  SignConvert(S; U) = -Floor(U / 2^S)-1
    if S>0, (U % 2^S) == 2^S-1
The conversion from a large unsigned number of a negative 32-bit number via wraparound is simply the familiar down-cast to a signed 32-bit int. It may be defined mathematically as:
  Cast32(U) = ((U + 2^31) mod 2^32) - 2^31
6.2.1. Further Discussion of Sign Conversion
Note that sign conversion always maps zero to zero. The reader may also verify that, if S>0, the range of SignConvert includes [-1..1], and that it is dense and monotonic in any wholly positive or wholly negative sub-range.

As a consequence of the definition of SignConvert(S;U), the S low-order bits of U function as a sign bit. In effect, U is partitioned into a sign field U0 (consisting of the S low-order bits) and a significand U1 (consisting of all other bits of U).

In this alternative view of the definition of SignConvert, if all S bits of U0 are set, then the decoded signed value is the ones complement of U1. (Since this includes the indefinite number of zero high-order bits of U, the resulting value is arithmetically negative.)

Otherwise, if some of the S bits of U0 are clear, then the significand U1 is scaled by the number of possible values of U0 (i.e., (2^2)-1 if S is 2) and U0 is added back in.

This provides a one-to-one correspondence between some portion of the arithmetic interval [0..Card(B,H)-1] and Range(B,H,S).

The integers "favored" by this encoding are those of small magnitude, but they can have either sign. If S is one, the encoding has a balanced number of positive and negative favored values. If S is two (or more), the encoding is skewed toward positive numbers, but also favors a few negative numbers. We use such codings elsewhere to encode values, such as branch displacements or deltas of mostly-sorted data, which are usually positive but sometimes negative.

Note that if S=1, this definition of sign conversion is equivalent to an unsigned right shift followed by an exclusive-or of the sign bit with all remaining bits:

  SignConvert(1; U) = (U >>> 1) ^ -(U & 1)

For S>0, Range(B,H,S) is simply defined as the intersection of the 32-bit signed range [-2^31..2^31-1] with the set SignConvert(S; [0..Card(B,H)-1]), obtained by element-wise application of sign conversion to every arithmetically representable value of (B,H). Therefore, we can complete the definition of Range as follows:

  Range(B,H,S) = [-2^31..2^31-1]
    if Card(B,H) >= 2^32, or
  Range(B,H,S) = [0..2^31-1]
    if S=0, 2^31 < Card(B,H) < 2^32, or else
  Range(B,H,S) = [0..Card(B,H)-1]
    if S=0, Card(B,H) <= 2^31

  Range(B,H,S) = [max(  -2^31, min SignConvert(S; Range(B,H,0)) )
               .. min( 2^31-1, max SignConvert(S; Range(B,H,0)) )]

(Note: When computing the bounds of a signed encoding (B,H,S), it is useful to start with the largest unsigned value M of (B,H,0) and perform sign-conversion on M, M-1, M-2, etc., noting the first positive and the first negative value to be encountered. These will be the inclusive bounds of the signed encoding's range.)

6.3. Attributes of Codings

The cardinality of a (B,H) coding was defined above:
  Card(B,H) = (L * (1-H^B)/(1-H)) + H^B

The cardinality of a (B,H,S) coding is determined by that of its range:

  Card(B,H,S) = Card Range(B,H,S) <= Card(B,H)

As defined, the range of any coding (B,H,S) is dense about zero and can therefore be expressed as a closed interval:

  Range(B,H,S) = [Min(B,H,S)..Max(B,H,S)]
  -2^31 <= Min(B,H,S) <= 0
  0     <  Max(B,H,S) <= 2^31-1

Certain additional attributes can be predicated of codings. A coding can either be signed or not, and it can be a full-range coding, or a sub-range coding (or neither).

A (B,H,S) coding is signed if it can encode at least one negative value. This is true if and only if S is non-zero or S is zero and Card(B,H) is 2^32 or more.

A (B,H,S) coding is full-range if Range(B,H,S) is [-2^31..2^31-1].

A sub-range coding delivers less than 2^31 distinct values. More precisely, a coding (B,H,S) is sub-range if Card(B,H,S) <= 2^31-1. (Some codings are neither full-range nor sub-range codings.)

As a consequence of these definitions, any coding for which B<=3 is a sub-range coding. Longer codings can also be sub-ranges if they are "sharp" enough. Some examples are (4,192,0), (5,32,0), and (5,32,1).

Also, the unsigned coding (4,256,0) is full-range, as is the signed version (4,256,1), but not the doubly-signed version (4,256,2).

The coding (4,255,0) is neither a sub-range nor a full-range coding, since its cardinality is 2^31. It represents only non-negative 32-bit integers, but its cardinality cannot be so represented.

6.4. Encoding of Correlated Sequences

Every single integer in the archive format is encoded according to some coding in the scheme of (B,H,S) codings. In addition, special attention is paid to sequences of integers (in the "bands" described elsewhere) which show statistical regularity. In particular, if a sequence of integers is found to exhibit a pattern of small, regular first-order differences, those differences may be encoded in place of the values themselves. This is described by a fourth coding parameter added to the (B,H,S) scheme.
Name Range Meaning
B [1..5] maximum byte length
H [1..256] number of high byte values
L [0..255] number of low byte values, defined as (256-H)
S [0..2] number of sign bits
D [0..1] delta encoding order

If D is zero, no differencing is performed, and the (B,H,S,0) coding is in all ways identical to the corresponding (B,H,S) coding. If D is one, the values are encoded in terms of their successive differences.

(Note: Sequences which are mostly monotonically ascending will often be favorably encoded using unsigned delta codings of the form (5,H,0,1).)

Suppose a sequence of values X[i] is given, for some range of i in [0..N-1]. This sequence will be representable by a (B,H,S,1) coding only if the (B,H,S) coding is a sub-range or a full-range coding. (If it is neither, there is no legal (B,H,S,1) coding.)

The sequence X[i] will be representable, only if there is a series of "delta values" D[i] whose partial sums Sum[j<=i](D[j]) can represent the values X[i].

Each (B,H,S,1) coding has a range, in which all X[i] values must lie. This range is defined as Range(B,H,S,1) = Range(B,H,0). The range of a delta coding (B,H,S,1) contains negative numbers only if it is based on a full-range coding (B,H,S). Otherwise, the delta coding can only represent non-negative numbers. In practice, this is not a severe restriction, since in practice very few band elements are negative.

The partial sums Sum[j<=i](D[j]) are allowed to leave the range, but the final X[i] values are always brought back into range by adding or subtracting a multiple of Card Range(B,H,0).

More precisely:

  X[i] = Sum[j<=i](D[j]) mod Card(B,H,0)
    if (B,H,S) is sub-range
  X[i] = (int32) Sum[j<=i](D[j])
    if (B,H,S) is full-range
(Here, the cast to int32 denotes truncation to 32 bits.)

