Most helpful positive review
Up to date, complete and thorough
on February 4, 2001
This book covers all the important things to know about network programming in JDK1.3 and Java2. The content and quality is how you expect it from O'Reilly books: thorough, complete, practical with clear examples, and with a good theoretic foundation.
The first three chapters provide theory about basic network and web concept and explains what you can do with Java networking. A lo of very interesting things, and that motivated me to read further. Chapter 4 and 5 are about Java I/O and threads and might be redundant for Java programmers, who already know basic Java stuff. But those chapters are necessary to understand the examples in all the following chapters. Chapter 6-19 deal with all the various networking topics and Java classes that deal with URL's, Internet addresses, sockets and datagrams, protocol and content handlers, RMI and JavaMail. The organization of these last chapters is topical; in most of the times you can understand a chapter without reading the previous ones, just pick out the one that you are interested in. (Interesting chapter about parsing HTML with JEditorPane, Swing has some unexpected applications!)
I think the author gave a complete and thorough coverage of all the necessary topics. The author does not stray from its topics, is sometimes a bit dry in his explanations, and gives some important side information, e.g. about security aspects of the different Java versions in regards to RMI.
Take in mind that this is the second edition from August 2000, updated to Java2, with some 200 or more extra pages, and we can use this book for the next couple of years.