I am grateful to many people who helped me along while working on this book, especially my wife, Lisa, and her patience during this whole process. A special thanks goes to our Old English sheep dog, Sir Dudley Fuzzybuns McDuff for gladly sharing the house with me during the entire process. I am grateful to the people at Sun who helped me become involved with Java so early on: Pete Seymour, Anne Pettitt, Tom McGinn, and Jen Sullivan-Volpe. I am also grateful to my employers, Rapid Systems Solutions (when I started) and the MageLang Institute (when I finished), who let me work on the book. Another thanks goes out to Dale Carnegie Training and John Captain, whose human relations class helped me feel comfortable with public speaking, without which I would not have become immersed in Java so quickly.
Particular thanks are owed to the technical reviewers: Yadu Zambre, Andy Cohen, David Flanagan, Jen Sullivan-Volpe, and Dan Jacobs. All of them performed an invaluable service with their thorough reviews and helped spot my errors and omissions. It seemed everyone contributed many bits of text that eventually found their way into the final product.
Random thanks go out to the many people on the Internet who I never met but provided valuable information, from the newsgroups and mailing lists: Simon "FISH" Morris, Mike Gallant, Eric Link, and many others whose names I did not write down.
Bits and pieces of various figures were borrowed from David Flanagan's book, Java in a Nutshell, and Patrick Niemeyer's and Joshua Peck's book, Exploring Java. The class hierarchy diagrams come from David's book. These diagrams were based on similar diagrams by Charles L. Perkins. His original efforts are available at http://rendezvous.com/java/.
For the gang at O'Reilly who gave me the opportunity to write this work, I thank everyone who helped along the way. For series editor, Mike Loukides, thanks for all your time and effort, especially with the early drafts. Best of luck to Mike and Judy with their new bundle of joy, Alexandra. Special thanks to Jonathan Knudsen who updated the reference section for the new release. Thanks to Nancy Crumpton and John Files for book production and project management, and to Trina Jackson, Paula Ferguson, and Andy Oram who helped during the review stages. Thanks also to the O'Reilly Tools group, Ellen Siever, Erik Ray, and Lenny Muellner; to Seth Maislin, the indexer; and David Futato and Danny Marcus who handled the proofreading and QCs.
The final product is much better because of their help.