The Java(TM) Developers Almanac 1.4, Volume 1: Examples and Quick Reference (4th Edition)
||Author: Patrick Chan|
List Price: $24.99
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Publisher: Addison-Wesley Pub Co (25 March, 2002)
Sales Rank: 21,785
Average Customer Rating: 4.04 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
Essential Java Reference
I picked this book up a couple months ago and can't imagine how I got along without it before. The first section includes simple examples of common uses of the java packages. I find this extremely useful. There are realms in Java where the intricacies often slip my mind, particularly in java.io, and the small examples of these packages shown in section 1 serve as a perfect reminder of how exactly to accomplish my task.
Section 2 is the meat of the book and includes a reference to the classes and their members. This is similar to the online API, but lacking the descriptions for the methods / classes. This is strictly a quick reference of the methods, their arguments, return types and modifiers, and the variables belonging to a class. For a description of every method, use the online API. Personally though, I find this reference quicker to use than the online API when searching for a particular class. It probably comes down to personal preference, though.
Sections 3 and 4 I honestly haven't found a need for. The first two sections alone are worth the (relatively) [inexpensive] price of the book.
For reference, my qualifications include Sun Java Programmer Certification 1.4 (Passed with an 86%), Graduated Magna Cum Laude from UMass Dartmouth with a Computer Science degree.
Rating: 5 out of 5
An impressive achievement
This book condenses the vastness of Java 1.4 GUI classes into a hefty 1000+ pages. It's divided into 4 sections. Part 1 contains examples of usage of the different classes, with a focus on how to accomplish something specific, from creating a JLabel component to playing MIDI audio. Part 2 contains detailed information about the classes themselves, and contains references to code examples from Part 1 to see how the class is used in code. This is essentially the documentation that SUN's website provides, but in my view, it's more condensed and the references to code are a bonus.
Part 3 contains topics on the transition of Java from 1.0 to its current incarnation, detailing deprecated classes, new classes, etc. Part 4 is the cross-reference section, where if you know the name of the method, but not the class that contains that method, you can simply look it up. There's much more than just methods, though; subclasses, descendants, fields, and "extended by"'s are also some of the details here.
This book is quite an impressive achievement, and I hope to get my hands on Volume 1 sometime soon.
Rating: 5 out of 5
An essential reference
For some time, the Java Developers Almanac version 1.3 has been my constant companion when I taught my courses in Java. With it at my side, I was always able to answer questions of the form, "What class(method) do you use for . . . ?" It is one of that small of number of indispensable references that occupy my special shelf of books that stay within reach of my main workstation.
However, now it has been superceded by this version, the first volume of which covers 91 packages used in server-side development. It is a quick, yet thorough reference to the classes. Each description of a class in part 2 has the name and package it is found in, the inheritance tree describing how it is derived and the prototypes of all data and methods. Part 1 has small segments of code that illustrate the basics of how a class is used. The code examples are organized according to packages, where the packages are listed alphabetically. This makes it very easy to find the basic information about any class and method of the class. There is also a list of newly deprecated members, a complete list of all possible exceptions, a list of the modifications from 1.3 and the default values of the swing UI elements.
This book is rarely more than two feet from my body when I am writing Java and when it gets too far away, I correct the problem very quickly. I included it in my best books of the year column for the online Journal of Object Technology. ...
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