Note that implementations can simply ignore 32-bit wraparound when computing partial sums, if the coding is full-range. Otherwise, more care must be taken to bring partial sums back into range by subtracting or adding multiples of the range cardinality. Also, 32-bit wraparound may be a hazard for ranges of size 2^30 or more. It is possible to implement this using only 32-bit signed arithmetic.

6.5. Encodings of Uncorrelated Values

The coding methods described so far are designed to favor values which, on average, tend to be near zero or near the preceding value. Some data sets have marked statistical patterns in which values have only weak arithmetic relations (to zero or to each other), but which show strong repetitive patterns, especially in their first-order statistics.

The compressor may elect to use a population-based coding transformation in such cases. This transformation takes a sequence S of N arithmetic values and converts it into three value sequences:

Each of these sequences (F, T, and U) is in turn treated as a sub-band, and transmitted with an independent encoding. Each non-zero value in T indexes a value from F, while each zero value in T selects (in order) a value from U:

  S[i] = F[T[i]-1]
    if T[i] != 0
  U = { S[i] such that T[i] == 0 }
6.5.1. Table of Favorites
The table F contains any number of integer values. There is no restriction on their number or identity, except that no value in F may be repeated, except the last, and F must not contain unused values. The last value in F must be a repetition of an earlier occurrence of a "sentinel value" of F. This sentinel marks the end of the table F, allowing the decompressor to prepare to read T and U.

The "central value" X of F is defined as that element of F which is arithmetically closest to zero. If F contains both a positive X and a negative -X of minimal absolute value, then -X is defined as the central value. (I.e., a negative sign is the tie-breaker. The central value is chosen so as to have a favorable encoding.)

(Note that implementations may compare values for centrality by using the 32-bit signed int expression (X>>31)^(X<<1) as an unsigned comparison key.)

A valid sentinel value is either the central value of F, or the last value of F. Thus, while parsing F, the decompressor must look for a repetition of either the central value (so far) or of the immediately previous value.

Let K be the number of values in F, ignoring the repetition of the sentinel value. In the next band, values in [1..K] will refer (as 1-origin indexes) to corresponding elements of F.

6.5.2. Sequence of Tokens
The sequence T follows the table F, and encodes the input of the population transformation in a direct, element-by-element manner.

Each element of T is a token for either a favored or an unfavored value, encoded in the arithmetic range [0..K]. Each non-zero value corresponds in order to an element of F, and produces that favored value. Each zero value in T is a placeholder for an "unfavored" value, which is still unknown.

As mentioned above, each element of F must be referred to by at least one element of T. That is, the following two sets must be the same:

  { F[T[i]-1] such that T[i] != 0 }
  { F[j] }

The statistics of the sequence T are quite favorable for compact encoding in a suitable (B,H) scheme, assuming that the coder made good choices for the contents of F. Generally speaking, the most commonly occurring input values should be given early positions in F.

A greedy algorithm could sort the input values by number of occurrences and place the most common values at the front of F. This would be likely to produce an improved encoding for the input. Such techniques are neither mandated nor discouraged by this specification.

6.5.3. Sequence of Unfavored Values
The third subsequence consists of values which were not representable by indexes into the table F. Let Z be the number of zeroes encountered in T. There is a ordered, one-to-one correspondence between the Z zeroes in T and all the Z values of U.

Taken together, the elements of F and U selected by the elements of T must be identical in value and order to the input of the population transformation.

The decompressor can then read F into memory, read T into memory, and then make a second pass over T, translating token values, either referring to F or reading from U as necessary.

6.6. Adaptive Encodings

Sometimes, in a very long sequence of values, the statistics will change slowly, making an initially suitable coding tactic become unsuitable.

An adaptive coding method handles this situation by allowing value sequences to be partitioned (effectively into sub-bands), with an independent coding used locally in each part.

An adaptive coding method is specified by a count K, a coding method A which will be used to encode K values, and another coding method B which will handle the rest of the values.

Since bands are sized by context, when an adaptive coding method is applied to the bytes of an encoded band, the method will be provided in advance with the count N of values to decode. Thus, after the method A has decoded K values, the method B will be used to decode the rest of the (N-K) values in the band.

6.7. Meta-Coding

Every band in the Pack200 archive format whose primary encoding is not BYTE1 is optionally preceded by a series of bytes called a band coding specifier which specify a secondary coding or codings used in that band, instead of the primary coding. The decompressor must parse this coding specifier and save it away before it reads any of the band elements. In a few extra bytes of information, the coding specifier determines exactly how the subsequent bytes are to be decoded into band values.

Any compressor may elect not to provide a band coding specifier, in which case the band's primary encoding governs the transmission of elements. If the encoding of the first band element under the primary encoding accidentally appears to be a band coding specifier, the compressor is obligated to transmit an explicit band coding specifier that reaffirms the band's primary encoding. This is rare, because (as noted below) band coding specifiers present themselves as negative numbers in the primary encoding, and negative numbers are rare in most bands.

6.7.1. Coding Specifier Structure
The symbolic structure of a band coding specifier is determined by the following grammar. (This grammar is independent of the grammar governing band structure, or any other grammar appearing in other parts of this specification.)
        (Default | BHSDCode | RunCode | PopCode)
        CanonicalBHSDCode | ArbitraryBHSDCode
        ( '(1,256,0)' | '(1,256,1)' | ... )
        'arb' ( B H S D )
  B, H, S, D: 
        'run' K ACode BCode
        (Default | BHSDCode | PopCode)
        (Default | BHSDCode | RunCode | PopCode)
        'pop' ( FCode TCode UCode )
        (Default | BHSDCode | RunCode)
        (Default | BHSDCode | RunCode)
        (Default | BHSDCode | RunCode)
        ( '0' | '1' | ... )
Note that adaptive coding methods ("RunCode" nonterminals) can be chained via the "BCode" nonterminal, but cannot be nested directly via the "ACode" nonterminal. (As the grammar shows, they may be nested indirectly via the "PopCode" nonterminal.)

Also, population coding methods can contain adaptive coding methods, and vice versa. However, although the grammar does not show this fact, population coding methods must not be nested, even indirectly.

Not all possible integer values of K and L are equally well expressible. The intended values of K are commensurate with compressor windows, and the intended values of L are sharpness parameters for BHS encodings.

6.7.2. Coding Specifier Semantics
At any point, band contents are decoded under the control of three pieces of information:

We denote the application of S in the context of N and D as "S(N,D)". This application decodes up to N elements of transmitted band data.

Just before a band is received, the decompressor knows an expected band length N and a default coding method D, specified statically as the band's primary encoding. The decompressor then reads zero or more bytes which constitute a band encoding specifier, and decodes N elements of band data based on the band encoding specifier.

