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Effective Java

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the strong-coffee dept.

Programming 157

benjiboo writes "From the back page: 'Are you looking for a concise book packed with insight and wisdom not found elsewhere? Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the Java programming language? Do you want to write code that is clear, correct and reusable?' I did, so I bought the book and decided to use it for my first review :)" Read on for bejiboo's review of Effective Java.


Effective Java is a book very much in the style of Scott Myers' earlier C++ "Effective" series. The book contains 57 individual snippets of Java wisdom, broadly categorised into 10 sections including Classes and Interfaces, Exceptions, Threads and Serialisation. Scott Myers' books are classics; I was interested to see how this would compare.

The author, Joshua Bloch, has been involved in writing many industrial-strength Java libraries. His background is very much evident, in this, his first text. He consistently demonstrates the virtues of favouring libraries, clean APIs and advance design. I found the author very readable, and able to make a convincing argument, even in his more 'controversial' pieces. As with Scott Myers' books, there is a real-world, rather than purist approach taken to the language, with most of the code examples having a real-world feel to them. This is a breath of fresh air when lots of programming books tend to use more contrived examples.

The items

The author has endeavoured to keep the book accessible to less-experienced programmers throughout, while providing food for thought for the more advanced reader. For the most part this is succesful, but a small percentage of articles tend toward the simple side. Examples include 'Minimise the accessibility of classes and embers,' 'Write doc comments for all exposed API elements,' and 'Know and use the libraries.' We've all heard this advice many times and I don't feel that these add value. The vast majority however, are pitched at the right difficulty level. The selection of items is well balanced and broad, although unfortunately there are none pertinent to GUI programming.

Many of the articles are fundamentally based on known design patterns and idioms. Although a useful index to these patterns is included, I would have liked to see the virtues of design patterns summarised and demonstrated to a greater extent, perhaps in the introduction.

I was highly impressed with all code examples. Where used, they are consistently short, relevant and concise, with more verbose examples included on the website. The chosen code examples only ever assist in explaining complex concepts clearly.

The strongest area of the book for me was the section on threading. The author clearly demonstrates, for instance, how overuse of synchronised methods can lead to deadlock. He also provides food for thought on how the thread scheduler might trip us up. A section on moving from C constructs, which initially struck me as an odd category, proved very interesting and thorough. 'Replace enum constructs with classes' is a particularly interesting item, demonstrating the fragility of C enums, and indicating why the often-used replacement in Java (a bunch of public static constants) suffers from the same failings.

In conclusion

Ideally I would have liked to see some of the thinner items removed, and perhaps replaced with a section on the GUI libraries. I also liked the short prose sections, and thought the author could have spent more time setting out his stall before launching in to the items. Having said this, this is one of those rare books which could help a good programmer become an excellent one. Many of the books currently out there are aimed at either the beginner or the guru, and this book fills a gap.

I find this style of book very useful, in that I could foresee meeting the vast majority of the described situations at some point or another. So long as you aren't looking for tips to help you with your GUIs, this title is more than worth the investment.

For anyone interested, those sections in full:

  • creating and destroying objects
  • methods common to all objects
  • classes and interfaces
  • substitutes for C constructs
  • methods
  • general programming
  • exceptions
  • threads
  • serialisation

You can purchase Effective Java from Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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one one hand (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088315)

it's a fp.

on the other, it's just a fp in book reviews. nobody reads this anyway.

Practical Applications (0, Offtopic)

First_In_Hell (549585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088347)

I am mainly a Visual Basic (VB6, not the abortion that is .NET) programmer that writes client applications to talk to SQL databases (reporting, data entry . . . etc). I was always interested in learning a new programming language, but I was not sure if JAVA was the right one for this implementation.

In a Windows dominated enviorment, is there any other better alternative to what I am already using? Does Java make sense?

Re:Practical Applications (0, Flamebait)

aosgood (318737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088383)

The only good JAVA is the one in my coffee cup.

Re:Practical Applications (3, Insightful)

dissonant7 (572834) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088500)

In a Windows dominated enviorment, is there any other better alternative to what I am already using?

The abortion that is .NET seems to work alot better than the hideous quivering zygote that is VB6, IMHO. In particular C#.

Really, I would say that it depends on the environment. If the back end is Oracle or DB2, I'd probably go with Java; if it's SQL Server I'd be more inclined to go with .NET. I'd also go with Java if your IT department had any plans to change platforms in the future. .NET and company allow MS to keep a string tied to your IT decisions unless you're willing to abandon your code.

Re:Practical Applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088543)

The primary strength of Java, IMAO, is the cross-platform operability. Of course, nothing is perfect...but all things considered, JAVA does a decent job.

However, if you dont't need your programs to run on multiple platforms, then the cost (memory-intensive slow runtime environment) is probably not worth the gain.

C++ is my preference, provided you can hold yourself to strict coding-conventions.


Re:Practical Applications (1)

Poilobo (535231) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088567)

Java probably isn't the best choice if you're coming from VB. Mainly because of how spoiled most people get after using a Microsoft IDE, and VB's is damn nice. ;)
Besides, if your skill set is based around MS products why not look into C#. I can tell you from experience that C# is a hell of a lot easier (or maybe more intuitive???) than Java. I like Java a lot, but damn is it painful to do GUI based apps. If you do decide to go the Java route take a look a the Eclipse IDE, it's not quite like using an MS IDE but it's clean and stays out of the way (cough**Borland**cough).

Re:Practical Applications (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088576)

I've found ODBC-style data access in Java to be only slightly less painful than doing it in Visual C++.

