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The Art of Java Paperback – 25 Jul 2003
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Herb Schildt brings his crystal clear prose and gift for teaching to complex code examples that demonstrate the elegance and artistry of Java, while James Holmes offers cutting edge tips and tricks that readers will find invaluable.
From the Back Cover
Take your programming expertise to the next level with help from Java programming all-stars Herb Schildt and James Holmes. Together they unlock the secrets that professional programmers use to create world-class software. Inside, Herb and James apply Java to a wide variety of high-powered applications, each demonstrating different features and techniques. Examples range from language interpreters, Web crawlers, and e-mail subsystems to expression parsers, statistical tools, and financial applets. You'll even see how to apply Java to Artificial Intelligence (AI)! Each application can be used as-is, or as a starting point for your own development. From networking to parsing to AI and beyond, this book contains some of the most exciting Java code found anywhere.
Inside you'llExplore the genius of Java Create an expression parser for numeric expressions Build a Web crawler Design and implement a computer language interpreter Develop a complete e-mail subsystem Construct a download manager that streamlines downloading files from the Internet Develop statistical tools that compute the mean, median, mode, standard deviation, and more Create financial applets and servlets that compute the regular payment on a loan, the future value of an investment, an annuity, and more Develop AI-based search techniques Explore Java's HTML rendering capabilitiesSee all Product description
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Sadly the publisher must have specified a minimum number of pages needed to justify the intended cost of the book. A large amount of this book consists of the entire code for each application, despite this being available to download from their website. It is a shame they didn't just focus on the poignant aspects of the code and cover more ideas with pages that would have freed up. However, the applications are very useful and interesting, with good extension exercises.
For a book that appeared to promise much, I feel disappointed with this purchase.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I was expected examples with good coding styles, none of this code would be even close to passing a peer review at my company. I guess it is good for someone looking for full practical examples of some Java projects, but for the most part the book is just a bunch of not very well written code with some not very interesting commentary.
Other people have already commented on the specific deficiencies of the code examples, including misuse of Swing and lack of Java 5 features such as generics.
If you are looking for how the code would be written in a modern development shop, go to JavaRanch. I would not recommend buying this book unless you don't know how to search the web for code snippets.
As far as art, this book is like a bad spatter painting. "Effective Java" does a much better job of exploring the "art" of Java.
My only complaints are:
1. the book hasn't been updated to Java SE 5 yet.
2. the use of Swing by the author is incorrect in my opinion. I think there's a few times the author doesn't handle the event dispatch thread correctly. This could send people off in the wrong direction with Swing.
3. the coding style doesn't exactly match the Java Style Guide published by Sun. Some people might like this, but I think it's a problem with many books.
4. The code in the book is not syntax highlighted. Most editors do this quite effectively and I think more books should start doing it.
The only thing that I can figure is that because this book does not target a particular audience - say those interested in enterprise applications for example - that it never really sold well. It is true, Mr. Schildt is all over the map in his applications - with such varied subjects as a recursive descent parser and also a language interpreter from programming language theory, from the world of web applications a download manager and also a web crawler, and from the world of artificial intelligence a problem solver. To me, though, that is part of this book's appeal. However, if you did not have an academic computer science background I can see how you might not be interested in the programming language and AI parts of the book.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to become a better Java programmer and does not mind spending some time looking at applications that might not be of immediate need to them. Especially if you have an academic computer science background and already know something about programming language theory and artificial intelligence, this book should be very interesting and very helpful.
The authors are touted as "two genuine Java gurus". Admittedly, I am unfamiliar with one (James Holmes), but the other - Herbert Schildt - I well remember from University days as having written the most in-depth and definitive tome on C programming I had ever seen (and has since moved on to do the same for C++ and C#).
This is not a "how-to" Java programming book or an introductory work. Those new to Java will be out of their depth here.
Instead, "The Art of Java" is a brilliant guide to producing intensely useful and technical Java applications, ranging through parsing numeric expressions, building a Web crawler (adhering to well-defined protocols), implementing an actual computer language, building a complete e-mail subsystem, constructing a streamlined download manager, and more.
These are sophisticated and fascinating Java programs reflecting deep concepts in computer science. The chapters - and their applications - are not merely individual, isolated, programs with no bearing on what has gone before. Rather, each chapter seeks to demonstrate particular features and technologies of Java, with the applications really only being to illustrate the concept - it just so happens they are highly significant and real-world applications, and not simply trite pieces of code as would be found in lesser programming works.
Where this title excels is in its masterful respect and love of the Java language. This is where the "art" in the title comes in; the authors clearly have a passion for Java and its capabilities. The very first chapter even strives to expound on this, where the authors wax lyrical on the pure "genius of Java" itself.
If you love Java, this is a must buy!