Excellent Coverage of the New Java 2 APIs

Not just a tutorial, this books covers Java collections, internationalization, 2D API, and much more.


While this book is considered a collection of tutorials, it represents much more than that, with an exploration of numerous new Java 2 APIs in a well-organized, lucid presentation, with plenty of diagrams and a clarity of expression. If you are now developing or plan to develop with the Java 2 platform and already have experience with Java 1.1, this is a great book that helps readers understand numerous important additions to the Java class libraries. Presented in the Java trails style which most Sun tutorials use, the road is clearly marked and the landmarks are worth each visit.

There are 61 lessons in this book, divided into 14 chapters. The first 6 lessons explore the Java Collections API, from introduction to interoperability. The Java Collections API is critical to leveraging the flexibility of these reusable data classes. This is followed by 5 Internationalization lessons, with a rare look at proper development with the international API. This is one of those areas that are seldom explored in typical Java books. The 2D Graphics API is covered in 4 lessons, with the Sound API quickly visited in two subsequent, short lessons.

For enterprise developers, the JavaBeans coverage, with 8 lessons, is very well presented, as are the two lessons for JDBC access. The new features of JDBC 2.0 are explored in lesson 27, presenting the new capabilities, including result set modification, batch handling and new SQL3 datatypes. Lessons 28 to 31 cover programming with RMI with the Java IDL (for CORBA work), explored in the next two lessons. The Servlet API, originally slated for Java 2 bundling but removed at the last minute, is covered in lessons 34 to 39.

Much of the security capabilities have been enhanced in Java 2, so 7 lessons are dedicated to related issues, covering secure code signing, permissions and verifying signatures, among other things. The JAR file format is covered in lessons 47 to 49, with two lessons dedicated to the Java extension mechanism. The Java Native Interface gets 6 new lessons and the book concludes with a look at the reflections API in the last 4 lessons. These lessons all stand well enough alone if you want to learn about something specific and the logical groupings help reinforce related concepts in a nice fluid style that effectively enhances your understanding.

If you want to make the transition from Java 1.1 to the Java 2 platform, this is a great book to purchase. It helps give you a nice lay of the land for the new features, without dwelling on anything inappropriately. Those subjects that are covered are interesting and well presented, extending your foundation with a good understanding of the salient points that differentiate the Java 1.1 release and its recent successor. In short, even the experienced Java developer will find something new to learn about in these pages, well worth the price of admission.