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August 2, 2004

"Java 1.5 Tiger: A Developer's Notebook": A Crash Course in the Next Evolution of Java

Sebastopol, CA--The next version of Java, code-named Tiger, is more than just a minor update. With more than one hundred substantial changes to the core language and numerous library and API additions, developers will have a variety of new features, facilities, and techniques to master. But with so many changes, where do you start? You could read through the lengthy and occasionally boring language specification; you could wait for the newest 500-page tome on concepts and theory; you could even play around with the new JDK, hoping to figure things out on your own; or, you can get straight to work with Java 1.5 Tiger: A Developer's Notebook (McLaughlin and Flanagan, O'Reilly, US $29.95).

This no-nonsense guide by bestselling Java authors Brett McLaughlin and David Flanagan sidesteps the dull prose and lecture and jumps right into the jaws of Tiger. Developers will have a handle on many of the important new features of the language by the end of the first chapter, and be neck deep in code before they hit page twenty. Through more than fifty working code samples, they'll get complete, practical coverage of generics, learn how boxing and unboxing affects type conversion, understand the power of variable arguments, learn how to write enumerated types and annotations, master Java's formatting methods and in for/in loop, and even get a grip on concurrency in the new JVM.

"Whatever Tiger ends up being called officially, it introduces so many new features to the language that it took nearly 200 pages to cover them," note McLaughlin and Flanagan. "You'll find that each page of this book is dense with code, example, and terse explanation. There isn't any wasted space. In fact, that's precisely what you're holding in your hands--a concise crash course in the next evolution of Java, Tiger. By the time you're though, you'll be typing your lists, taking your overloading to an entirely new level, writing compile-time checked annotations, and threading more efficiently than ever before."

Java 1.5 Tiger: A Developer's Notebook is set up as something of a cross between a learning exercise (where you would read from back to front) and a cookbook (where you can skip around without concern). Developers can skim the table of contents to find what interests them, but because the topics are often interrelated they're likely to find themselves browsing through additional chapters as they put all the pieces together. By the time they're finished with the book, Java developers will understand:

  • Generics, including type-safe collections and defining generic classes
  • Enumerated types and values, and their relationship to public static final constants
  • Tiger's autoboxing and autounboxing conversions between primitive types and wrapper types
  • Variable arguments (varargs), including defining your own vararg methods
  • Tiger's extensive support for compiler-checked annotations
  • The new format() and printf() methods
  • The extensive concurrency support in Tiger, including locks, scheduling timers, uncaught exceptions in threads, and the new Callable interface
  • Java 1.5 Tiger: A Developer's Notebook provides a hands-on introduction to this important update, presented in a way to help experienced Java developers bypass pages of theory about the technology and get straight to work. Part of the new Developer's Notebook series from O'Reilly, this concise, lab-style guide (printed on graph paper with plenty of margin space for notes) emphasizes example over explanation and practice over theory. The book focuses learning by doing, by experimenting with tools and discovering what works.

    Additional Resources:

    Java 1.5 Tiger: A Developer's Notebook
    Brett McLaughlin and David Flanagan
    ISBN 0-596-00738-8, 177 pages, $29.95 US, $43.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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