I'll post a link to this here since I'm gonna find it very useful in web applications. The discussion was in I/O and Streams and the problem (initially) was to load a properties file without an absolute path. The problem with the initial initial solution using the ClassLoader is that it doesn't work in web apps since they use multiple ClassLoaders with different classpaths. The code given allows you to have properties with your code that is not attached to a ClassLoader, absolute system path or application context. Hope it comes in handy Dave.