I'm in a similar situation, developing and maintaining a data access application in VB6 that has reached 'critical mass', has gotten too big for it's britches, and needs to be rewritten from the ground up.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what it will be rewritten in, and so far C# and are leading the pack. All Java has to offer me is some platform independence, which is pretty much irrelevant in my particular case, and I doubt it would be worth headaches like throwing out all the code that's written.

Anyways, this is all contingent on the dorks in marketing not selling imaginary software that I have to write 2 weeks before shipping, that I may have time to make the actual software work.

Re:Practical Applications (1)

mbbac (568880) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089153)

You might be interested in reading this information [] at the VB developer center.

Re:Practical Applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5090254)

Java has much more to offer than just cross platform capability. I design and test on NT and field immediately on UNIX. Java has built in collection classes closer to the Smalltalk model (Common Object class) as well as very easy networking (socket programming), RMI, built in Internet code, encryption, database access, components, threads ... and thats only in the Standard edition and well integrated. Add a consistant exception model, a more purely OOPs envirionment.

And you have a tool that can do most of what you need in a complex multi node, multi threaded multi-national environment that is well integrated. And can be self documenting. The Run Time API book was just a Javadoc of the code.

With the latest JIT compilers the speed is very good.

So ok they over did it with Swing and AWT is too simple and clumsey, but you should be fielding thin client Web based applications anyway for a lot of reasons. .Net's one platform any language vs Java's one language any platform.. well If you have ever inherited a multi language application where the people have left.. buy a big bottle of asprin.. or look for another job. That is not a feature!

I'll post this anonomously to avoid MS retribution..

Re:Practical Applications (1)

magnum3065 (410727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088592)

Well, I believe C# is a good alternative for VB programmers. You still have the GUI design tool that you'd be accustomed to, though with all the benefits of a good object-oriented language. C# is also makes it easier to integrate pieces of a program written in multiple languages, or link to DLLs. JNI is alright, but is not as straight-forward as in C#.

I like Java a lot, though primarily for use in building web applications, not stand-alone client applications.

Re:Practical Applications (2, Informative)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088760)

You could go with Delphi. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many VB programmers are switching to Delphi rather than to VB.Net.

Visually, there are lots of similarities with VB, but with more power. You can go under the hood and get as low-level as you want, short of device drivers (where at least a small part must be written in C/C++).

As a bonus, data-aware controls actually work! (even MS recommends not using them in production VB code.)

There is a version (C++ Builder) that uses C++ instead of Pascal as the basic language, and another package, Kylix, that can compile Delphi/C++B source code to run on Linux.

Borland also hosts a fantastic developer community (especially newsgroups), and most components, even commercial ones, have source available. Look at Torry's [] for thousands of components/tools/apps.

Re:Practical Applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5089650)

I totally agree. After using Delphi, I have no idea why people use VB other than to be Microsoft certified developers/solution providers. Delphi is probably the most under-rated language in the Windows world.

It has the best user interface. Making Windows apps are a breeze. For database apps, it is great. The data-aware controls are designed how they should be. It comes with an amazing set of controls. With Delphi you almost have the power of C++ but with great ease of use (quite contrary to MFC on the ease of use side).

Ofcourse no language is perfect but for Windows based programming, Delphi is probably the best choice for general apps.

(Why are we talking about this in a Java book review thread?)

Re:Practical Applications (1, Informative)

ninejaguar (517729) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089588)

Don't learn Java. Learn OOP, and implement what you learn, as you learn, in Java. That is the best advice no one ever gave me. When you learn OOP, it doesn't matter what Java-like language you learn, as the real skill will be portable to other languages, like C#, SmallTalk, Python and Ruby. Let me explain.

I recently decided to go into the field of programming, and probably don't have 1/10th your development experience. However, my research skills are equal to anyone that I know, and they've certainly helped me in getting a grasp on the fundamentals of software engineering (or problem solving as I've learned to call it).

I chose Java because of its touted strengths, and because I wasn't sure of my target platform yet. I soon understood that as an introductory language, it has some conceptual hurdles that may get in the way when first learning to program. After a while, I began to understand the basics of programming by supplementing my self-study with older languages like BASIC. Essentially, diving straight into Java without first learning the standard structures of programming (sequence, selection, and repetition) was a handicap. However, for someone who already knows Visual Basic, such as yourself, the biggest hurdle will be the concepts of Object Oriented Programming.

If you think you "know" Object Oriented Programming but have only implemented it in VB, then I would suggest that you may not know everything that you need to program in OOP properly. There are plenty of Java programmers out there, but looking at some of their code, I see a definite lack of understanding in how to implement OOP. I see procedural programming techniques being applied to a language that will allow for it, but the developers lose the real advantages of using OOP.

I would recommend that you get a "beginners" book on Java (John Smiley is an excellent resource with his Learn To Program Java) to become familiar with the mechanics. If you prefer, you can try a Java in 21 Days/24 Hours type book. It doesn't matter, because if you follow my advice, you will actually learn to program OOP which is by far the largest hurdle, not syntax/grammar/classes. The most beneficial book I've found on the subject is from a master on the subject:

Sams Teach Yourself Object Oriented Programming in 21 Days []
by Anthony Sintes
ISBN: 0672321092

This book will not only teach you how to program OOP, it will teach you to do it the right way. This is done by showing you how not to program OOP, and immediately showing you an alternative.

The author has some serious credentials: "Tony Sintes has worked with Object-Oriented Technologies since 1995. In that time, Tony has been part of many object-oriented development efforts. Currently, he works for BroadVision where his main responsibility as team mentor, building the skills of less-experienced developers. He brings his years of experience and ability to teach to different projects in order to guarantee their success.

Tony Sintes has written for JavaWorld, Dr. Dobb's Journal, LinuxWorld, JavaOne Today, and Silicon Prairie, where he produced a highly-regarded monthly column on Object-Oriented Programming. Tony currently writes JavaWorld's monthly Q&A column."

