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The Java Class Libraries, Volume 1:
As noted by coauthor Patrick Chan in his interview with Amazon.com, programmers spend much of their time writing little programs that do nothing but explain to them the behavior of certain aspects of a language. Java programmers, working as they do with a relatively new, evolving language, spend more time than most writing experimental programs that help them figure out particular classes.
With this book, Chan, Rosanna Lee, and Douglas Kramer attempt to save you the trouble of all that futzing around. Each class in the java.io.*, java.lang.*, java.lang.reflect.*, java.math.*, java.net.*, java.text.*, java.util.*, and java.util.zip.* packages gets explored thoroughly in these pages. In each entry you'll find not only the pedestrian inheritance chart and statement of syntax but a lengthy, lucid discussion of the class (or member), too. Best of all, each entry comes with a working example of how the class or member is used in real life.
The authors, all affiliated with Sun Microsystems in Java's earliest days, know their stuff. They have created an omnibus tool that should prove immensely valuable to any Java programmer who wants to get the most out of the language. --David Wall [via]