When the coding specifier is 'default', N values are decoded using the default coding D, which is the band's primary encoding. (This rule is necessary if the band's first element appears to introduce a non-empty coding specifier. Such a default coding specifier is the only kind that a compressor is obligated to emit; the rest are all optional.)

When the coding specifier is another BHSDCode, N values are decoded using that coding. The ambient default D is ignored.

When the coding specifier is a 'run' of K, ACode, BCode, two steps are taken. First, the specifier ACode is given control, as ACode(K,D). That is, N is temporarily set to K. Second, the specifier BCode is given control as BCode(N-K,D). (Note: If N is infinity, N-K will also be infinity.) In both steps, D remains unchanged, so that occurrences of 'default' for ACode or BCode cause D to be used.

It is illegal for a 'run' coding specifier to specify a K of zero, or for it to be used to decode a run of K or fewer values.

When the coding specifier is a 'pop' of FCode, TCode, UCode, three steps are taken. First, FCode is applied as FCode(infinity, D). The decoding of the F values stops when the first duplicate value is encountered. (As specified in the section above on population coding, that duplicate value acts as a sentinel, and must be either the most "central" value read, or else the value immediately previous to the sentinel value.) Let K be the number of unique decoded values.

During the decoding of the F values by FCode, every 'run' specifier in FCode must exhaust its count 'K' without decoding the sentinel value. That is, the sentinel must be decoded by the last simple BHSD coding in FCode.

In the second step, a different coding TCode is used, since the T values are expected to be a dense encoding. TCode is applied as TCode(N,D), and the tokens are read which determine the band values to be delivered. (Note that a 'pop' coding method can only be applied if the N value supplied is finite. This will be true, since the only bands which are read with an infinite N are byte bands such as bc_codes.) Let Z be the number of zeroes decoded using TCode.

The third step is to use UCode to decode Z values, using the original default encoding D. UCode is applied as U(Z,D). The resulting band is produced from the T sequence, as documented above, by replacing zeroes in the T sequence by successive U values, and replacing other elements of the T sequence by those indexed in the F sequence.

It is illegal for a 'pop' coding specifier to be used to decode a run of no values, or of an infinite number of values. If Z (the number of unfavored values) is zero, it is illegal for UCode to be anything other than 'default'.

6.7.3. Coding Specifier Meta-Encoding
The compressor uses a tense, byte-oriented encoding to transmit the band encoding specifier. Although the "little language" above allows a wide range of encodings, in practice many of them are similar in performance and applicability. It is not necessary or desirable to allow the compressor complete freedom to specify any conceivable band encoding specifier. Instead, the meta-encoding described in this section allows the compressor to select from a limited but useful set of secondary encodings. It is up to the compressor to make a choice that improves compression; the heuristic or algorithm that controls such a selection is beyond the scope of this specification.

The common band coding specifier of 'default' is encoded in a way that often requires no extra bytes. If the band has no elements, no parsing at all is done. Otherwise, if the band's default encoding is of variable length, the decompressor is obligated to decode one value X from the initial bytes of the band using the band's default coding D. If possible, the value X is converted into an unsigned byte value XB, which is taken to be the first byte of a band coding specifier, and X will be discarded. Otherwise, the band coding specifier is taken to be 'default', and so D is applied to the entire band, including the bytes which produced the initial value X.

D must be of the form (B,H,S) or (B,H,S,D), where B>1 and H<256. The value is D is irrelevant to the decoding of the first value, and the decoding of X is done using (B,H,S,0). If S is not zero, and if the value X is in the range [-256..-1], the coding specifier byte XB is defined as XB = (-1-X), and X is discarded. Otherwise, if S is zero, and if the value of X is in the range [(256-H)..(511-H)], the coding specifier byte XB is defined as XB = (X-(256-H)), and X is discarded. Otherwise, there is not a coding specifier byte XB, and X is the first band value, as described above.

The value XB, if produced, is taken to be the initial byte of a coding specifier preceding the actual band data. This specifier is parsed, starting with XB, and continuing (if necessary) with bytes bytes taken from band_headers. The parsed specifier is then used to control decoding, starting at the next byte, of all band elements.

If the band really does start with an element X1 in a range ([-256..-1] or [L,L+255]) that requires the production of a band specififer byte XB, but the compressor wishes to use the default encoding, the compressor is required to specify a band header, lest X1 mislead the decompressor. If the compressor wishes to keep the default coding, it must in such cases specify an explicit coding specifier of 'default', using an XB value of zero (as specified below). This zero XB is transmitted, depending on the default encoding, as an X value of -1 (usually the byte 1) or of L (usually the bytes 192,0).

(An immediate consequence of this design is that byte bands can never have non-default encodings, but all other bands can, since all the other bands have default encodigns which are variable length and have a large dynamic range. The "escape" values chosen for X are rare in practice, so they are not usually confused with real band data. Adding an extra zero value to reaffirm the default will always cost one extra byte before the actual band data, and no extra bytes in the band_headers band. In general, the encoding of explicit X values will always require two bytes if S is zero, and at most two bytes if S is not zero.)

The band band_headers transmits the non-initial band header bytes (if any) of each band that has a band header. The order of transmission is consistent with the overall order of all bands in the archive, as given in the present specification's band grammar. The length of band_headers is independently specified (as #band_headers_size) in the archive header. (It should be clear that the decompressor needs to find the end of band_headers before it can read any further bands.)

Thus, the encoding of a coding specifier consists of a sequence of bytes: an initial byte XB, and zero or more non-initial bytes taken from band_headers. The encodings of the little language specified in the previous section are as follows. The encoding 'default' is a zero byte. Of all the possible BHSDCode encodings, a sequence of 115 canonical encodings (defined below) is selected to cover the expected range of uses. A BHSDCode is represented as a single byte whose value is the index (1-based) of the selected canonical coding.

  Enc{default}  = (0)
  Enc{CanonicalBHSDCode} = value in [1..115]

The special value 116 introduces an arbitrary, possibly non-canonical BHSD code, described in the following byte.

  Enc{ arb ( B H S D ) } =
    & (D:[0..1] + 2*S[0..2] + 8*(B:[1..5]-1))
    & (H[1..256]-1):
The B value must be in the range [1..5]. The S value must be in the range [0..2]. The H value must be in the range [1..256]. The D value must be in the range [0..1]. (These ranges are inclusive.) In addition, if B is 1, H must be 256, and if H is 256, B must not be 5.

The 'run' construct encodings begin with a byte in [117..140], and may be followed by an optional byte KB and then by one or two encoding specifiers ACode and BCode. The offset from 117 represents bitwise the following data:

The last two bits are jointly encoded in the value ABDef. They are never both true.
  Enc{ run ( K ACode BCode ) } =
      (117 + (KX:[0..3]) + 4*(KBFlag:[0..1]) + 8*(ABDef:[0..2]))
    & KB: one of [0..255] if KBFlag=1
    & Enc{ ACode } if ADef=0  (ABDef != 1)
    & Enc{ BCode } if BDef=0  (ABDef != 2)

After the leading byte is parsed, a byte KB is expected if the KBFlag is set, otherwise KB is implicitly given the value 3.

