on 31 January 2005
There are only a handful of books that every Java programmer should own. This book manages to enter into that elite group of books by providing exceptional coverage of an area of Java programming that is generally poorly covered and often misunderstood. Reflection is a topic that many programmers know about but don't truly understand. Reflection can provide simple ways to get out of complex problems, which makes it well worth knowing. Reflection is one of those tools that you never knew you needed until you learn it.
The authors of this book are a father/son team that have been working with reflection for years. They attack reflection in small pieces, making each topic crystal clear before moving on to the next. In keeping with the "action" from the title, the authors show examples of each aspect of reflection, breaking down each line of code with complete explanations.
The book starts with the basics of reflection, looking at how to examine a class at runtime and dynamically load it. The book then moves on to demonstrating how to use the Proxy class. Later chapters show how to examine the call stack, customize class loaders, and transform one class into another. Performance is covered with a chapter that gives some good examples of benchmarking the cost of using reflection. The book ends with a look at the impact of Java 1.5 on reflection.
The best advice I can give is, buy this book. You will be amazed at the things that you didn't know you could do with Java