on 22 March 1999
It not only covers the threads API, it also covers how they work and advanced tricks to using them.
The problem which most of the threading material related to Java I've read in other books has contained errors. "Java Threads" as well as Doug Lea's "Concurrent Programming in Java" are the only accurate books that I know of although their focus is very different. Another good thing about this book is that it has much otherwise hard to find information about how threads actually work in Java.
I highly recommend this book to anytone working with Java threads. I'm sure you will find information in here that you previously didn't know.
on 10 December 1998
This book isn't an academic treatise, nor, if you are used to multithreading in other languages will it bring you much you wouldn't get using a standard API reference - after all, you know how to multithread.
However, if you are new to multithreading, and need to do it in Java, this book would be a solid recommendation. Some of the examples are a bit "silly", but this book is overall well-thought out, though I may have chosen to introduce things in different orders at times.
Overall, as a reference 3 stars (given the fact the threading API in Java is so straightforward, I would find it hard to give anything 5 stars, and there is no "handy reference" to give it 4), as a tutorial 4 stars and as an introduction/overview four stars. Overall, 4 out of 5.
For an advanced reference though, use Lea's Concurrent Programming in Java book - but be warned, although the Lea book is thorough, it is badly written.
on 9 January 2007
After doing some research on all the good Java Thread Books available, I finally decided to buy the Java Threads by Scott Oaks. This is a pretty good all rounder in terms of content and the layout of the topics. It talks about basic beginner things and get more advanced as the chapters progress. The topic on minimal syncronisation is pretty useful and is actually a very good programming practise.
The book doesn't go into much details on advanced practical uses. I would have liked an example on the producer-consumer pattern for changing data in an object in, say a trade pricing system kind of application. There are better books out there for that.
Having said that, it does give a very good round up on all the basic concepts and would get you on the track to write multi threaded applications. A definite must have on you personal programming library.
on 14 November 2004
This review refers to the 3rd edition which covers Java 1.5
If you are not planning to use Java 1.5 then an earlier version may be more useful as a large proportion of the text focuses on java 1.5. However as the Threading utilities are largely based on Doug Lea's Concurrency utilities which is freely downloadable you should be able to easily convert a large number of the examples to work with those.
Some people may be of the opinion that this is a boring topic (I disagree) and as a result you can't expect too much from the book. However the examples they chose are just dreadful. There are many more exciting things you can do with threads than display a random character on a swing ui.
If you are looking for a deeper coverage of the threading APIs this is a good book. If you expect practical examples and the authors to share their practical experience then you will probably be a bit dissapointed.
A section covering Threading issues within J2EE, on which most of us work, would be a welcome addition to this book.
on 25 February 2002
This is a useful little book, with plenty of handy examples, and clear presentation of the 'stuff'.
My only minor gripe would be that it may appear a little wordy if you are more used to a formal treatment of parallel or concurrent systems. Also, the coverage of the analysis of the complexity of Threaded algorithms is fairly superficial (although Amdahl's law is included), and issues regarding livelock are left out.
All in all, a good qualatative guide to using Threads in Java.