- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596002882
- ISBN-13: 978-0596002886
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,562,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Java Nio 1st Edition
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About the Author
Ron Hitchens is a California based computer consultant and educator whose career dates back to the disco era. His first exposure to computers was operating mainframes in the Air Force. His first programming language was COBOL, learned from a friend's borrowed textbook. Since that time Ron has used just about every computer system and programming language you can imagine: from 6502 assembler to XSLT. Ron spent much of the 1980s at the University of Texas at Austin, as student and staffer, where he burrowed deep into the Unix kernel and assisted with many interesting research projects. Ron spent the next several years doing kernel work for clients such as IBM and Unisys. Ron has also developed and taught professional development courses for the same clientele. Following a brief flirtation with C++, Ron fell in love with Java and has spent the last several years employing server-side Java technologies to build Web applications for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Ron is Founder and President of Ronsoft Technologies (www.ronsoft.com). Ron lives in California with his wife and co-pilot, Karen, and a dog named Boomer. When Ron isn't working ( hah! ) he and Karen enjoy snorkeling, bicycling and walking the dog.
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But wait, there is more! Already on the page 151 author abandons NIO and devotes himself to a talk about regular expression package, and... in his code examples uses boldly standard java.io. His examples are of a stunning banality and simplicity, to terse to be of any use beyond the regular Java instructional trail on the net.
Regarding NIO, the 150 pages remaining, reader should rather take a look at "The JDK 1.4 Tutorial", 408 pages:
The JDK 1.4 Tutorial. Travis'es chapter 1 and 2 clearly top this text in every aspect. Hitchens code examples seem very arbitrary, and often to verbose, dealing with, or constructing something not pertinent to IO itself. For example, pages 63/65, where author suggest to "wait" in a spinning while loop for write, without any sleep (hm..., is that really necessary?) and later on wastes an entire page on assembling some arbitrary text messages or sentences of a kind. Every reader will make many more such observations.
Not a good call on O'Reilly's part... NIO is very complex indeed, and every practitioner has his/her own set of papers and snippets collected over the time, still waiting for "the ultimate" summary by someone. Last but not least, what annoys me in this book are the nonsensical and banal quotes of someone or something in the beginning of the chapters. This is a very nasty habit, copied over and over again by many authors. Only a few writers have the knowledge and ability to make such quotes, see Donald Knuth to contrast what you will find in this book. For example, "here, put this fish in you ear" by Ford Prefect. I have no clue what that means, and who or what Ford Prefect was. The said appendix with cut-and-paste of Java package specifications starts with a sentence by "U2", what ever that means. The equally useless appendix B starts with "If you build it, he will come" by... "An Iowa cornfield"! I have really no words to comment on this nonsense.
Now let me pack the "NIO users manual" and ship it back to Amazon. Give me my money back!
The book is a good introduction to java.nio but that is the extent of it. Half the book is an api reference and regular expressions (why is this even covered in this book?).
The rest tells you a little bit about the API, but not how to use it. There are examples, but you have to download them from the internet (ie no CD with the book).
The best chapter you can download for free anyway, so don't bother buying the book. Just download the free chapter and the free examples. The material on the internet from this book covers 90% of what you need to know.
The irony is that in the intro to chap 1, the author even makes jokes about IO not being so dull as usually believed. Well I agree with him , but he certainly managed to make an outstanding contribution to the dullness of IO. Should he be congratulated?
The material on selectors and readiness selection is also strong.
The problem is, there are idiosyncracies to NIO that make it difficult to use effectively for large-scale, high-performance applications without some in-depth knowledge.
If you're really looking to architect a substantial NIO server or client, read this book for the overview, but also be sure to take a look at the open source Netty framework by Trustin Lee, or Ember IO by Mike Spille to see good NIO implementations that you can use as a building block.
It also analyzed the NIO APIs in the most comprehensive way. The interest which the contents of this book arouse makes it an important text for developers and enthusiasts alike. Very few complaints will ever go against it. The only one I have is that it may not be too friendly with beginners.