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Where do static variables live

 
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Objects and their Instance variables ------> live on heap
method (currently running and the whole method stack through which it was called) and local variables ---------> live on stack

What about static variables? Where exactly are they? After all, you can access the value without existance of any instance on the heap.

Also, related to this, in the following statement "Static variables are initialized the first time a class is loaded into memory", what memory is do they mean? Where is this class (not an instance but the class itself) information? I'm guessing the static variables live wherever this class information is loaded into.

Thanks in advance,
Nidhi
 
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Have a look at the BCEL handbook which is probably out of date, but still useful.

As far as I can remember, the values of static fields live inside the Class objects: primitives as values, reference types as pointers to the heap.
 
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