Most helpful positive review
Essential Java Reference
on April 29, 2003
I picked this book up a couple months ago and can't imagine how I got along without it before. The first section includes simple examples of common uses of the java packages. I find this extremely useful. There are realms in Java where the intricacies often slip my mind, particularly in java.io, and the small examples of these packages shown in section 1 serve as a perfect reminder of how exactly to accomplish my task.
Section 2 is the meat of the book and includes a reference to the classes and their members. This is similar to the online API, but lacking the descriptions for the methods / classes. This is strictly a quick reference of the methods, their arguments, return types and modifiers, and the variables belonging to a class. For a description of every method, use the online API. Personally though, I find this reference quicker to use than the online API when searching for a particular class. It probably comes down to personal preference, though.
Sections 3 and 4 I honestly haven't found a need for. The first two sections alone are worth the (relatively) [inexpensive] price of the book.
For reference, my qualifications include Sun Java Programmer Certification 1.4 (Passed with an 86%), Graduated Magna Cum Laude from UMass Dartmouth with a Computer Science degree.