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The Java Class Libraries, Volume 1: java.io, java.lang, java.math, java.net, java.text, java.util (2nd Edition) Hardcover – March 9, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Java Series
  • Hardcover: 2080 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 Sub edition (March 9, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201310023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201310023
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.7 x 2.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,138,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As noted by coauthor Patrick Chan in his interview with Amazon.com, programmers spend much of their time writing little programs that do nothing but explain to them the behavior of certain aspects of a language. Java programmers, working as they do with a relatively new, evolving language, spend more time than most writing experimental programs that help them figure out particular classes.

With this book, Chan, Rosanna Lee, and Douglas Kramer attempt to save you the trouble of all that futzing around. Each class in the java.io.*, java.lang.*, java.lang.reflect.*, java.math.*, java.net.*, java.text.*, java.util.*, and java.util.zip.* packages gets explored thoroughly in these pages. In each entry you'll find not only the pedestrian inheritance chart and statement of syntax but a lengthy, lucid discussion of the class (or member), too. Best of all, each entry comes with a working example of how the class or member is used in real life.

The authors, all affiliated with Sun Microsystems in Java's earliest days, know their stuff. They have created an omnibus tool that should prove immensely valuable to any Java programmer who wants to get the most out of the language. --David Wall

From the Inside Flap

How to Use This Book

This book is intended as a reference rather than a tutorial. Its format is similar to a dictionary's in that it is designed to optimize the time it takes for you to look up information on a class or class member. For a tutorial-style presentation of the class libraries, see The JavaTM Tutorial, by Mary Campione and Kathy Walrath. The JavaTM Class Libraries does not explain any part of the Java language. There are several books you can use to learn the language. These include The JavaTM Programming Language, by Ken Arnold and James Gosling, and The JavaTM Language Specification, by James Gosling, Bill Joy, and Guy Steele.

Following is an overview of this book. Package Overviews

This part briefly describes each package and all of the classes in it. Also included are diagrams that show the inheritance hierarchy of the classes that appear in a package. Alphabetical Reference of Classes

This part covers the alphabetical listing of the classes from the following packages: java.io
java.lang
java.lang.reflect
java.math
java
java.text
java.util
java.util.zip

Probably the most notable aspect about the structure of this book is the order in which the classes appear. Most Java books that contain an API alphabetically order the classes within a package and then alphabetically order the packages. The problem with this format is that it always takes two or more steps to locate a class. If you do not know which package contains the class you're looking for, you basically need to review each package looking for the class. If you do know which package, you first need to find the package and then find the class.

The classes in this book are ordered alphabetically without regard to package name. This makes looking up a class as straightforward as looking up a word in a dictionary.

Each class is described in its own chapter. Each chapter contains a picture of the class hierarchy, a class description, a class example, a member summary, and descriptions for every member in the class. Class Hierarchy Diagrams

We include a class diagram for each class in the Java API. The class diagram shows all of the ancestors of the class, its siblings, its immediate descendents, and any interfaces that the class implements. In these diagrams, if a package name precedes a class or interface name, the class or interface is not in the same package as the current class.

In the diagrams, we visually distinguish the different kinds of Java entities, as follows: The interface: A rounded rectangle The class: A rectangle The abstract class: A rectangle with an empty dot The final class: A rectangle with a black dot Classes with subclasses: A rectangle with a small black triangle on the lower right corner

Most of these elements are shown in Figure i. The class or interface being described in the current chapter is shaded grey. A solid line represents extends, while a dotted line represents implements.

Class Descriptions

In the class descriptions, we describe all of the properties of the class. For example, the properties of the Graphics class include the current color, font, paint mode, origin, and clipping area. Describing in one place all of a class's available properties and how the properties behave makes learning all of the capabilities of a class much easier than if the property descriptions were scattered throughout the member descriptions.

Any terminology used in the member descriptions is introduced and described in the class descriptions. If you find that the member description lacks detail, go to the class description for more information. Class Examples

Ideally, we would have included a unique example for every single member in the Java API. We simply did not have enough time. So we tried to make sure that every member appeared in at least one example.