About the book: "Sams Teach Yourself Object Oriented Programming in 21 Days differs from other OOP books in two main ways. Many classic OOP books are designed for software engineers and teach at an academic level. Sams Teach Yourself Object Oriented Programming in 21 Days presents accessible, user-friendly lessons designed with the beginning programmer in mind. Other OOP books work to present both OOP and to teach a programming language (for example: Object-Oriented Programming in C++). Although Sams Teach Yourself Object Oriented Programming in 21 Days uses Java to present the examples, the book is designed to present concepts that apply to any OOP environment."

Days 1-7 cover the core OOP concepts with every other chapter covering the implementation of the concepts in the previous chapter and a boatload of do's and don'ts. For instance, in Chapter 2 you learn about Encapsulation theory (more importantly, what NOT to do). Chapter 3 you write code implementing Encapsulation...and so on.

Days 8-14 covers how to apply the OOP you've learned using design patterns like MVC.

Days 15-21 take the things you learned in the past 14 days, and make a GUI-based application. You apply the MVC pattern in making the app. Very cool.

Re:Practical Applications (0, Offtopic)

pmorrison (513514) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089979)

My rule of thumb for Windows database applications is that if it can be done in Visual Basic, it's faster to do it in VB than most anything else. This held through VB6. So if it's productive work you're after, why switch?

I would say that if you're sticking with Windows and want to learn a Java-like language, C# or -even- VB.NET would be your best choices. C# has a lot in common with Java, and VB.NET has a lot in common with C#. And they'll both work better than any Java alternative, you can bet Microsoft will see to that.

But then I'd say 'why not learn Python?'

From the people who brought you: (0, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088368)

The Little Giant
Military Intelligence
Advanced BASIC
Resident Alien
Found Missing

now comes Effective Java, another great title in the series by noted author Ox E. Moron

Re:From the people who brought you: (5, Insightful)

blinder (153117) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088447)

having developed many effective applications for a few years using java, i can, with confidence respond that "Effective Java" is not a contradiction. i've found that most "java haters" are those whose experience goes no further than the applet. too bad sun ever conceived of that little painful abomination.

java is like any other language, its a tool to get your job done, and contrary to popular belief, it gets it done rather nicely.

of course i don't mean to wax religious here... there's enough of that here.

but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088488)

Never in 1,000 words or less.

The main things I hate about Java are its verbosity and its enforced and contrived structures. It deserves all the unwarranted complaints people made about Pascal and then some, because it's the ultimate B&D programming language.

But if that's how you get your kicks, gagged and bound with Sun sticking it to you, then so be it...

Re:but (2, Informative)

MojoMonkey (444942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088615)

The main things I hate about Java are its verbosity and its enforced and contrived structures.

Except that verbosity and (contrived?) structures goes a long way towards keeping source maintainable. By requiring this verbosity and not to mention strongly recommending the Sun Java coding standards + Javadoc, code becomes magnitudes easier to read. Sure, it adds work and a bit of pain to the original coder/programmer, but adds substantially more ease of use for those down the line. Don't get me wrong it's still very easy to write hard-to-read-and-or-maintain code, but it's a bit easier to go the correct route.

But if that's how you get your kicks, gagged and bound with Sun sticking it to you, then so be it...

That depends on what you are referring to. You are right that Sun tends to stick it to the end user now and then and ultimately Sun can be said to be Java's worst enemy. For example, Mac OS X trying to do some amazing things with Java showing how it can be used viably, getting very little support from Sun.

After all that's said, I too still prefer C++ (even C#) over Java, but just not for the reasons mentioned.

An intelligent reply? What gives?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088672)

My main problem with reading Java code (besides the fact that there's so much of it, and it's scattered everywhere...) is that it doesn't indent properly. No large Java program will indent and fit comfortably in an 80x24 terminal, or for that matter, sometimes not even in 120x50. That's because Java programmers have no concept of line breaks, or how much should be put on a line.

whenYouCan(keepReferencingYourObjects)->LikeThis An d(you->use)->VerboseVariableNames(then, line(breaks,can->be))->Few(andFarBetween);

Of course this is a stylistic issue, but because the long names I mentioned are policy in Sun's own framework, it's impossible to totally get away from them. A preprocessor or macro system would help a lot here, but Sun doesn't have that either! That's too powerful and dangerous and useful to let the USER to have!

What are your reasons for preferring C++ (or even C#) over Java? Speed, standards-compliance, readability, lower memory usage, saner language constructs, not controlled by Sun?

Re:An intelligent reply? What gives?? (2, Insightful)

MojoMonkey (444942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088770)

whenYouCan(keepReferencingYourObjects)->LikeThis An d(you->use)->VerboseVariableNames(then, line(breaks,can->be))->Few(andFarBetween);

Actually, it should be:

whenYouCan(keepReferencingYourObjects).LikeThisA n d(you.use).VerboseVariableNames(then, line(breaks,;

remember, no pointers... *wink, wink*

Anyways, I have yet to see anything that bad (I know you were making a point), nor have I seen anything similar that can't be fitted within 80 columns on 2 lines. You can't seriously tell me you have never seen a C/C++ line that long. You can always write horrible code no matter the language, blaming it on the language itself is just an excuse.

What are your reasons for preferring C++ (or even C#) over Java? Speed, standards-compliance, readability, lower memory usage, saner language constructs, not controlled by Sun?

Speed - used to be, IBM is doing some amazing things with their JIT compilers. I think someone else mentioned they were getting 90% of native code. So this is no longer an issue for me. I've even writing some fairly advanced 3D apps using GL4Java.

