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Java In A Nutshell, 5th Edition 5th Edition

50 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596007737
ISBN-10: 0596007736
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Flanagan is a computer programmer who spends most of his time writing about JavaScript and Java. His books with O'Reilly include Java in a Nutshell, Java Examples in a Nutshell, Java Foundation Classes in a Nutshell, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, and JavaScript Pocket Reference. David has a degree in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife and children in the U.S. Pacific Northwest bewteen the cities of Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. David has a blog at


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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 1256 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 5 edition (March 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007737
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Flanagan is a computer programmer who has spent much of the last 20 years writing books about programming languages. He now works at Mozilla. David lives with his wife and children in the Pacific Northwest, between the cities of Seattle and Vancouver.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wuehler on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
As far as the information inside the book goes, it's a great book that describes the basics of Java in a simple, here's what you need to know format. It describes everything you need to know about Java syntax, objects, etc, etc, etc. The big reason to get this is for the Java 5.0 info, which is scattered throughout Chapter 2. There is also Chapter 4, which goes into more detail on some of the more interesting features of Java 5.0.

However, the bulk of the 1200+ pages are essentially the javadoc, with some additional notes. In thumbing around and looking at random class descriptions, I didn't see anything I couldn't get from the javadoc. This is obviously a personal preference - if you like the hardcopy, it might work for you. It just seems like a waste to me.

I would have been much happier with the first 400 pages and a note on page 401 that said "buy another book if you need the apis" or "go read the javadoc". A 400 page Nutshell book I can throw in the backpack, thumb through, and carry around. A 1200 page Nutshell (like Java 5.0 for that matter) seems to be suffering from a bit of unnecessary bloat.
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Format: Paperback
Here's a classic that just keeps on keep up with the state of the language... Java In A Nutshell (5th Edition) by David Flanagan (O'Reilly). But it's definitely getting pretty large...

Rather than list the chapters like I usually do, I'll forego that this time in that I'll probably overrun the Amazon word limit. Suffice it to say that if it's a core part of the Java language as of version 5.0, it's probably in here...

The good stuff... Flanagan has once again done an outstanding job in providing a succinct reference manual that covers the latest version of the Java language. He's added a new chapter to cover Java 5.0 features such as generic types, enumerated types, and annotations. There is also coverage of some new features in chapter 2, such as autoboxing and the new for/in statement. This coverage method (most of the new stuff in one area) means that readers who are upgrading their copy can easily flag the new material they need to read. And rather than keep a lot of older material floating around, he's also eliminated some language features that are either deprecated or are not widely used. Granted, if *you* are one of the few using it, that's not good, but you have to draw a line somewhere. Other than that, it's the same solid, no-fluff coverage of the Java language in the first 400 pages that you've come to expect in this Nutshell volume. The reminder of the 1200+ pages covers Java API documentation, which is useful if you're looking for a particular method or property you're not familiar with.

The bad part is probably the page count... Although the print is small and the information is packed tightly, 1200 pages still makes for a pretty thick book.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By David Wallace Croft on June 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've owned every edition since the first and I continue to recommend it. Part I is a great introduction to Java for novices. It is also great for experienced Java programmers to learn the new language features.

My only criticism is that over the years this "in a nutshell" book has expanded to the fill the size of a coconut. Starting with the 4th Edition, I began to recommend that novice Java programmers just read Part I. The author should drop Part II from subsequent editions as printing the Java APIs is a waste of paper and shelf space.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rocky on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This kind of classic book has its merit, but this version has quite a few problems

We don't want a 'man page' like reference book, the list of member functions with NO samples or descriptions are closed to useless.

For example: I looked at section 5.4 about Calendar,here is the code:

// Display the current time using a short time format for the current locale

DateFormat shortTime = DateFormat.getTimeInstance(DateFormat.SHORT);

DateFormat myformat = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy.MM.dd");

Date leapday = myformat.parse("2000.02.29");

I don't remember the SHORT and yyyy.MM.dd, so I decided to check the reference. In DateFormat page, the book says "The getdateInstance( ) methods return a DateFormat object suitable for formatting dates in either the default locale or a specified locale. A formatting style may also optionally be specified; the constants FULL, LONG, MEDIUM, SHORT, and DEFAULT specify this style."

Does that make any sense? no, I don't know how to deal with Locale and the difference between those MEDIUM,SHORT stuff.

So I check my SUN javaDoc in a lovely windows chm format, it says so clearly about all the information I am looking for and even with a few examples! It also even put explainations in lists

"SHORT is completely numeric, such as 12.13.52 or 3:30pm

MEDIUM is longer, such as Jan 12, 1952

LONG is longer, such as January 12, 1952 or 3:30:32pm

FULL is pretty completely specified, such as

Tuesday, April 12, 1952 AD or 3:30:42pm PST.


Then I check SimpleDateFormat in the book, it DOES NOT say anything about "parse"!
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