We worked to make the examples as useful as possible so that they demonstrate the member as it would typically be used. For example, in the example for a button we not only show how a button is created; we also show how button events are handled. In some cases, we also try to demonstrate some other class in the Java API. For example, in the Graphics.draw-Oval() example, we demonstrate not only how to draw an oval; we also show how to use the BufferedReader class to read integers from standard input that are used to locate the oval. We feel that gently introducing other classes in the Java API is a good way to help you become aware of all available classes in the Java API, as long as the introduction does not confuse the example. Member Summaries

The Member Summary section for each class is intended to help the reader quickly grasp the key points of the class. It groups the members of the class into categories that are specific to that class. For example, in the List class the Selection Methods category lists all methods having to do with selections. It is meant to be a quick summary of the class's members, so it does not contain any syntax information other than the name of the member. Member Descriptions

The member descriptions appear in alphabetical order within a class chapter regardless of what kind of method or field they are. This was done to make locating a member proceed as fast as possible.

Overloaded methods are placed together in one member description because they share very similar functionality. The different overloaded forms are typically provided as a convenience for the programmer when specifying parameters. For instance, some overloads eliminate parameters by providing common defaults. To describe overloads with missing parameters, we use a phrase of the form "if the parameter p is not specified, it defaults to the value 3.14." Other overloads take different representations of a value. For example, one overload could take a particular parameter as an integer, while another could take the same parameter as a string containing an integer.

Each member description contains some or all of the following fields:

PURPOSE A brief description of the purpose of this member SYNTAX The syntactic declaration of this member DESCRIPTION A full description of this member PARAMETERS The parameters accepted by this member, if any, listed in alphabetical order RETURNS The value and its range returned by this member, if any EXCEPTIONS The exceptions and errors thrown by this member, if any, listed in alphabetical order SEE ALSO Other related classes or members, if any, listed in alphabetical order OVERRIDES The method that this member overrides, if any EXAMPLE A code example that illustrates how this member is used. This is sometimes a reference to an example that illustrates the use of this method in another member example or class example. Deprecation

A method or class is deprecated if its use is no longer recommended. A deprecated method appears in the Member Summary under the Deprecated Methods section. In the chapter body, the deprecated method is annotated by a "deprecated" tag in its method heading. For example, Component.size() is a deprecated method. It has the following method heading:

size()DEPRECATED

If not all of the overloaded forms of the method are deprecated, a "deprecated" tag appears beside the syntax of the deprecated forms. For example, one of the two forms of BorderLayout.addLayoutComponent() is deprecated. The second form shown below--the one with the "deprecated" tag--is deprecated. SYNTAX public void addLayoutComponent(Component comp, Object location)     DEPRECATED public void addLayoutComponent(String location, Component comp)

The method description contains a deprecation section with instructions on how to replace the usage of the deprecated method, like this:

DEPRECATION     A description of how to replace the usage of this deprecated method How to Access the Examples

All of the code examples in this book have been compiled and run on the FCS version of Java 1.1.4, either on Solaris or Windows NT or both. Most of the complete examples are available on-line.Italic is used when defining a new term and for emphasis. Acknowledgments

We want to thank the many people who made this book possible.

Mike Hendrickson, the Executive Editor for this book, helped coordinate the many tasks and people needed to complete this book.

Lisa Friendly, the series editor, was relentless in garnering reviewers for this book and providing all kinds of cheerful assistance.

The accuracy and quality of this book were improved immensely as the result of the astonishingly thorough reviews by the following individuals: Steve Byrne, John Rose, Joshua Bloch, Joseph Fialli, and Roger Riggs. Other reviewers who gave us helpful feedback include Calvin Austin, David Connelly, Li Gong, Brian Preston, Mark Reinhold, Nakul Saraiya, Roland Schemers, and Kathy Walrath.