Standards-compliance - well... not sure what to say here. There's not ASCI Java if that's what you mean. Never been much of an issue for me.

Readability - as I have been arguing above, I prefer Java's... just me I guess?

Lower Memory Usage - For sure! Java's memory footprint is horrible. Price you pay for a virtual machine. I do hate this.

Saner Language Constructs - see Readability.

Not Controlled By Sun - someone has to control it, I'd say they are doing a decent job of maintaining the API. They also seem to do a fine job of listening to the needs of the users. I think sun does a fine job with the API itself, they need to improve their application of it (Sun's JVM pretty bad, etc).

My main reasons for preferring C++...
- lower level, like the control I think.
- Sun's Swing and AWT API's suck IMHO.
- Java is very large API, I get a bit overwhealmed at times.

Re:An intelligent reply? What gives?? (1)

arthurs_sidekick (41708) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088922)

Shouldn't that be :

.VerboseVariableNames(then, line(breaks,

Smart guys, those parser builders. Not to mention that if *that* is your problem, you can pay a little performance penalty and give names to all those intermediate objects.

Re:An intelligent reply? What gives?? (2)

Disco Stu (13103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089466)

whenYouCan(keepReferencingYourObjects)->LikeThis An d(you->use)->VerboseVariableNames(then, line(breaks,can->be))->Few(andFarBetween);

This code is a horrible violation of the
Law of Demeter [] . If you're doing this, formatting is not your biggest concern.

Re:An intelligent reply? What gives?? (2)

Zagadka (6641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089656)

It's awfully funny that your example, which was supposed to illustrate something bad about Java, is actually C++, and not legal Java. Even more ironic, the Java equivalent would be several characters shorter.

Re:but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088956)

So would you rather some one write Perl that is all in one line? Or better yet, try to fix several thousand lines of C code which no one understands with the directive, "the bug must be fixed by the end of the day!". I've had to fix a lot of garbage code in my work and I have to say that with Java code, I encounter bizzare and poorly documented code less frequently. Bad programmers are every where and in every language, so it's not unique to any language. If you consider thorough documentation, then please stay away from java thank you.

Re:From the people who brought you: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088589)

Cmon, everyone knows that
effective java == perl

Re:From the people who brought you: (2, Informative)

Shamashmuddamiq (588220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089163)

...uh, quite the contrary.

I've been required to use Java non-stop from late 1995 until quite recently for school, internships, and then for my career. I've used every version of Java, and every API and just about every class available in the SDK. I've written applets, mathematical programs, games, medical database apps for the department of defense, class projects, enterprise-level call center applications, and just about anything else you could possibly conceive.

I've found in my experience that Java is good when it's highly specialized and kept very small and simple (yes, Java is good for APPLETS!). For enterprise applications, it _sucks_.

It's not that the language itself is bad (although it certainly has some gaping holes). It has more to do with the poor (buggy) implementation of the APIs and the real-time interpretation. Java isn't nearly as portable as they would have you believe (writing a 100-line applet and then running it on two different web browsers will tell you that.) Additionally, in my opinion, Java would have been much more useful if had been designed as a compiled (not interpreted) language.

In my current job, I use a lot more C++. I like it. It does what I tell it to do, and I don't have to second-guess the tools every time there's a problem.

Re:From the people who brought you: (3)

cyranoVR (518628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089916)

I've found in my experience that Java is good when it's highly specialized and kept very small and simple (yes, Java is good for APPLETS!). For enterprise applications, it _sucks_.

Interesting observation...

Why don't you give us some specific examples to back up that sweeping statement?

Re:From the people who brought you: (1)

DavidNWelton (142216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089226)

"It's a tool to get your job done"

Which is a very sensible sentiment. The problem is that, because Sun has spent millions of dollars marketing it, management now thinks that it is the only tool to get the job done, when there are many other fine tools, such as C, Tcl, Python, etc... that each have good features.

That's what I find frustrating about Java. That and the fact that I like free software, and the Java comunity doesn't seem to have the strongest of relationships with those ideals.

Or my personal favorite, (-1, Offtopic)

pb (1020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088451)

Intelligent Slashdot Comments

I Stand Corrected! (1, Offtopic)

pb (1020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088509)

Intelligent Slashdot Moderations!

Re:From the people who brought you: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088461)

Along the line of thinnest books:
Jewish Athletes
Bright Black
Blonde Brunettes
Fun mispellings

Or 'Maintainable Perl'. (1)

ProtonMotiveForce (267027) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088753)

Let me guess - you don't program much, do you?

Java is one of the most productive languages in the world. End of story.

bravo! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088943)

From an end-user, I usually turn off java and javascript.

I do turn them on about once a week, when a site *requires* them. My reaction is always the same, why did I bother? The sites never work, ever.

J and JS are junk. Give them up, already.

Short Book (-1, Flamebait)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088384)

How about Unobfusticated C or Learn Assembler in 20 minutes?

Java is like running around the thornbush. It's less painful than rushing through it, but it goddamned slow!

Re:Short Book (4, Informative)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088467)

Have you actually used it lately? Speed has been the biggest improvement. Sure, it used to be slow as hell, I concur, but with Java 2 (1.4) it is wicked quick. And for windows apps, it's far better than VB in at least one aspect - grids. Java has a grid object that works the way you'd want it to, resizeable, sortable, column-rearrangeable... And for data drive apps, this is a major thorn out of my side.

Re:Short Book (1)

Blakis (556467) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088551)

What grid object? JTable comes close to what you're talking about, but it isn't sortable by default. At any rate, you're right about the speed issue. The claim that Java is dog-slow is simply a myth.

Re:Short Book (1)

tom.allender (217176) | more than 11 years ago | (#5090002)

GridLayout or GridBagLayout layout managers for positioning components in the window.

