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Java Generics and Collections: Speed Up the Java Development Process Paperback – October 24, 2006
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"This is a very good book on two fairly focused topics - generics and collections. If you plan to make best use of either or both, buy a copy." - Ian Elliot, VSJ, April 2007
About the Author
Maurice Naftalin is Director of Software Development at Morningside Light Ltd., a software consultancy in the United Kingdom. Maurice consults mainly in object-oriented technologies and teaches Java classes part-time at Learning Tree. He has three decades' experience as a programmer, team leader, and commercial trainer.
Philip Wadler is a professor of theoretical computer science at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where his research focuses on functional and logic programming. He co-authored the Generic Java standard that became the basis for generics in Sun's Java 5.0 and also contributed to the XQuery language standard base. Professor Wadler received his Ph.D., in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon University and co-wrote "Introduction to Functional Programming" (Prentice-Hall).
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When i first saw generics in Java i was befuddled to be honest, (to be erm, brutally honest, disappointed, since they are NOT like what really generics are capable, uh yea the Backwards compatibility logic..whatever). But still generics can considerably improve already existing code. There's a lot stuff out there with those list iterations and those nasty casts that you have to make... OK Enough if justification of Generics in Java, which btw isnt necessary, since your looking at this book anyways.
Book has 2 sections
1.) Generics (will explain everything about generics, with Design patterns that can be used and so forth).
2.)Collections Framework (Quite intense, explains everything sufficiently)
All in all, a great Buy.
It's comprehensive, sure... but the examples lean to near overkill on each topic in some areas. In other areas, there just isn't enough information or example code to really drive home the ideas.
It's average and worth the read. Not worth keeping around, though. It's one of those "read-once-then-give-it-to-a-friend" books. Like I said, though: you should definitely read this book if you're looking for more information on these topics. You'll just find yourself hitting resources online for more information in areas you are particularly interested in (concurrency w/ collections, for example).
This book is good in that it does cover many of the issues, and some interesting applications, but is I think limited in both explanations, and examples. Their section on Generics and Design patterns is a welcome one, but very short, and not very long on rationale or depth on other applications. If the examples they show is the only impact of generics on design patterns, something is wrong!
The standard Generics tutorials by Bracha and Langer, and the IBM DeveloperWorks series by Allen are more complete, and more descriptive, and free! I found the lumping of collections together with Generics ok, but a bit indicative that they ran out of real generics material. They are also IMHO a bit defensive on the long contested Erasure approach, but do explain their viewpoint well. They fault the C# and C++ approaches too quickly, noting the problems but not the corresponding solutions provided. Hopefully next versions of Java will (soon) provide reified versions of generics, it looks like it is in process now.
I did think it a worthwhile read, but not as much as expected.