Author: Timothy Fisher
Publisher: Sams, 2007
Aimed at: Anyone programming in Java including those new to the language
Pros: Includes more than 100 customizable code snippets
Cons: Not a complete reference nor an introduction to Java
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
The Phrasebook series in Sam's Developer's Library is based on the concept of foreign language phrasebooks interpreted here as a list of common tasks you might want to achieve in Java 5.0.
The respect in which it resembles a language phrasebook is in its physical size - it is a book that could fit in a pocket - and it consists of lots of short items, each with a "phrase" of code and a clear explanation.
These are arranged in 17 chapters and the prograssion is fairly logical. Chapter 1 The Basics has just three tasks - Compiling a Java Program, Running a Java Program and Setting the Classpath and the next chapter continues with very introductoiry stuff - Getting Environment Variables, Setting and Getting System Properties and Parsing Command-Line Arguments.
The next seven chapter include an average of eight phrases on each of strings, data structures, dates and times, pattern matching and regular expressions, numbers, input and output, and directories and files.
Network clients, network servers, email and database access are some enterprise issues that are covered next follwed by a chapter on XML.
The final three chapters, Using Threads, Dynamic Programming Through Reflection, and Packaging and Documenting Classes are in some ways the most useful for phrases that you might want from time to time.
My main criticism is tha tthe format doesn't lend itself to programming style and object oriented concepts are largely ignored or glossed over.
While it is easy to read and handy to carry around this book isn't sufficient on its own.