Book Review - Java 1.5 Tiger - A Developer's Notebook
I got my first experience with a new O'Reilly series... The Developer's Notebook. This notebook is the Java 1.5 Tiger Developer's Notebook by Brett McLaughlin and David Flanagan. This is a great book and a nice concept sure to become a favorite with developers.
The chapter breakdown: What's New?; Generics; Enumerated Types; Autoboxing and Unboxing; varargs; Annotations; The for/in Statement; Static Imports; Formatting; Threading; Index
As you can see, this is not a Java tutorial or a broad overview of the Java language. It is a practical focus on the new features in Java 1.5 (codenamed Tiger), and it skips the fluff and takes you right into hands-on stuff. The concept of a "developer's notebook" is that it's a place to record observations and take notes. It goes to the meat of the subject. The book is printed on paper that has a graphed background, and there are "handwritten" notes in the margin to point out additional facts. Conversational in tone, you are walked through how each of the new features work as well as what you would use them for. Each chapter has a number of "How do I do that?", "What just happened?", and "What about..." paragraphs that quickly guide you into understanding each new feature.
For instance, the for/in language feature is covered nicely. The authors show you how it is a nice replacement for the Iterator class. But rather than stop there, they tell you what the pros and cons of the feature are.... When you'd want to use it instead of an Iterator, and when an Iterator is the only way to get what you're looking for.
I liked this book a lot. I'm looking forward to more books in the Developer's Notebook series. It might end up being the best series for getting into a subject quickly without wading through a lot of fluff or hard-to-follow jargon.