Used it for what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088564)

Of course speed has been its biggest improvement; it couldn't get any slower! And for all the Java people bitch about standards-this and standards-that, every time they release a new version of Java, they break stuff. And then whenever I want a Java program installed, I have to figure out *which* JVM it wants! No more; fuck that shit. Get a STANDARD standard, like a goddamn ANSI standard, and don't try to feed me your Sun "standards-compliant" bullshit.

But the word we're objecting to here is "effective". Of course, slowness and incompatibility have to do with this, but the biggest problem with Java is bloat. Have you ever seen the source code to a small to medium-sized Java app? It could be a frickin' text editor, it doesn't matter, it has a source tree wider and deeper than the fucking Linux kernel. Compare this to 10-20 C files in the same directory for your average (fast, portable) text editor.

Of course, if you're building a GUI to connect to a database over a network, then feel free to use Java. Or Visual Basic. Or anything else that lets you clicky-clicky-drag components together. Because for that, speed doesn't matter, and you'll benefit from the extra layers of abstraction.

Just don't try to convince us that Java should be used for programming; Java is to programming what Mr. Potato Head is to plastic surgery.

Re:Used it for what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088870)

Apparently, you don't do OOP. Just because you aren't open minded about different technologies, doen't mean you have to bash them.

Re:Used it for what? (1)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089035)

Of course there is the right tool for every job, and Java, while being correct for some tasks, is not the best tool for others. You, on the other hand, can rest assured that no matter what job you are doing, you will always be a tool.

"Clicky-clicky-drag" does not mean that you're not developing apps the proper way. A key idea (ideal?) in software engineering is code reuse and rapid development. If you have to write 34 methods to accomplish a text box for every app you write, then you're just wasting time. Sure C is great for mathematically intense stuff like DSP, and it's great fun for memory mis-management, but I wouldn't use it for a frontend. Use a good platform independent front-ending language, like java, to provide an interface to your powerful computational engine written in C or Lisp or Perl.

Re: Re:Short Book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088634)

I've been running benchmarks comparing data structure, synchronization, memory usage and garbage collection lately and I would have to say without a doubt, jdk1.4 beats C# .NET 1.0. Even when C# code is compiled with optimize, it most cases it 30-80% slower. I haven't tested file IO stuff, so C# may be faster in File related operations.

In most cases, it should be comparable to jdk1.2.

Re:Short Book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088558)

Java is like running around the thornbush. It's less painful than rushing through it, but it goddamned slow!

er... Okay, so that was true for the old Java. However, there has been many years of constant improvement, refinement, etc on Java. It's getting better and better all the time, in performance, in reliability, and features.

Calling it goddamned slow is no longer correct at all. Nowadays if it's slow that usually means someone implemented their app in a slow fashion.

- David

um, no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088621)

That's an optical illusion. You see, computers have been getting faster all the time. It was only a matter of time before people started mistaking this for an improvement in Java.

And for all the hand-holding the Java people do, you'd think they could spend some time explaining the godawful mess that the standard libraries are instead of spending their time crippling the language to have its own "special" notions of variable and function scope, reachability, and encapsulation that's much like other popular languages except far less useful, efficient, or straightforward.

But at least they're getting generics. Who knows, maybe one day they'll have closures. And then, in the far distant future, Sun can claim to have invented Lisp! No... wait... Lisp must be a Java rip-off! Yeah, that's it... And C, too, also a Java rip-off! JAVA, the first and best programming language!!

Re:um, no...Re:um, no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5089060)

Humm... I have seen benchmarks where Java (JIT'ed) is darn-near as fast as native code. Yes, benchmarks are like opinions...and you know what they say about thoes and people like yourself.

Re:Short Book (1)

Gallo Nero (466182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088622)

Man, this site is slow! Anybody would think it was made with Java .... just kidding .... I use Java all the time and I love it! It's great to see it improving all the time and being used for a whole host of different applications.

For Gott's sake !!! (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088389)

It is Benjiboo, not Bejiboo !
Learn to respect the kind bullshit reviewer, you fucktard !!!

Respect by Aretha Franklin

(oo) What you want
(oo) Baby, I got
(oo) What you need
(oo) Do you know I got it?
(oo) All I'm askin'
(oo) Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain't gonna do you wrong while you're gone
Ain't gonna do you wrong (oo) 'cause I don't wanna (oo)
All I'm askin' (oo)
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my profits
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

------ instrumental break ------

Ooo, your kisses (oo)
Sweeter than honey (oo)
And guess what? (oo)
So is my money (oo)
All I want you to do (oo) for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin' (just a little bit)
You're runnin' out of foolin' (just a little bit)
And I ain't lyin' (just a little bit)
(re, re, re, re) 'spect
When you come home (re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I'm gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)

thanks benjiboo (1, Interesting)

nuffle (540687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088394)

thanks for submitting a rare thing: a good slashdot book review. timothy, if you want us to pay any attention to these reviews, you need to keep the quality more like this one.

Effective Java? What is this Java? (3, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088405)

How can it possibly be effective if it isn't .Net? I mean, if it exists outside of Microsoft then how can it do anything? Listen. They're calling us to Carousel. Perhaps our code will be renewed.

Do not talk of this Java Sanctuary. There is no such thing.

Flamebait? Oh, come on (2)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088749)

What? Did I forget to include emoticons or <sarcasm></sarcasm> tags? Did I not make the references to "Logan's Run" explicit enough? Sheesh. Flamebait.

Re:Flamebait? Oh, come on (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089256)

Well, *I* thought it was funny. I just bought Logan's Run a couple of weeks ago. Loved it when I was a kid.

Re:Effective Java? What is this Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5089595)

Can I get one of those hand doo-dads?

