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Keywords: Java, Tiger, J2SE1.5, sample code

Title: Java Cookbook (2nd edition)

Author: Ian F Darwin

Publisher: O'Reilly

ISBN: 0596007019

Media: Book

Level: Intermediate and advanced Java

Verdict: Recommended.

Programmers cookbooks are a great idea. Not only do they provide re-usable chunks of code ? from interesting snippets to complete packages and programs ? but they are also a great educational resource for those developers who have mastered the basics of syntax and want to progress beyond beginner level. For the jobbing programmer cookbooks can be a fantastic resource.

Ian Darwin's 'Java Cookbook' is no exception. Coming in at a hefty 800 pages, this is a book that helps the reader cut to the chase quickly and effectively. Covering a wide range of topics, from database access to graphics, from client-side to server-side, from internationalisation to performance optimisation. The 26 chapters really do provide solid coverage of most areas of Java development.

Tricky areas, such as printing or programming serial and parallel ports are well-covered. Introductory material is kept to a minimum, there?s an opening chapter that reprises some of the mechanics of compiling, running and debugging programs but even so this is definitely not a beginner's book.

This new edition of the book includes coverage of Tiger (Java 1.5 or J2SE 5.0 or whatever name finally sticks). The whole of chapter 8, for example, looks specifically at new language features, including generics, foreach, autoboxing and so on. There's coverage in other chapters too, but there's also a lot of pre-Tiger code on display.

Not only do the recipes provide hands-on code that can be integrated or re-used, it also allows the reader a chance to see how other developers crack a problem. What?s more the purpose of the recipes is not to illustrate abstract concepts or to show how the syntax is used. The aim of the code is to use Java to solve a problem, in other words this is real working code and not a set of contrived examples. What's more each chapter ends with one or two complete programs which make use of the individual recipes that are included in that chapter.

Of course the code is also downloadable from the O'Reilly site, so if there is a recipe that takes your fancy than it's easy to track down and re-use.

In all, this is a great title for the Java developer who wants to hit the ground running when looking at a new problem or a starting to explore a new API.

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Contents © TechBookReport 2004. Published 14 October 2004