[java] File.separator or File.pathSeparator


You use separator when you are building a file path. So in unix the separator is /. So if you wanted to build the unix path /var/temp you would do it like this:

String path = File.separator + "var"+ File.separator + "temp"

You use the pathSeparator when you are dealing with a list of files like in a classpath. For example, if your app took a list of jars as argument the standard way to format that list on unix is: /path/to/jar1.jar:/path/to/jar2.jar:/path/to/jar3.jar

So given a list of files you would do something like this:

String listOfFiles = ...
String[] filePaths = listOfFiles.split(File.pathSeparator);

In the File class there are two strings, separator and pathSeparator.

What's the difference? When should I use one over the other?