JAVA (-1, Troll)

supergwiz (641155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088414)

"effective java". an oxymoron, like .. like... "business logic".

Effective Java (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088422)

equals three scoops of coffee per cup.

Hey when you are done slashdotting, check out the hot babes on Pajonet's [] hot or not contest!

Where's the TOC??? (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088424)

It's just not a review without the Table of Contents [] ! :)

Re:Where's the TOC??? (1)

ggruschow (78300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088674)

Ask and ye shall receive. []

I tried to post it. I really did. The slashdot filters just wouldn't let me. Seems like 37 characters per line should be plenty. Whatever.

Re:Where's the TOC??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088851)

Foreward - Preface - Acknolwedgements
1 Introduction
2 Creating and Destroying Objects
1: Consider providing static factory methods instead of constructors
2: Enforce the singleton property with a private constructor
3: Enforce noninstantiability with a private constructor
4: Avoid creating duplicate objects
5: Eliminate obsolete object references
6: Avoid finalizers

3 Methods Common to All Objects
7: Obey the general contract when overriding equals
8: Always override hashCode when you override equals
9: Always override toString
10: Override clone judiciously
11: Consider implementing Comparable

4 Classes and Interfaces
12: Minimize the accessibility of classes and members
13: Favor immutability
14: Favor composition over inheritance
15: Design and document for inheritance or else prohibit it
16: Prefer interfaces to abstract classes
17: Use interfaces only to define types
18: Favor static member classes over nonstatic

5 Substitutest for C Constructs
19: Replace structures with classes
20: Replace unions with chass hierarchies
21: Replace enum constructs with classes
22: Replace function pointers with classes and interfaces

6 Methods
23: Check parameters for validity
24: Make defensive copies when needed
25: Design method signatures carefully
26: Use overloading judiciously
27: Return zero-length arrays, not nulls
28: Write doc comments for all exposed API elements

7 General Programming
29: Minimize the scope of local variables
30: Know and use libraries
31: Avoid float and double if exact answers are required
32: Avoid strings where other types are more appropriate
33: Beware the performance of string concatenation
34: Refer to objects by their interfaces
35: Prefer interfaces to reflection
36: Use native methods judiciously
37: Optimize judiciously
38: Adhere to generally accepted naming conventions

8 Exceptions
39: Use exceptions only for exceptional conditions
40: Use checked exceptions for recoverable conditions and run-time exceptions for programming errors
41: Avoid unnecessary use of checked exceptions
42: Favor the use of standard exceptions
43: Throw exceptions appropriate to the abstraction
44: Document all exceptions thrown by each method
45: Include failure-capture information in detail messages
46: Strive for failure atomicity
47: Don't ignore exceptions

9 Threads
48: Synchronize access to shared mutable data
49: Avoid excessive synchronization
50: Never invoke wait outside a loop
51: Don't depend on the thread scheduler
52: Document thread safety
53: Avoid thread groups

10 Serialization
54: Implement Serializable judiciously
55: Consider using a custom serialized form
56: Write readObject methods defensively
57: Provide a readResolve method when necessary

References - Indexes of Patterns and Idioms - Index

The author (5, Informative)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088436)

J. Bloch wrote the collections framework. His code is clean... I mean, really clean. Given the author's credentials, I suspect this'll stand out in the vast ocean of Java lit...

Effective at what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088438)

Running slowly? Looking unprofessional? Changing the API on you? Running like shit? Only losers use java for real applications.

Advice: Stick with a real OO language (-1, Troll)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088442)

I urge you all to stick with Smalltalk and not some bastardization of object-oriented paradigms such as Java or C++.

Java is slow, as annoying to program as Microsoft's C# language, and just plain impractical.

C++ is a bastardized object-oriented programming language that's basically the octupus known as C with a bunch of "legs" such as OO, platform compatibility, etc. tacked onto the language.

The homepage for Smalltalk is located at this [] address. I urge you to read more about it before wasting any more of your precious work hours trying make Java actually work for you and your company.


Re:Advice: Stick with a real OO language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088516)

gotta love the astroturfers

java sucks, use language of the week.
linux sucks, use bsd of the week
everything sucks, use an apple product.

Re:Advice: Stick with a real OO language (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5088600)

Yes, yes, well said. Unfortunately not many people will PAY ME to code in Smalltalk these days! Times are tough, man, and you still have to eat. Even if I did make an effort to learn a subpop language for career purposes, I'd ultimately have to spend lots of time justifying it and marketing it to employers and customers. Ok, granted, there would probably be fewer people competing for these jobs, but that's a risk that few are willing to take.

Java and C++ are popular because they're popular. Managers are often idiots, but most are smart enough to know that when you leave they'll have to find a replacement with your skills. There are lots of Java/C++ people out there, lots of books, lots of classes. Smalltalk, not so much...

And yes, I agree, BeOS and Betamax were better, but don't forget...there's a REAL WORLD out there!

Re:Advice: One new thing per project (2)

hughk (248126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5090131)

I have always worked on the principle of one new thing per project wherever possible. New languages are a no-no, so when I speced out projects, we stuck with languages where there was a good level of in-house knowledge - and delivered on time. Java is mainstream now so it remains a good choice even though there are OO languages that may be better. It is well supported and comes with a good collection of objects.

Re:Advice: Stick with a real OO language (5, Insightful)

FiskeBoller (536819) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088644)

Java is slow, as annoying to program as Microsoft's C# language, and just plain impractical.

Java is slow? Maybe that's just your coding. These guys (among others) don't agree with you...

IBM has achieved 90% the speed of C in Java. I personally use the CERN numerical libraries ... very cool, very fast. Java certainly can be fast. I've seen distributed Java beat C++ implementations hands down (that was hard to everyone to believe ... problem was C++ CORBA marshalling and the RTTI overhead in C++).

