I have a folder full of .instance files. How do I get any/all of the object instances?

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Often registries of objects are created by placing files with the extension .instance into some folder in the system filesystem. The task, then, is to turn a folder full of files into a collection of objects, and make sure we only get objects of the type we are interested in. In NetBeans 6 it is very simple to do that:

Lookup myObjects = Lookups.forPath ("path/to/folder/in/sysfs");
Collection <? extends MyType> c = myObjects.lookupAll(MyType.class);

(note the separator is always / with NetBeans filesystems).

If you have a single .instance file and need to get an object for that, see this FAQ entry.