The K value for the 'run' construct can take a range of values, and is determined as follows:

  K = (KB+1) * 16^KX

The ACode coding is understood to be 'default' if the ADef bit is set. Otherwise, the representation of ACode is parsed next. Finally, the BCode coding is understood to be 'default' if the BDef bit is set. Otherwise, the representation of BCode is parsed last. Both ADef and BDef may be clear, but both may not be set.

The 'pop' construct encodings begin with a byte in [141..188], and may be followed by one, two, or three encoding specifiers, FCode, UCode, and TCode. The offset from 141 bitwise encodes the following data:

The last two values are jointly encoded in the value TDefL.
  Enc{ pop ( FCode TCode UCode ) }
    = (141 + (FDef:[0..1]) + 2*UDef:[0..1] + 4*(TDefL:[0..11]))
    & Enc{ FCode } if FDef=0
    & Enc{ TCode } if TDef=0  (TDefL==0)
    & Enc{ UCode } if UDef=0

If TDef is zero, an explicit encoding specifier determines TCode, and the L parameter is not present. If TDef is one, the L parameter is present and is derived from TDefL, according to the following table:

1 4
2 8
3 16
4 32
5 64
6 128
7 192
8 224
9 240
10 248
11 252

If the L parameter is present, the TCode is derived from the K and L values. If K < 256, then TCode is BYTE1 (1,255,0), and L is ignored. Otherwise, TCode is the (B,H,S) coding where S=0, H=(256-L), and B is the smallest value such that [0..K] is contained in Range(B,H,S). (It is illegal to specify an L so large that Range(5,256-L,0) does not contain K.)

The FCode coding is understood to be 'default' if the FDef bit is set. Otherwise, the representation of FCode is parsed immediately after the initial byte. The TCode coding is understood to be derived from K and L if the TDef bit is set. Otherwise, the representation of TCode is parsed next. Finally, the UCode coding is understood to be 'default' if the UDef bit is set. Otherwise, the representation of UCode is parsed last.

6.7.4. Canonical BHSD Codings
Here is the list of all the canonical BHSD codings. These codings are designed to match a diverse variety of band value ranges and statistics.
index BHSD Coding
1 (1,256,0)
2 (1,256,1)
3 (1,256,0,1)
4 (1,256,1,1)
5 (2,256,0)
6 (2,256,1)
7 (2,256,0,1)
8 (2,256,1,1)
9 (3,256,0)
10 (3,256,1)
11 (3,256,0,1)
12 (3,256,1,1)
13 (4,256,0)
14 (4,256,1)
15 (4,256,0,1)
16 (4,256,1,1)
17 (5, 4,0)
18 (5, 4,1)
19 (5, 4,2)
20 (5, 16,0)
21 (5, 16,1)
22 (5, 16,2)
23 (5, 32,0)
24 (5, 32,1)
25 (5, 32,2)
26 (5, 64,0)
27 (5, 64,1)
28 (5, 64,2)
29 (5,128,0)
30 (5,128,1)
31 (5,128,2)
32 (5, 4,0,1)
33 (5, 4,1,1)
34 (5, 4,2,1)
35 (5, 16,0,1)
36 (5, 16,1,1)
37 (5, 16,2,1)
38 (5, 32,0,1)
39 (5, 32,1,1)
40 (5, 32,2,1)
41 (5, 64,0,1)
42 (5, 64,1,1)
43 (5, 64,2,1)
44 (5,128,0,1)
45 (5,128,1,1)
46 (5,128,2,1)
47 (2,192,0)
48 (2,224,0)
49 (2,240,0)
50 (2,248,0)
51 (2,252,0)
52 (2, 8,0,1)
53 (2, 8,1,1)
54 (2, 16,0,1)
55 (2, 16,1,1)
56 (2, 32,0,1)
57 (2, 32,1,1)
58 (2, 64,0,1)
59 (2, 64,1,1)
60 (2,128,0,1)
61 (2,128,1,1)
62 (2,192,0,1)
63 (2,192,1,1)
64 (2,224,0,1)
65 (2,224,1,1)
66 (2,240,0,1)
67 (2,240,1,1)
68 (2,248,0,1)
69 (2,248,1,1)
70 (3,192,0)
71 (3,224,0)
72 (3,240,0)
73 (3,248,0)
74 (3,252,0)
75 (3, 8,0,1)
76 (3, 8,1,1)
77 (3, 16,0,1)
78 (3, 16,1,1)
79 (3, 32,0,1)
80 (3, 32,1,1)
81 (3, 64,0,1)
82 (3, 64,1,1)
83 (3,128,0,1)
84 (3,128,1,1)
85 (3,192,0,1)
86 (3,192,1,1)
87 (3,224,0,1)
88 (3,224,1,1)
89 (3,240,0,1)
90 (3,240,1,1)
91 (3,248,0,1)
92 (3,248,1,1)
93 (4,192,0)
94 (4,224,0)
95 (4,240,0)
96 (4,248,0)
97 (4,252,0)
98 (4, 8,0,1)
99 (4, 8,1,1)
100 (4, 16,0,1)
101 (4, 16,1,1)
102 (4, 32,0,1)
103 (4, 32,1,1)
104 (4, 64,0,1)
105 (4, 64,1,1)
106 (4,128,0,1)
107 (4,128,1,1)
108 (4,192,0,1)
109 (4,192,1,1)
110 (4,224,0,1)
111 (4,224,1,1)
112 (4,240,0,1)
113 (4,240,1,1)
114 (4,248,0,1)
115 (4,248,1,1)

7. Stability of Decompressor Output

From what has been said so far, it may appear that a decompressor has considerable free choice in its arrangement of class file contents. In the class file format, there are numerous degrees of freedom which have no effect on the meaning of the file. For example, constant pool entries, attribute lists, and class methods are presented in no significant order, and could be shuffled at will by the decompressor without changing the meaning of the Java application.

However, for any given Pack200 archive, every decompressor is required to produce a particular byte-wise image for each class file transmitted. This requirement is placed on decompressors in order to make it possible for compressors to transmit information, such as message digests, which relates to the eventual byte-wise contents of transmitted class files. This section describes the restrictions placed on every decompressor that makes the byte-wise contents of its output files a well-defined function of its input.