I've used Squeak, and have a background in coding Smalltalk (Digitalk, ParcPlace, IBM VA). Squeak is a great up-and-coming environment, but FAR from commercial. Can you name one commercial implementation in Squeak?

I think that lack of commercial viability makes Squeak impractical. Java, on the other hand, has scads of drop-in commercial libraries and components. This makes economic sense in business. Java also has a proven track record on the server side, and there are many, many successful commercial implementations in mission critical environments.

And NO, I don't think Java is the perfect enviroment; far from it. I've yet to see my ideal language, and I keep looking on the horizon for a dynamic functional/object/aspect language that performs and holds up in a commercial setting. In the meantime, I've got real work to do.

hrm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5089185)

If you read your own links, you would notice that even with the most contrived tests, Java still has frighteningly bad I/O performance that isn't "90% the speed of C in Java", but more like 25% the speed of C++ on a bad day... expect to get many more positive moderations by your illiterate Java-loving friends...

Re:hrm? (2, Informative)

FiskeBoller (536819) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089551)

Ok, maybe you should view what I posted, and re-read the links.

IBM makes claims to Java at 90% speed of C++ in their numerical benchmarks. JavaGrande includes a number of well-respected organizations doing intensive computation, including GRID work. The tests quoted show a wide variety of performance, and you picked on file I/O; yes, one of the worst aspects in those tests. However, note that these are OLD JVM tests, not the significantly improved I/O found in JDK 1.4. (I don't have stats handy but have seen and experienced the claims of improved performance).

Java as an interpreted, cross-platform language will always be at a disadvantage to C++ in terms of raw speed. The again, many equate C++ as "Object Assembly" in the OOP world. That has it's own disadvantages.

Everything depends on how the language gets used. I have written many distributed C++ infrastructures and applications, and find Java a much welcome alternative. In many distributed scenarios it has proven faster, to the surprise of many seasoned collegues. I couldn't even imagine the jirations required to do an equivalent of JINI in C++.

So, why is it that most financial institutions have dropped C++ in favor of Java for server applications? It must suck something fierce, eh?

Mod that son of a bitch down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5089740)

IBM has achieved 90% the speed of C in Java.
Bullshit. This is just FUD. Java has many
charms but 90% the speed of C is not one of them.
Try 25%. Maybe.

Re:Mod that son of a bitch down. (1)

clard11 (468002) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089772)

Nah. Server side Java is the thing these days. With a good JIT Compiler, your steady state performance is going to be very good.

Java Rules (3, Funny)

HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088458)

Man, I'm barely done with Douglas Dunn's []
Java Rules and now I gotta read this?

Actually, I'm glad to see more book son coding effectively as opposed to the dummy approach which is a sure way to Shoot yourself in the foot [] when the maintenance phase rolls around.

That said, one thing copiously missing from the review is whether or not the book covers J2EE at all -- which by and far requires some guidance in the developing the most effective Java applications.

Re:Java Rules (1)

sdcharle (631718) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088785)

I have the book, it doesn't cover J2EE at all.

To be fair, that would be outside the scope of the book. It covers Java itself, the core language as an O'Reilly book might call it. I find it to be quite handy and well-written and agree with the reviewer for the most part.

I may check out Java Rules now. To easy to make fun of that name: Hey dude, Java Rules!

Try this one for J2EE (1)

wrfink (563002) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088998)

Try "Java Enterprise Best Practices", (c)2003 - O'Reilly.
  • 1 - Introduction to Java Enterprise Best Practices (b.p)
  • 2 - EJB b.p
  • 3 - Servlet b.p.
  • 4 - JDBC b.p
  • 5 - XML b.p
  • 6 - RMI b.p
  • 7 - Java Management Extensions
  • 8 - Enterprise Internationalization
  • 9 - JSP b.p
  • 10 - JavaMail b.p.
  • 11 - Enterprise Performance Tuning

The authors include Hans Bergsten, William Crawford, Dave Czarnecki, Andy Deitsch, Robert Eckstein, William Grosso, Jason Hunter, Brett McLaughlin, Sasha, Nikolic, J. Steven Perry, George Reese, and Jack Shirazi.

This not a bad book. For $34(USD), there are some good learnings. This is one to have on the shelf.

Another good choice along these lines... (2, Informative)

JLyle (267134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088593)

... is the Java 2 Performance and Idiom Guide (ISBN:0130142603), by Craig Larman and Rhett Guthrie.

Absolutely the best Java book I've read (5, Informative)

dknj (441802) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088616)

This book is the best resource I've encountered for someone who knows the Java language, but wants to master its use. I can virtually guarantee that the rules and techniques covered in "Effective Java" will form the new foundation on which you will build the rest of your best practices for writing excellent Java code.

Written by the Joshua Bloch, the acknowledged expert on the subject, it is as authoritative as they come and extremely well-written. After six and a half years as a senior developer architecting and implementing algorithms and class libraries in Java, this book shocked me by summarizing much of what I knew about how to use the language effectively, while teaching me much that I did not know. It continues to top my recommended reading list for all new software developers at my company.


Re:Absolutely the best Java book I've read (5, Interesting)

goul (41924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088848)

Indeed. It might be worth noting that James Gosling (one of the parents of Java) describes this as a book he needs.
This book will show you any bad habits that you have picked up, and teach you why they are bad. I've not found a single developer of any level of experience who has not found this book useful.

