Normally they contain no *.class files, but it is possible to precompile your JSP s, in which case they behave like Servlets. files.
The magic of *.war files is their completeness. All you need do is drop the *.war file in the run directory of any Servlet womb and that is all it needs to run the application. The womb can find out everything it needs to know primarily by examining the web.xml enclosed file. This works across platforms and across vendors. Sun nailed down the specifications of the *.war file in a platform-independent way. Its a bloody miracle and something Sun deserves kudos for.
|Contents of hello.war|
|META-INF/MANIFEST.MF||Ordinary unsigned jar manifest|
|WEB-INF/classes/li/earth/urchin/twic/HelloServlet.class||compiled Servlet class file|
|WEB-INF/web.xml||XML (extensible Markup Language) file linking hello command with corresponding hello Servlet.|
|index.html||HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) to display to client to let him invoke the Servlet|
|Contents of hello.zip|
|hello-war/build.sh||Linux bash build script to rebuild hello.war. You might do it with ANT or with your IDE (Integrated Development Environment).|
|hello-war/src/li/earth/urchin/twic/HelloServlet.java||Java source for Servlet|
|hello-war/web.xml||XML file linking hello command with corresponding hello Servlet.|
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