In general, the order of elements in a decompressed class file must be consistent with the transmission order in the Pack200 archive. For example, the order of a class's fields declared in the class file must correspond to the order in which that class's field descriptors were transmitted in the field_descr band. (This also happens to correspond to the order in the field_flags bands.) This table gives all of the required correspondences of class file order with archive transmission order:

element in
class file
band which
determines order
implemented interfaces class_interface
declared fields field_descr
declared methods method_descr
code handler list code_handler_start_P
class attribute list class_flags, class_attr_indexes
field attribute list field_flags, field_attr_indexes
method attribute list method_flags, method_attr_indexes
code attribute list code_attr_indexes
constant pool entries cp_Utf8, etc. (see below)

Together, these required correspondences of order determine the exact contents of the decompressed class file. The ordering of interfaces, fields, methods, and exception handlers is directly determined by the ordering of the bands that transmit them.

7.1. Ordering of Attribute Lists

Attribute lists for classes, fields, and methods must begin with all attributes transmitted because of set flag bits. The order must be index order (from LSB to MSB in the flag word). After any possible flag-caused attributes, the list must then contain any overflow attributes. Any attribute list with overflow attributes will present them in the same order as their layouts were transmitted in the corresponding series of values from class_attr_indexes, field_attr_indexes, method_attr_indexes, or code_attr_indexes. Note that an attribute layout whose index is less than 32 can be specified zero or one times via a flag bit. Independently, it can also be specified zero or more times via occurrences in a band transmitting overflow attribute layouts.

If an InnerClasses attribute must be added to a class, under the rules given in the next section, that attribute must come last in the class's attribute list.

7.2. Ordering of Constant Pools

The constant pool cp(X) of a decompressed class file X is defined as if by a post-processing of X and cp_All after the decompressor has already produced most of X. Specifically, suppose that the contents of X are determined, except that:

Then cp(X) is defined as if by the following steps, which populate it from the global constant pool cp_All, and also potentially produce an InnerClasses attribute for X.

At this point the constant pool cp(X) is well enough defined to allow the decompressor to compute the set of relevant nested classes, called ic_Relevant(X).

With ic_Relevant(X) and an optionally transmitted ic_Local(X) in hand, the decompressor must next decide whether to store an InnerClasses attribute ic_Stored(X) for X, using these steps.

With the last contributions from nested class records, the decompressor finishes the constant pool using these steps:

After this process, the stored constant pool of X has referential integrity, and all constant references can be coded as indexes into cp(X), which has a definite order derived from cp_All. In particular, if a constant in cp(X) needs to refer to another constant, that constant must already have been inserted into cp(X), during the closure steps.

Note that the ordering of cp(X) is consistent with that of cp_All, except that some signature references are redirected to equivalent pre-existing elements of cp_Utf8, and all operands of ldc bytecodes are forced to the front of the constant pool.

When assigning local indexes to elements of cp(X), the decompressor must of course respect the reservation of empty constant pool slots for index zero, and for CONSTANT_Long and CONSTANT_Double constants, as required by the class file format. Together with these rules, the construction and ordering of cp(X) completely determines the assignment of concrete indexes to constant references within X.

