REVIEW - The Java Developers Almanac 1.4 vol 1


The Java Developers Almanac 1.4 vol 1


Patrick Chanh




Addison-Wesley ()




Francis Glassborow


June 2002



This book disturbs me. No, it is not the book itself so much as the need for it. Let me quote a couple of sentences from the preface:

The Java Developers Almanac is like a map of the Java class libraries. It's a compact and portable tool that covers almost all of the libraries, if only from a bird's-eye view. It's great for reminding you of things like method names and parameters. With today's class count at 3000, you're bound to forget a few details now and again.

There is a footnote that explains that 'almost all':

Due to size constraints, the javax.swing.plaf.* packages are left out of volume 2.

As each volume is already around the 1000 page mark, that is perhaps understandable. However I am not sure that compact and portable is an appropriate description of a two-volume work that spans over 2000 pages.

Note that I am not complaining about these books, they do indeed meet a real need in the Java community. I am expressing concern that Java has reached the stage when 2000 pages considered necessary even though it acts as no more than a reminder and, by the authors own admission, you will need more books if you are using a class that is new to you. Worse still, you will probably need to replace these books in a couple of years. So much for the claim made by some that Java is free.

If you are a serious programmer in Java, you already know that you need this book (or one like it). The alternative is to spend more of your time re-inventing classes that already exist or delving away for information about classes that you vaguely remember.

This is a well planned but weighty tome (well I have only got volume 1 on my desk). The examples are just about enough to help your memory when dealing with classes that you have already studied.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

Your Privacy

By clicking "Accept All Cookies" you agree ACCU can store cookies on your device and disclose information in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

By clicking "Share IP Address" you agree ACCU can forward your IP address to third-party sites to enhance the information presented on the site, and that these sites may store cookies on your device.