Now in year 2009 we have JDK1.6 on our hands. Even the fundamental change of Java language through JDK1.5 generics and annotations dates back to year 2004, why would this book be of any value?
Well, it is. I see it here on sale by many, and I consider it a mistake. Here is why:
Travis mastered a great tutorial of how to use new library packages provided in the rather large upgrade through JDK 1.4, most notably providing:
1) NIO, the new IO system,
2) Java Web Start (JAWS)
5) Regular expressions
7) Java Secure Socket Extension (JSSE)
Wow, this was a track load of new features added to the language's libraries. It takes indeed a book like this to describe them all. Most importantly, these new packages are of course very much current now in 2009, and for the the most part even unchanged since their release!
JDK1.4 was the last, and a very large at that, of upgrades to Java, which left the language widely untouched. With JDK1.4 we merely received the usual new load of a new functionality in the java.* environment. As we know, this has changed with JDK1.5, but this does not negate the usefulness of Travis'es text.
Reader will like his non-nonsense approach, diagrams and quite good example code. Some of it debatable, we always do have our own opinion about code, right? But, it serves the purpose. Especially if it comes to understanding NIO, I still consider his text (Chapters 1 and 2) unparalleled and best. I like the diagrams showing progress in channels and buffers, I understood instantly how to use NIO.
You sell it for what I see now below a dollar? Really? For me this book is a keeper, I will give it up only "from a cold hand of my dead body."