Laura Michaels persevered through over 1,900 pages of manuscript under tremendous time pressure to improve the readability of this book. Sarah Weaver, Rosemary Simp


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Customer Reviews

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The examples provided are very illustrative.
J. Meyer
As much as I appreciate the O'Reilly Nutshell book, this is far superior to that book.
Geoffrey S. Robinson
If you are brand new to Java, make sure you get a good book aimed at novices as well.
T. Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Doug Bell on January 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you do serious work in Java, then you already know that the online Javadoc documentation is incomplete, often inaccurate and entirely lacking any high-level discussion of the API. This book is everything that the online API documentation is not.
Of course, if you do serious work in Java, then you already have this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey S. Robinson on August 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There is a reason this book is rated so highly. It is worth every penny you will spend on it. I would pay double the price, but don't tell the publisher. This is my favorite reference book, and my Java programming would not be as productive without this book. The book is huge, because it covers every class within the standard library (io, net, lang, etc.). As much as I appreciate the O'Reilly Nutshell book, this is far superior to that book. This has something Nutshell doesn't. Context. Not only does it have all the classes with all their methods, it puts each method in context. It shows you how they are used by providing relevant example code and descriptions. And the descriptions in the book are wonderful. You will look up a class and find a related class that will work better for your needs. I especially recommending getting this book for a team of developers. Leave the book in the room for office use. If you can so afford, get it for each developer. This is like the Post-it note. You would never live without it, even though you managed and may have even done well before it came along.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JavaBarista on June 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you could design your own Java reference series, what would you include? How about:
- An plain English explanation of each class and method.
- Sample code for every class and method.
- Intelligent organization that enables you to find a given class or method quickly.
- A comprehensive, well-organized index that thinks like you do.
This summarizes the content of this book and the other two in the series and explains why they are the three books I wouldn't dream of programming in Java without. (I've been a professional Java developer since 1996.) Buy the book and make your life easier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book in an irreplaceable resource for anyone that uses Java. It won't tell you how to program, but it outlines all the basic java classes and the methods and attributes in those methods
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jack on January 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book proves day by day its value to me as a programmer. There are such a number of Java classes in 1.1 and this books explains them all in great detail. The examples are a fantastic help to find out what a class is actually doing. Not only that these examples help understanding the Java classes, they are already solutions to common problems which can be modified to meet your own needs. From all the Java books I bought, this is the one which proved its value most.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Brown on October 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For a couple of years now I have lugged the two hefty volumes of The Java Class Libraries plus the 1.2 supplement to every job site. At each site, these three books immediately became the most-borrowed books from my shelf. What is especially appealing is the ordering the material in alphabetical order by class name, like a encyclopedia. The examples are copious, interesting and solve nontrivial problems. There's also terrific background material on the theory behind each class. I highly recommend purchasing all three books (the original Volumes 1 & 2 plus the JDK 1.2 supplement). You'll need them all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "wexley43" on July 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
You can get useful information without having to read useless information and verbage! This is absolutely the best programming reference book I have ever seen. Well organized, clear, straight-forward and concise class descriptions, hierarchy, and simple yet useful example code snippets for each class. As an experienced programmer who understands objects, all I want to know is what's available, what's it normally used for, where does fit into the larger picture and what's the syntax of how it's normally used. This book has it all and gets straight to the point.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cal on March 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Maybe it's unhelpful to say every java programmer needs this book Period, but it really is indispensable, at least in the first few weeks. When programming, nothing should really be vague, and this book has the advantage over the online Javadocs (at java.sun.com/products/jdk/1.2/docs/) for having the little implementation notes. For example, it mentions some tiny, fairly interesting things about Enumerations that aren't mentioned online.
On the other hand, the advantage of the Javadocs is that they are newer. I just looked at Enumerations while typing this, and noted that the Iterator interface may be a halfway interesting replacement. Important? I don't know, but much of programming is the accumulation of little things that strikes one in little ways.
And you can't cut & paste from the book, which is a much more reliable way of entering text than typing. But the examples are nice, and you can lug the thing around pretty well.
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