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Title: Mastering Java


Author: Various
ISBN:: 0-7821-1935-2

Disk: CD included

Like all the Sybex “Mastering” series this is a substantial book (just short of 1000 pages) that covers the whole subject. There is a short tutorial on OO and the text moves from C through C++ to Java so ACCU members should be at home with it.


There is the obligatory “History of Java and the web” but it does not dwell on the web usage of Java rather it looks at Java as a language in its own right. There is a very useful comparison between applets and applications. It shows when you would use each and why. The text describes the main Java packages (Class libraries) and the AWT (graphical tool kit) and a description of the 9 API’s (as of mid 1996). It does also look at TCP/IP addressing in the network section for those who really must use Java on the web.


The book feels like some of the older books, a lot of text with not as much white space or as many icons and symbols of many modern books. Though there are some screen shots and source they are used sparingly.


As the book was written by a team each author taking several chapters there is a little overlapping, largely in the introductions, it may help those who get stuck with one view. It also means that each section is self contained.


The CD contains the usual raft of Java development environments including Mac’s and one for Win 3.1 Though it is predominately Win95/NT. However you will need a Win95 machine to get the Win3.11 stuff off the CD (long dir names).


As with the other “mastering” books this one gives comprehensive coverage. The only problem is that Java is still developing. However I shall keep this book to hand when experimenting with Java.