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Inside the Java 2 Virtual Machine Paperback – January 6, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For the advanced Java developer, Inside the Java 2 Virtual Machine offers a detailed guide to the inner workings of today's Java Virtual Machines (JVMs), plus a complete reference to all bytecodes (the "machine code" for the language). For those who want to understand how Java really works, this book definitely delivers the goods, with excellent technical detail and demos of JVMs in action on the companion CD-ROM.

This title provides a remarkably detailed tour of the internals of the Java platform, with plenty of technical information on the way virtual machines do business under the hood, from the way language statements are turned into bytecodes to in-depth coverage of loading and invoking classes, security, and garbage collection. The author demonstrates superior knowledge of Sun's Java Virtual Machine specification and explains the principles of its design and implementation, including a full explanation of how actual bytecodes are run on a VM. (Surprisingly, variables in Java are always processed on the stack, since there are no general CPU registers available, a very different architecture than most CPUs.) Each chapter includes applets that showcase Java in action (for example, adding two numbers or demonstrating garbage collection).

The later part of this text covers over 200 Java bytecodes (mnemonic instructions for the JVM) by groups, and the book closes with a full listing of these opcodes (with over 150 pages of material). In all, Inside the Java 2 Virtual Machine serves as both a tutorial and reference to the architecture and inner operation of JVMs for any technically astute reader who wants to understand how Java really works. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Java Virtual Machine (JVM) class architecture, the Java class loader, tips for platform independence, Java security, verifying class files, code-signing, network mobility, Jini basics, the organization of Java .class files, Java object lifetimes, the linking model, garbage collection basics and algorithms, stack operations, type conversions, integer and floating-point arithmetic, objects and arrays, control flow, exceptions and finally clauses, method invocation, thread synchronization, Java opcode and quickcode reference, and JVM simulation demos.

Review

"In-depth discussions of various implementation techniques, such as interpreting, just-in-time compiling, and adaptive optimization and much more..." -- Robert Hurd, Code Collection web site, codecollection.com. March 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 703 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies; 2nd edition (January 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071350934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071350938
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,319,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is somewhat less terse and succint than other books I've read. I don't have tons of time to read so appreciate short books that get to the point. This book was a little thicker than it needed to be. I like it but "Programming for the Java Virtual Machine" by Engel and O'Reilly's "Java Virtual Machine" are somewhat better books and thinner. PFTJVM has some nice diagrams while JVM has some better explainations on things like exceptions. It might be best to check out these three and pick according to taste.
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Format: Paperback
As the author himself states, the first four chapters of the book are merely a "broad overview of Java's architecture". The majority of this material should be familiar to Java programmers. I was so bored that I skipped ahead to chapter five. The next five chapters are a little better, but again much of the material is basic Java architecture including class loading, verification, and garbage collection.
Finally, in chapter ten the author starts describing the bytecode instructions, but many details are glossed over, left out, or just plain wrong. For example, there's almost no description of how the bytecode verifier checks stack operations, and the description of the multianewarray bytecode when the number of dimensions in the bytecode does not match the number of dimensions of the type of the array is completely wrong. If the author had included a bytecode assembler, such as Jasmin, and had provided exercises, these weaknesses would have become readily apparent.
If you're a Java programmer and just want a basic overview of what goes on behind the scenes to allow your Java program to load and run, this book may be adequate. But if you intend on writing a compiler or a JVM, or writing code in bytecode assembly, or just learning what really goes on behind the scenes, I'd recommend one of the other books on the JVM.
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Format: Paperback
This book is mostly a rehashing of the Java Virtual Machine Specification (which is available online from Sun, or in printed form). I found its reference section to be slightly less intuitively-organized than the JVM spec, and the rest of the book didn't really add a lot of new insight, beyond a semi-guided tour of the Java Class File format. I would've like a much more detailed tour of the really interesting JVM elements: locking/synchronization implementation, JITs, threads, and advanced garbage collection implementations. There's a lot of active research into JVM design, but not a drop of it can be found in here, sadly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a developer, I have learned a lot about the use of Java language by understanding what happens behind the scenes. The book is a pleasure to read. It is well written, and organized in a manner that facilitates easy access.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book one can find if one has to understand thoroughly about the Java architecture and its internals.If one goes through this book,the development in Java would be much more efficient and productive and even provide you with solutions which you thought were not possible before through Java(If you have read those run of the mill books in the market on Java programming).Though the book is really indepth I would recommed that one should read atleast the first 9 chapters of this book,especially the chapter on "The lifetime of a Class" and this is some information you will not find anywhere.It also helps in debugging Java programs as it provides you with instruction sets.
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Format: Paperback
This is a new book coveres the new JVM internals. First the good points. The book contain some Java applets to illustrate many of the concepts inside it and it is wonderful to working with those applets to understand the underlying idea. However, here comes the bad points. First the book is too thick:) When I read the book, I found many of the same sentences are repeated again and again just like the style in the JVM specification. This style is ok for specification as it wants to be precise but too bad for a introductary book. For example, the class loader delegation model is repeated with equal depth many times in different places of the book. I think the contents of the book can be compressed into half with those duplicate contents being cut off. Another problem is that the illustration has many problems. The arrow lines in many pictures are printed just as a ">" symbol. Besides the typesetting problem of the book, many of the pictures do not help much in the book. Also there are many places where a picture should have been presented instead of just puting some vague statements to clearly illustrate the main ideas but the author didn't put them down.
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Format: Paperback
The book covers many abstract concepts, but it is hard to understand what something abstract means without a concrete example. Implementation of the heap, object layout, etc. is difficult to conceptualize without a real example. I would have been happy if this book discussed the VM as it does now with a running commentary on the Sun Win32 JVM implementation.
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By A Customer on February 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book gives a great detailed description on the JVM. Mr Venners provided a very easy to read book on the supposed difficult topic without sacrificing any technically accuracy. Just wishes every technical books could be written like this one! This book would be perfect if the author gave a case study on an existing Java VM.
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