The Java AWT Reference is the definitive resource for programmers working with AWT. It covers all aspects of the AWT package, in versions 1.0.2 and 1.1. If there are any changes to AWT after 1.1 (at least two patch releases are expected), we will integrate them as soon as possible. Watch the book's Web site http://www.ora.com/catalog/javawt/ for details on changes.
Specifically, this book completely covers the following packages:
java.awt (1.0 and 1.1)
The book also covers some aspects of the sun.awt package (some interesting and useful layout managers) and the sun.audio package (some more flexible ways of working with audio files). It also gives a brief overview of the behind-the-scenes machinery for rendering images, much of which is in the sun.awt.image package.
The Java AWT Reference is divided into two large parts. The first part is a thorough guide to using AWT. Although this guide is organized by class, it was designed to flow logically, rather than alphabetically. I know that few people read a book like this from beginning to end, but if you want to, it's possible. With a few exceptions, you should be able to read the early chapters without knowing the material that's covered in the later chapters. You'll want to read this section to find out how any chunk of the AWT package works in detail.
The second part is a set of documentation pages typical of what you find in most reference sets. It is organized alphabetically by package, and within each package, alphabetically by class. It is designed to answer questions like "What are the arguments to the FilteredImageSource constructor?" The reference section provides brief summaries, rather than detailed discussions and examples. When you use a typical reference book, you're usually trying to look up some detail, rather than learn how something works from scratch.
In other words, this book provides two views of AWT: terse summaries designed to help you when you need to look something up quickly, and much more detailed explanations designed to help you understand how to use AWT to the fullest. In doing so, it goes well beyond the standard reference manual. A reference manual alone gives you a great view of hundreds of individual trees; this book gives you the trees, but also gives you the forest that allows you to put the individual pieces in context. There are dozens of complete examples, together with background information, overview material, and other information that doesn't fit into the standard reference manual format.