8. Appendixes

8.1. Appendix: List of Bands

Here is a list of all bands in the order they must occur in the archive. This list is not part of the Pack200 specification, but it is presented to help clarify the meaning of the grammar in the specification proper which defines the names and ordering of the bands. Four occurrences of ellipsis ... refer to insertion points where the compressor may insert variable numbers of extra bands to help transmit unusual strings or non-standard attributes. The other ellipses refer to repetitions of metadata bands which it would be too tedious to include.
Band Default
Length Constant pool
referred to
archive_magic BYTE1 [4]  
archive_header UNSIGNED5 [26]  
band_headers BYTE1 [...]  
cp_Utf8_prefix DELTA5 [MAX(0,#cp_Utf8_count-2)]  
cp_Utf8_suffix UNSIGNED5 [MAX(0,#cp_Utf8_count-1)]  
cp_Utf8_chars CHAR3 [SUM(*cp_Utf8_suffix)]  
cp_Utf8_big_suffix DELTA5 [COUNT(0,*cp_Utf8_suffix)]  
{cp_Utf8_big_chars...} DELTA5 [*cp_Utf8_big_suffix[i]]  
cp_Int UDELTA5 [#cp_Int_count]  
cp_Float UDELTA5 [#cp_Float_count]  
cp_Long_hi UDELTA5 [#cp_Long_count]  
cp_Long_lo DELTA5 [#cp_Long_count]  
cp_Double_hi UDELTA5 [#cp_Double_count]  
cp_Double_lo DELTA5 [#cp_Double_count]  
cp_String UDELTA5 [#cp_String_count] cp_Utf8
cp_Class UDELTA5 [#cp_Class_count] cp_Utf8
cp_Signature_form DELTA5 [#cp_Signature_count] cp_Utf8
cp_Signature_classes UDELTA5 [COUNT('L',...)] cp_Class
cp_Descr_name DELTA5 [#cp_Descr_count] cp_Utf8
cp_Descr_type UDELTA5 [#cp_Descr_count] cp_Signature
cp_Field_class DELTA5 [#cp_Field_count] cp_Class
cp_Field_desc UDELTA5 [#cp_Field_count] cp_Descr
cp_Method_class DELTA5 [#cp_Method_count] cp_Class
cp_Method_desc UDELTA5 [#cp_Method_count] cp_Descr
cp_Imethod_class DELTA5 [#cp_Imethod_count] cp_Class
cp_Imethod_desc UDELTA5 [#cp_Imethod_count] cp_Descr
attr_definition_headers BYTE1 [#attr_definition_count]  
attr_definition_name UNSIGNED5 [#attr_definition_count] cp_Utf8
attr_definition_layout UNSIGNED5 [#attr_definition_count] cp_Utf8
ic_this_class UDELTA5 [#ic_count] cp_Class
ic_flags UNSIGNED5 [#ic_count]  
ic_outer_class DELTA5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)] cp_Class
ic_name DELTA5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)] cp_Utf8
class_this DELTA5 [#class_count] cp_Class
class_super DELTA5 [#class_count] cp_Class
class_interface_count DELTA5 [#class_count]  
class_interface DELTA5 [SUM(*class_interface_count)] cp_Class
class_field_count DELTA5 [#class_count]  
class_method_count DELTA5 [#class_count]  
field_descr DELTA5 [SUM(*class_field_count)] cp_Descr
field_flags_hi UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_field_count)*#have_field_flags_hi]  
field_flags_lo UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_field_count)]  
field_attr_count UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]  
field_attr_indexes UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*field_attr_count)]  
field_attr_calls UNSIGNED5 [...]  
field_ConstantValue_KQ UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(ConstantValue,...)] cp_Int, cp_Float, etc.
field_Signature_RS UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Signature,...)] cp_Signature
field_RVA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
field_RVA_type_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
field_RVA_pair_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
field_RVA_name_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
field_RVA_T BYTE1 [...]  
field_RVA_caseI_KI UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Int
field_RVA_caseD_KD UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Double
field_RVA_caseF_KF UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Float
field_RVA_caseJ_KJ UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Long
field_RVA_casec_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
field_RVA_caseet_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
field_RVA_caseec_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
field_RVA_cases_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
field_RVA_casearray_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
field_RVA_nesttype_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
field_RVA_nestpair_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
field_RVA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
field_RIA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
field_RIA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
{field_attr_bands...} (various) [...] (various)
method_descr MDELTA5 [SUM(*class_method_count)] cp_Descr
method_flags_hi UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_method_count)*#have_method_flags_hi]  
method_flags_lo UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_method_count)]  
method_attr_count UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]  
method_attr_indexes UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*method_attr_count)]  
method_attr_calls UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_Exceptions_N UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Exceptions,...)]  
method_Exceptions_RC UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*method_Exceptions_N)] cp_Class
method_Signature_RS UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Signature,...)] cp_Signature
method_RVA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_RVA_type_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
method_RVA_pair_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_RVA_name_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_RVA_T BYTE1 [...]  
method_RVA_caseI_KI UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Int
method_RVA_caseD_KD UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Double
method_RVA_caseF_KF UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Float
method_RVA_caseJ_KJ UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Long
method_RVA_casec_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
method_RVA_caseet_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
method_RVA_caseec_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_RVA_cases_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_RVA_casearray_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_RVA_nesttype_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
method_RVA_nestpair_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_RVA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_RIA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_RIA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_RVPA_param_NB BYTE1 [...]  
method_RVPA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_RVPA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_RIPA_param_NB BYTE1 [...]  
method_RIPA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_RIPA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_AD_T BYTE1 [...]  
method_AD_caseI_KI UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Int
method_AD_caseD_KD UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Double
method_AD_caseF_KF UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Float
method_AD_caseJ_KJ UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Long
method_AD_casec_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
method_AD_caseet_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
method_AD_caseec_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_AD_cases_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
method_AD_casearray_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_AD_nesttype_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
method_AD_nestpair_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
method_AD_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
{method_attr_bands...} (various) [...] (various)
class_flags_hi UNSIGNED5 [#class_count*#have_class_flags_hi]  
class_flags_lo UNSIGNED5 [#class_count]  
class_attr_count UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]  
class_attr_indexes UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_attr_count)]  
class_attr_calls UNSIGNED5 [...]  
class_SourceFile_RUN UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(SourceFile,...)] null|cp_Utf8
class_EnclosingMethod_RC UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(EnclosingMethod,...)] cp_Class
class_EnclosingMethod_RDN UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(EnclosingMethod,...)] null|cp_Descr
class_Signature_RS UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(Signature,...)] cp_Signature
class_RVA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
class_RVA_type_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
class_RVA_pair_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
class_RVA_name_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
class_RVA_T BYTE1 [...]  
class_RVA_caseI_KI UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Int
class_RVA_caseD_KD UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Double
class_RVA_caseF_KF UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Float
class_RVA_caseJ_KJ UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Long
class_RVA_casec_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
class_RVA_caseet_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
class_RVA_caseec_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
class_RVA_cases_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
class_RVA_casearray_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
class_RVA_nesttype_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
class_RVA_nestpair_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
class_RVA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
class_RIA_anno_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
class_RIA_nestname_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
class_InnerClasses_N UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(InnerClasses,...)]  
class_InnerClasses_RC UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_InnerClasses_N)] cp_Class
class_InnerClasses_F UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*class_InnerClasses_N)]  
class_InnerClasses_outer_RCN UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(!=0,*class_InnerClasses_F)] null|cp_Class
class_InnerClasses_name_RUN UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(!=0,*class_InnerClasses_F)] null|cp_Utf8
class_file_version_minor_H UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(version,...)]  
class_file_version_major_H UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(version,...)]  
{class_attr_bands...} (various) [...] (various)
code_headers BYTE1 [COUNT(Code,...)]  
code_max_stack UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(0,*code_headers)]  
code_max_na_locals UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(0,*code_headers)]  
code_handler_count UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(0,*code_headers)]  
code_handler_start_P BCI5 [SUM(*code_header_count)]  
code_handler_end_PO BRANCH5 [SUM(*code_header_count)]  
code_handler_catch_PO BRANCH5 [SUM(*code_header_count)]  
code_handler_class_RCN UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*code_header_count)] null|cp_Class
code_flags_hi UNSIGNED5 [...*#have_code_flags_hi]  
code_flags_lo UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_attr_count UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(1<<16,...)]  
code_attr_indexes UNSIGNED5 [SUM(*code_attr_count)]  
code_attr_calls UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_StackMapTable_N UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(StackMapTable,...)]  
code_StackMapTable_frame_T BYTE1 [SUM(*code_StackMapTable_N)]  
code_StackMapTable_local_N UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(255,*code_StackMapTable_frame_T)]  
code_StackMapTable_stack_N UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(255,*code_StackMapTable_frame_T)]  
code_StackMapTable_offset UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_StackMapTable_T BYTE1 [...]  
code_StackMapTable_RC UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(7,*code_StackMapTable_T)]  
code_StackMapTable_P BCI5 [COUNT(8,*code_StackMapTable_T)]  
code_LineNumberTable_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_LineNumberTable_bci_P BCI5 [...]  
code_LineNumberTable_line UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTable_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTable_bci_P BCI5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTable_span_O BRANCH5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTable_name_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
code_LocalVariableTable_type_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
code_LocalVariableTable_slot UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTypeTable_N UNSIGNED5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTypeTable_bci_P BCI5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTypeTable_span_O BRANCH5 [...]  
code_LocalVariableTypeTable_name_RU UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Utf8
code_LocalVariableTypeTable_type_RS UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Signature
code_LocalVariableTypeTable_slot UNSIGNED5 [...]  
{code_attr_bands...} (various) [...] (various)
bc_codes BYTE1 [...]  
bc_case_count UNSIGNED5 [COUNT(switch,*bc_codes)]  
bc_case_value DELTA5 [...]  
bc_byte BYTE1 [...]  
bc_short DELTA5 [...]  
bc_local UNSIGNED5 [...]  
bc_label BRANCH5 [...]  
bc_intref DELTA5 [...] cp_Int
bc_floatref DELTA5 [...] cp_Float
bc_longref DELTA5 [...] cp_Long
bc_doubleref DELTA5 [...] cp_Double
bc_stringref DELTA5 [...] cp_String
bc_classref UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Class
bc_fieldref DELTA5 [...] cp_Field
bc_methodref UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Method
bc_imethodref DELTA5 [...] cp_Imethod
bc_thisfield UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Field subsequence
bc_superfield UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Field subsequence
bc_thismethod UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Method subsequence
bc_supermethod UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Method subsequence
bc_initref UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_Method subsequence
bc_escref UNSIGNED5 [...] cp_All
bc_escrefsize UNSIGNED5 [...]  
bc_escsize UNSIGNED5 [...]  
bc_escbyte BYTE1 [...]  
file_name UNSIGNED5 [#file_count] cp_Utf8
file_size_hi UNSIGNED5 [#file_count*(#have_file_size_hi)]  
file_size_lo UNSIGNED5 [#file_count]  
file_modtime DELTA5 [#file_count*(#have_file_modtime)]  
file_options UNSIGNED5 [#file_count*(#have_file_options)]  
file_bits BYTE1 [SUM(*file_size)]  

