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Effective Java Paperback
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If you are concerned about receiving the "fake" version after reading reviews. I want to let you know that I recently ordered this book and I did not receive the "fake" version.
- This is not a cookbook. You will not find template solutions to regular programming problems here.
- This is not a "fun" book. This is not like the Head First books where they have lots of funny stuff to keep you entertained.
- This is not a book for beginners. If you are just starting to learn programming, this will only leave your mind in a very confused state.
- This is not "just a Java book". Although most of the topics described in this book are tightly related to Java's mechanics and implementation details, it has a lot of great teachings that are language agnostic.
That being said, this book is a very deep analysis on many diverse topics, most of them centered on Java's mechanics, language features and most prominent flaws. You can expect, for example, lost of pages explaining how to correctly implement a serializable class or how to clone an object correctly. But you will not only get answers here. Most topics include a very throughout explanation on the logic behind the solutions and the potential pitfalls and risks of failing to follow the suggestions described and even counter-intuitive problems derived from design flaws in the Java language.
I will admit that many of the topics of the books have no practical use unless you have to implement a low level solution from scratch or you are working on a very important project where a design flaw might cause catastrophic failure. Still, I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will find something useful.
There are two books that I strongly recommend for software engineers (especially if you have to use Java but don't like it): this book and Java Concurrency in Practice. Everything else you need to know can be acquired through an online copy of the Java language spec and a few other links on Oracle's site.
This is not for a beginner. But if you done some Java programmer and have the basic language syntax down, this text will take you to the next level. A lot of useful information. I'm not surprised it's in a second edition!