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Java in a Nutshell

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Changes Since the First Edition

The many changes in Java 1.1 have resulted in changes to this book. The most significant change since the first edition is a direct result of the large size of Java 1.1: Java has grown too large to fit in a single book, even in quick-reference form. Thus, we need to split Java in a Nutshell into multiple volumes. This volume, the "original" Java in a Nutshell documents the most commonly used features of Java, and it is an indispensable volume for all Java programmers.

We are planning to publish a separate volume that covers the Java "Enterprise APIs," which include the database connectivity, remote method invocation, and security features of Java 1.1, as well as other forthcoming components, such as CORBA IDL support and the electronic commerce framework. And as new Java APIs are developed and released, we may consider adding new volumes to the Java in a Nutshell series.

While I was working on this second edition of Java in a Nutshell, it became clear that, even without the enterprise material, the book was becoming too long. (Too long, that is, to remain a useful quick reference, and too long to keep at an affordable price.) Something had to give. The most logical solution was to remove the example programs, which are tutorial in nature, from the book, which is a quick-reference at heart. However, we didn't want to surprise faithful readers by removing the examples altogether, so we decided to pare down the example chapters to the bare minimum. You'll notice that Part III contains examples of using the new Java 1.1 features, such as the JavaBeans API and object serialization, but it does not contain the majority of the old examples from the first edition. For now, Part III contains useful examples for experienced Java programmers who want to learn about the new features of Java 1.1. When Java 1.2 is released, though, we expect that we will have to remove the example section entirely.

Readers familiar with the first edition of Java in a Nutshell will notice some other changes as well. The table of contents has been rearranged to accommodate all the new material. We've used a new easier-to-read font for code listings. And we've included cross-reference material (that used to be available only in separate index chapters) directly in the quick-reference section, which should make that section substantially more useful. Be sure to read How To Use This Quick Reference at the beginning of the reference section to learn about these and other changes to the quick-reference format.

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