8.2. Appendix: Pseudo-Code Illustrations

8.2.1. Representation of cp_Utf8 Constant Pool

The following pseudo-code asserts the relations, as described above, between the band lengths and contents, and cp_Utf8 constant pool elements. (This code merely comments on the specification given above; it does not itself add new information to the specification.)
  int cursor = 0;
  int big_cursor = 0;
  for (int i = 1; i < cp_Utf8_count; i++) {
    String thisString = cp_Utf8[i];

    int prefix = (i == 1)? 0: cp_Utf8_prefix[i-2];
    int suffix = thisString.length() - prefix;
    String prevString = cp_Utf8[i-1];
    String prevPrefix = prevString.substring(0, prefix);
    String thisPrefix = thisString.substring(0, prefix);

    int small_suffix = cp_Utf8_suffix[i-1];
    char[] suffix_chars;
    int offset;
    if (small_suffix != 0) {
      assert(suffix == small_suffix);
      suffix_chars = cp_Utf8_chars;
      offset = cursor;
      cursor += suffix;
    } else {
      assert(suffix == cp_Utf8_big_suffix[big_cursor]);
      suffix_chars = cp_Utf8_big_chars[big_cursor];
      offset = 0;
      assert(suffix == suffix_chars.length);
      big_cursor += 1;
    String thisSuffix = thisString.substring(prefix);
    String theseChars = new String(suffix_chars, offset, suffix);
  assert(cp_Utf8_prefix.length == Math.max(0, cp_Utf8_count-2));
  assert(cp_Utf8_suffix.length == Math.max(0, cp_Utf8_count-1));
  assert(cp_Utf8_chars.length == cursor);
  assert(cp_Utf8_big_suffix.length == big_cursor);
  assert(cp_Utf8_big_chars.length == big_cursor);

8.2.2. Representation of cp_Signature Constant Pool

The following pseudo-code asserts the relations, as described above, between the band lengths and contents, and cp_Signature constant pool elements. (This code merely comments on the specification given above; it does not itself add new information to the specification.)
  int cursor = 0;
  for (int i = 0; i < cp_Signature_count; i++) {
    String sign = cp_Signature[i];
    String form = cp_Signature_form[i];
    int form_ptr = 0;
    int sign_ptr = 0;
    for (; form_ptr < form.length(); form_ptr++) {
      assert(form.charAt(form_ptr) == sign.charAt(sign_ptr));
      sign_ptr += 1;
      if (form.charAt(form_ptr) == 'L') {
        String cls = cp_Class[cursor];
        assert(sign.startsWith(cls, sign_ptr));
        cursor += 1;
        sign_ptr += cls.length();
    assert(sign_ptr == sign.length());
  assert(cp_Signature_form.length == cp_Signature_count);
  assert(cp_Signature_classes.length == cursor);

8.2.3. Representation of Byte Offsets

The following pseudo-code asserts the relations, as described above, between a byte offset and its encoding in a band governed by a bc_index layout element. (This code merely comments on the specification given above; it does not itself add new information to the specification.)
  // ins_pos is a display of all instruction boundaries
  int[] ins_pos;
  assert(ins_pos[0] == 0);
  assert(ins_pos[ins_pos.length-1] == bytecodes.length);
  int regulars = ins_pos.length; //  # instruction boundaries
  int renumber_bci(int bci) {
    int i = Arrays.binarySearch(ins_pos, bci);
    return (i >= 0) ? i : (i == -1) ? bci : ins_pos.length + bci - (-i-1);
  for (int bci = -100; bci <= bytecodes.length+100; bci++) {
    int bci_numbering_for_band = renumber_bci(bci);
    int i = Arrays.binarySearch(ins_pos, bci);
    if (i >= 0) {
      assert(ins_pos[i] == bci);
      assert(bci_numbering_for_band < regulars);
      assert(bci_numbering_for_band == i);
    } else if (0 < bci && bci < bytecodes.length) {
      int nexti = (-i-1);  // index of next instruction
      assert(ins_pos[nexti-1] < bci && bci < ins_pos[nexti]);
      int prevRegulars = nexti;
      int prevAll = bci;
      int prevIrregulars = prevAll - prevRegulars;
      assert(bci_numbering_for_band >= regulars);
      assert(bci_numbering_for_band == regulars + prevIrregulars);
    } else {
      // other (random) numbers are unchanged by renumbering
      assert(bci_numbering_for_band >= bytecodes.length ||
             bci_numbering_for_band < 0);
      assert(bci_numbering_for_band == bci);

8.2.4. Representation of Predictable Nested Class Names

The following pseudo-code asserts the relations, as described above, between the nested class's mangled name and the predictable outer and simple names. Note that searches for the literal characters '/' and '$' must be replaced in real implementations by searches for the character ranges associated with the SLASH and DOLLAR nonterminals. (This code merely comments on the specification given above; it does not itself add new information to the specification.)
  String bcn, predictableOuter, predictableICName;
  String name = bcn.substring(bcn.lastIndexOf('/')+1);
  int dollar2 = name.lastIndexOf('$');
  assert(predictableICName == null ||
         (predictableICName.charAt(0) > '9' &&
          predictableICName.indexOf('$') < 0));
  if (predictableICName == null) {
    // bcnCase1 or bcnCase4
    assert(predictableOuter == null);
    assert(dollar2 == -1 ||
           dollar2+1 == name.length() ||
  } else if (predictableOuter == null) {
    // bcnCase2
    int dollar1 = name.substring(0, dollar2).lastIndexOf('$');
    assert(dollar1 >= 0 && dollar1+1 < dollar2);
    assert(isDigitString(name.substring(dollar1+1, dollar2)));
  } else {
    // bcnCase3

8.3. Appendix: Design FAQ

Please mail questions to jsr-200-comments@Sun.COM This collection of frequently asked questions concerning the Pack200 archive format is meant to serve as a design rationale.

8.3.1. General Questions

  1. Why not use an existing generic compression mechanism, such as .jar, .zip, or .tar.gz files? First, it is better to know the structure of a thing compressed. Second, a zip or jar archive is compressed element-wise not globally. This means that any symbol shared by several classes must be mentioned independently once in each class file. Third, the structure of an individual class file is really an interleaving of many different kind of data, each with their own statistics, which limits the effectiveness of a single-stream compressor such as gzip. The specific benefit of reordering the data into bands is about a factor of two, independently of the quality of the off-the-shelf compressor used as a post-pass. There are also significant marginal benefits from the various type-specific recoding techniques. The net result is to improve a compression factor from 2-4X to 7-9X.
  2. Why is this specification so complex? The techniques described here are the result of much experimentation over several years. Each feature of this specification is thought to contribute measurably to the overall compression ratio achieved by this technology. The authors would be happy to be shown, by benchmarks, that some given feature can be omitted without significant loss of compression performance.

