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0.2. Contents of This Book

The first eight chapters of this book document the Java language, the Java platform, and the Java development tools that are supplied with Sun's Java SDK (software development kit):

Chapter 1, "Introduction"

This chapter is an overview of the Java language and the Java platform that explains the important features and benefits of Java. It concludes with an example Java program and walks the new Java programmer through it line by line.

Chapter 2, "Java Syntax from the Ground Up"

This chapter explains the details of the Java programming language. It is a long and detailed chapter. Experienced Java programmers can use it as a language reference. Programmers with substantial experience with languages such as C and C++ should be able to pick up Java syntax by reading this chapter. The chapter does not assume years of programming experience, or even familiarity, with C or C++, however. Even beginning programmers, with only modest experience, should be able to learn Java programming by studying this chapter carefully.

Chapter 3, "Object-Oriented Programming in Java"

This chapter describes how the basic Java syntax documented in Chapter 2, "Java Syntax from the Ground Up" is used to write object-oriented programs in Java. The chapter assumes no prior experience with OO programming. It can be used as a tutorial by new programmers or as a reference by experienced Java programmers.

Chapter 4, "The Java Platform"

This chapter is an overview of the essential Java APIs covered in this book. It contains numerous short examples that demonstrate how to perform common tasks with the classes and interfaces that comprise the Java platform. Programmers who are new to Java, and especially those who learn best by example, should find this a valuable chapter.

Chapter 5, "Java Security"

This chapter explains the Java security architecture that allows untrusted code to run in a secure environment from which it cannot do any malicious damage to the host system. It is important for all Java programmers to have at least a passing familiarity with Java security mechanisms.

Chapter 6, "JavaBeans"

This chapter documents the JavaBeans™ component framework and explains what programmers need to know to create and use the reusable, embeddable Java classes known as beans.

Chapter 7, "Java Programming and Documentation Conventions"

This chapter documents important and widely adopted Java programming conventions and also explains how you can make your Java code self-documenting by including specially formatted documentation comments.

Chapter 8, "Java Development Tools"

The Java SDK shipped by Sun includes a number of useful Java development tools, most notably the Java interpreter and the Java compiler. This chapter documents those tools.

These first eight chapters teach you the Java language and get you up and running with the Java APIs. The bulk of the book, however, is the API quick reference, Chapters 9 through 29, which is a succinct but detailed API reference formatted for optimum ease of use. Please be sure to read the How To Use This Quick Reference section, which appears at the beginning of the reference section; it explains how to get the most out of this section.

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