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Java in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference for Java Programmers (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) Second Edition Edition

104 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1565922624
ISBN-10: 156592262X
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Editorial Reviews Review

The release of Java 1.1 brings many new features to the Java language. Java in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition, a worthy successor to the author's bestselling first edition of the book, offers an excellent way to keep up with most of them.

You'll find that the second edition carries over many strong points from the original, including a quick-start introduction to Java for C or C++ programmers and the handy quick-reference format. It also details the many new features of Java 1.1, including extensions to the object model and the new release of the Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT), Inner Classes, Java Beans, and Java ARchive (JAR) files. The book does not attempt to cover "enterprise" application programming interfaces (API), such as Java's new commerce-related security features, Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) and Remote Method Invocation (RMI). The author plans to document these features in a separate volume.

The second half of Java in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition, is a quick reference to all the packages that comprise the Java API. In the course of over 300 pages, the author introduces each package with a summary and a graphical hierarchy diagram. He then documents each package's component classes and interfaces in detail. For cases where you know the name of a class, but not its package, an index of classes, methods, and fields provide a useful cross-reference to the packages that contain them. This edition removes some of the example code of the previous edition, but provides many samples that cover new language features.

From Library Journal

O'Reilly books are rarely for neophytes, but advanced users swear by them, and these will be no exception. Englander covers a hot Java subtopic for students, programmers, and professionals already familar with Java and object-oriented programming. He discusses events, event adapters, properties, persistence, java archive files, the BeanBox tool, property editors, ActiveX, and the java.beans Package. Flanagan's work is the book Java programmers want nearby when they are at the keyboard. A complete ready-reference work, this belongs in all collections supporting programmers. Java is a constantly changing language so Nutshell will be coming out often with new editions; always have the newest one on hand. Reese goes beyond simple applet design to relational databases, SQL, object-oriented database applications, application servers, and remote object manipulation. The examples used throughout the book are based on a banking application designed in Java.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 628 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (May 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156592262X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565922624
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,039,417 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

88 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Billy Dunn on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is my new favorite Java book. This book is probably my new favorite technical book. It's simply an excellent example of what a technical reference book should be.
The first quarter of the book is a very good introduction to Java, the syntax, as well as object oriented programming (OOP). The syntax and OOP portions of the book are the best I've seen in any book. If you are new to Java, reading through these sections carefully will teach you almost everything you'll need to know about the Java language. The third edition of the book doesn't assume a C/C++ background, so even those with limited or no programming experience will find this section very helpful.
Next you'll find excellent coverage of the Java platform. The bulk of the book is a reference of the different Java classes in JDK 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and even 1.3Beta. The coverage is excellent. I would have liked to see examples, but I suppose that really is asking too much from one book.
I have a large library of Java books, but this one is #1 for me. Shelf time for this book is going to be very low. The book literally hasn't seen a shelf since it arrived from Amazon.
There are several Java books I find to be far superior to others. For anyone new to the Java language, I believe the following are the very best books to have nearby (ranked in order): Java in a Nutshell, 3rd... Java Examples in a Nutshell... Java Foundation Classes in a Nutshell... Java Enterprise in a Nutshell... The Java Class Libraries, 2nd, Vol 1. by Patrick Chan
Obviously, I'm a fan of David Flanagan's Java books (he wrote the top four). Pick one up to see why. They are all excellent, but my favorite is this one (JavaNut 3rd edition). The set of four Flanagan books easily comprise the best resource on Java available.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By David Matuszek on May 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
There have been three editions of this book, all of them excellent reference books but too condensed to be great tutorials.
The first edition had everything you needed to know about Java 1.0, including AWT (the GUI) descriptions and example programs; but a lot has changed since Java 1.0, which is basically only good for writing applets. Still, many browsers can only handle Java 1.0.
The second edition covered Java 1.1 and the AWT, but the examples were split off into a second book, "Java Examples in a Nutshell." IMHO the second edition is the best single-source reference book.
Much has been added in Java 1.2/1.3, but the Java 1.1 basics have not changed. This third edition further splits off the GUI information (including the new Swing classes) into "Java Foundation Classes in a Nutshell," and as such cannot stand on its own for GUI programming. Enterprise programming is also split off. For what it covers, each edition keeps getting better, but also narrows its coverage.
While the book is an excellent reference, a paper reference is no longer the best programming support. Once you have learned Java basics, the best way to program is with Sun's online documentation open on your desktop--IF you have a fast internet connection or can download the whole thing to your hard drive. You get faster lookup and detailed descriptions of every method, rather than just lists of methods.
Bottom line: a great book, but consider carefully whether its coverage meets your needs.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By robert nt stewart on July 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Imagine going to the awesome javasoft website and compressing it into 500-odd pages. This is Java in a Nutshell.
As a programmer who needs classes and methods at my fingertips, I don't want to be forever logged into the Sun site to get hold of code. For me using VJava, DB2, Lotus Notes etc, to keep Netscape open permanently slows me down. I want to see code in concise paper form for perusing and for adding post-it notes to useful pages.
This book is a good physical size, about the size of a good novel, and thus is refreshingly concise. You genuinely can put it on your desk without it becoming a 'conversation piece'. It doesn't come with code cheats. For that I use and recommend 'The Complete Reference' which is the size of a squashed brick.
Four stars because IMHO, this reference could do without a 'What is Java' introduction (even though it's a small part of the book) - it's better done in any textbook.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Leroy Fevrius on November 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book, like the other Nutshell books is consise and to the point. However I would very strongly suggest that if you are a non Object Orientated Programmer that you bring yourself up to speed on those concepts first. If you do already know OO then this is a good book for you as it takes you into the basics of Java and how use it in a clear and helpfull way. You will need to buy another book to bring you up to speed on Java 1.2, which is what I have done.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
JAVA IN A NUTSHELL (THIRD EDITION) is one of those computer science books that I had always been told was excellent. Professors, friends and co-workers all recommended it to me so many times that I eventually bought it soon after I began programming in Java. Having used this book as a reference on numerous occasions, I must say that it doesn't quite live up to its hallowed reputation, although it does have a number of positive points in its favour.
The opening few chapters of the book are really good at setting the stage for the beginning Java programmer. While it probably isn't simple enough for someone who is a complete newcomer to the language, it is excellent for people who already know a little bit and require more information. The sections on Java syntax are quite thorough and understandable. The Object Oriented Programming portions are readable and informative, without bogging the reader down with endless detail. The background information on Java (the structure, the way methods/variables work, the flow of programs, etc) is all handled brilliantly. Part One of this book is definitely something you'll want to treasure.
Part Two, the bulk of the book (Chapters 9 though 29, and covering a staggering three hundred, seventy-six out of six hundred, forty-eight pages), is devoted to what is referred to as the "API Quick Reference". It's the self-proclaimed "real heart" of the text. Unfortunately, this is the portion where the book really falls flat. What David Flanagan has done is to go through the most common Java packages/classes/APIs and cut them down to a bare listing of all their methods, exceptions, hierarchies, etc. While this covers a broad amount of information, it does not cover it deeply at all.
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