    (A compression performance multiplier of 1.002 or more for some particular technique is significant, because such multipliers accumulate readily into performance that end-users notice. A multiplier of less than 1.0005 is insignificant.)

  3. The Pack200 transmission format is closely tied to the current class file format. Won't it go out of date as soon as the class file format evolves further? Further developments are likely to take the form of new attributes or perhaps new bytecodes. The layout language defined by Pack200 supports a very wide range of attribute formats, including arbitrary mixes of bytes and constant pool references. Likewise, the bytecode representation includes escape operators which can represent arbitrary mixes of data and constant pool references. Although such constructs will not compress as optimally as the features for which this specification is directly designed, it appears that reasonable future extensions will continue to be transmittable, without disturbing the compression of current features, and without requiring decompressors to be updated.
  4. Since Pack200 is a lossy compression algorithm, won't it break signed JAR files? Signed JAR files contain secure hashes over the bytewise contents of individual class files. Any change to the bits of a class file will change its hash code, making the innocuous changes of Pack200 indistinguishable from attacks on the application code.

    Pack200, like many other compression algorithms, allows the compressor many degrees of freedom in choosing the contents of the compressed archive, but no degrees of freedom in choosing the contents of the decompressed JAR file. Given a compressed archive, all compliant Pack200 decompressors must produce the same class file bytes, for each transmitted class file. This stability of output persists for class files even if a resource file (such as the manifest) changes its contents. Thus, for any given class file, compression may be lossy, but the decompression of each class file must be exact, in a useful way defined by the Pack200 specification.

    This means that a compressor with the right stability properties can be used to produce a signed, packed JAR using these steps:

    1. Pack the original signed JAR file.
    2. Unpack it, producing perturbed class files.
    3. Re-sign it, ensuring that only the manifest changes.
    4. Re-pack it, using the updated manifest.

    (Note: If this specification allows two compliant decompressors to produce different JAR archive elements for the same compressed archive input, it is a bug in the specification. The specification is thought to be free of such bugs, but if you find one please report it.)

  5. What is the relationship between file names in Pack200 archives and file names in JAR (or ZIP) archives or disk files? Pack200 specifies that file names are transmitted as Utf8 strings. Since these strings are intended to function as names of JAR elements in functioning Java applications, the strings must also conform to Java usage, which also represents pathnames as Utf8 strings in JAR files and 16-bit Unicode in memory. Also, in JAR files, pathname components are separated by the forward slash character ('/'), and not by any system-specific character. This allows class loaders to easily convert the internal representation of the class names (e.g., "java/lang/Object") to pathnames (e.g., "java/lang/Object.class").

    The Pack200 specification does not dictate the interpretation of file name strings with respect to any other tool or operating system. However, the natural mapping would be as coherent as possible with Java's usages.

  6. What is the relationship between file dates in JAR (or ZIP) archives or disk files? Pack200 specifies that file dates are transmitted as 32-bit counts of seconds relative to Java's time base (i.e., System.currentTimeMillis divided by one thousand). This provides absolute times relative to UTC, at a one-second granularity. If an operating system provides more accurate file times, they must be adjusted to a nearby whole second before transmission in a Pack200 archive.

    JAR and ZIP store dates in local format (i.e., "YYYY/MM/DD HH:MM:SS") with no timezone specification. This means that conversion to and from Java's UTC-based times requires a guess at the timezone under which the compressor was operating. (This problem is not unique to Pack200. It is a problem with all uses of ZIP and JAR archives.) For many purposes, the standard guess is that the decompressor and compressor were operating in the same timezone and during the same yearly daylight savings time regime. However, in order to provide more stability in the times transmitted in Pack200 archives, it is expected that most compressors and decompressors will agree to use UTC as the timezone when interpreting ZIP-style local times.

  7. Doesn't the JEFFtm file format also oprovide a class-specific compression algorithm? Yes, the JEFF Working Group has defined a standard file format (ISO/IEC 20970) which allows class files to be compressed about 50% and also loaded directly into memory for interpretive execution. As compression performance, it is comparable with the DEFLATE algorithm used within JAR archives. Pack200 provides much greater compression. However, Pack200 archives are not designed for direct execution by any virtual machine. The greater compression level of Pack200 is won at a cost of complexity in the unpacker, a complexity incompatible with any requirement of direct loading or execution.
  8. Why doesn't Pack200 use Huffman encoding? (Same question for LZW, or BWT, or move-to-front, or any other standard compression technique.) As a matter of simplicity and division of labor, Pack200 intentionally focuses on finding and removing large-scale redundancies specific to class files. Pack200 produces a byte-oriented output, hopefully with clear patterns and a simple alphabet statistics. It relies on a post-pass compressor to encode these bytes in some more efficient string-sharing, bit-sliced representation.

    The following considerations support this design:

    • Repeating similar compression tactics in two places in a pipeline of transformations can actually degrade overall compression. For example, doing move-to-front in Pack200 band transmission would make it harder for the DEFLATE algorithm to detect repeated patterns, because they would have varying spellings in the tokens DEFLATE would observe. (Delta encoding also has this risk, which is why it's optional in Pack200. But, off-the-shelf back ends don't generally do delta encoding.)
    • Relying on an off-the-shelf backend for final compression simplifies the Pack200 design.
    • It also lets Pack200 leverage the latest byte-oriented compression tools.
    • Such factoring also simplifies engineering of packer heuristics.
    • The job of Pack200 is to find redundancies and patterns at class and package scales. It seems cleaner to avoid messing with byte-level scales.
    • Some specific standard compression techniques may still be encumbered by patents, even on simple, self-evident techniques. Avoiding such patents is a significant cost in engineering a compressor. We would rather avoid this cost by using a standard tool.
  9. How does this specification cope with archive format changes? The major and minor version numbers of a Pack200 archive advertise which version of this standard has been generated by a packer. As of 2005 there are two versions, 160.1 for Java 6 and 150.7 for Java 5. Because of the flexibility of attribute layouts, packers can sometimes represent new classfile formats in old archive formats, but newer archive formats may be required for reasons of functionality or performance.

    Unpacker implementations are strongly encouraged to support each standard version of the archive format, since there is not always a strong alignment between packer and unpacker versions at either end of a deployment channel. Packer implementations are encouraged to preserve the ability to emit older archive formats, to maintain maximum compatibility with unpackers.

    The reference implementation chooses to maintain backward compatibility by producing a 1.5 pack format if the input JAR archive contains 1.5 (or lower) classfiles. Otherwise it will produce a 1.6 pack file. The reference implementation unpacker is compatible with all previous standard versions.

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