This book is invaluable. (5, Interesting)

Hirofyre (612929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088681)

There are a lot of Java books out there, but this is one that will help an intermediate-to-advanced Java developer. The code examples in here are concise, clean, and hard-hitting. The layout of the book allows you to pick it up and learn something if you have 10 minutes or 2 hours.
When I was first learning Java, I often had that nagging feeling that I was making things harder on myself than need be. This book cleared up a lot of those feelings, and helped get me on the right track for some of the great tools hidden away in the Java API. The API documentation is great for showing you what members and functions are available to an engineer, but this book shows you how to use the API. The review cites the author's avocation of knowing the libraries, I would contend that this book would help you get the most out of those libraries, and increase your understanding of them.
This book has become a must-have around my office, and if you are looking to get over-the-hump and move from an intermediate to advanced java software engineer, pick up this book. It is dense with information, and will save you a ton of time and energy. What more could you ask for from a book?

Hahah (2)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089485)

There is something about the idea of code examples being "hard-hitting" that made me laugh out loud.

Scott Myers (5, Informative)

kzinti (9651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088724)

Effective Java is a book very much in the style of Scott Myers' earlier C++ "Effective" series

This is about the highest praise you can give a language-specific programming guide. In his books Scott not only listed many of the ways you could get in trouble in C++, but also gave clear explanations of why they were trouble and why his recommendations were good practices. His books are top of the list I recommend to people who know the language and want to write solid fast code. If Effective Java is as good, I'll soon be adding a copy to my bookshelf.


Re:Scott Myers (5, Informative)

MSBob (307239) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089291)

It's not as good. I own this book and own both C++ books by Scott Meyers and this one is not nearly the level of Meyers' titles.

The topics it discusses are much more obvious than the traps that Meyers covered. Java's a simpler language, that's fair enough but there are areas of Java, especially around concurrent programming and network and io apis that may surprise even experienced developers. Those areas are precisely where 'Effective Java' is thin on content and I found it disappointing overall.

Just because it's sectioned the same way as Scott Meyers' books doesn't mean it's just as good!

Re:Scott Myers (2)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089831)

Ah, it actually feels good to read someone who disagrees after the overwhelming praise of the book here on Slashdot (and I was one of the hallelulia choir), especially as its from someone who sounds like he is not just a Java hater.

there are areas of Java, especially around concurrent programming and network and io apis that may surprise even experienced developers.

Do you have any suggestion for a book or online resource where I could learn more about these things?

I mean, yes, I know a little about those areas, and I know where to find books that teach them, but since you seem to have a lot of experience (I mean it, no sarcasm), do you have any tips for a source that cover these important areas you say Boch neglects, just as well as he does the rest?

GUI??? (-1, Troll)

tundog (445786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088728)

GUI?? Yu mean Sun is still keeping that corpse on life support?

Confused by expression (3, Funny)

sdcharle (631718) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088735)

I also liked the short prose sections, and thought the author could have spent more time setting out his stall before launching in to the items.

What does 'setting out his stall' mean? I picture somebody settling on to the toilet and opening the newspaper, but in the context I don't think that's what you meant.

Re:Confused by expression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5090252)

Seriously? Picture someone trying to sell you something at a travelling fair. They set up a stall with pictures and products and then launch into a pitch or presentation telling you why you should buy their stuff. Or in this case, their opinion.

Actually you're right, it's a stupid metaphor.

Good review (4, Informative)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088743)

Thank you, a good review of an excellent book. I have maybe 10 java books, most of them from O'Reilly and none have been as beneficial to my development in Java as this one.

The code and the text are both very clear and concise, and you can read the book cover to cover, coming back later to study each advice more in depth.

I think you can get it from reading between the lines in the review, but just to make it clear to any curious beginner, this is not the first book you should buy if you are just starting to learn java. Use []
The Java Tutorial instead, and maybe []
Learning Java.

A few more good words (5, Informative)

melquiades (314628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088751)

This is a fantastic book, and anybody's who's serious about writing good Java code should study it carefully. It's one of the best-written books -- may the best -- on the practical details of programming that I've ever encountered, and the advice is gold. The section on correctly implementing equals() and hashCode() alone is almost worth the price of the book.

The reviewer complains about some of the thinner or more "obvious" items, but I disagree. Heaven only knows how many times I've wished that really good and experienced programmers follow what seems the obvious maxim: "Minimise the accessibility of classes and members."

It's true that "Know and use the libraries" seems rather obvious and vague advice, but Bloch's exposition drives home the fact that you may not follow this advice as well as you think. As always, his examples are excellent: he shows how an innocuous-seeming abuse of java.util.Random creates serious problems, and how proper use of the libraries fixes the problem. How often do you write a loop to print the contents of an array? I never realized until Bloch pointed it out that System.out.println(Arrays.asList(array)) accomplishes the same thing much more simply.

If you're a Java programmer, get this book. If you're a technical author, aspire to it.

A "Must Have" (3, Informative)

Atom Tan (147797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088763)

In my opinion, this book is a "must have" for anyone that wants to develop Java code at anything more than a casual level.

Many important Java techniques and idioms are described so well in this book that I have been known to insert comments to the effect of:

// Hash code implementation per "Effective Java" Item 9

(or some such) into my code. Most of the author's items should be as engrained in the mind of a Java developer as terms like 'singleton' and 'event listener'.

I have read a little bit... (5, Informative)

SecretAsianMan (45389) | more than 11 years ago | (#5088905)

...of this book, and I will most definitely finish it when I have the time. Unless you are a balls-to-the-wall guru already (99.999% chance you aren't), you will become a better Java developer by reading this book. It pays to read even some of the simpler and more obvious tips, as your viewpoint on those issues might not be as omniscient as you think.

Best of all, it's not 3 feet think like Effective Java Unleashed or The Effective Java Bible would be. You get lots of info with minimal fluff.

Read this book a lot (3, Interesting)

mobiGeek (201274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089111)

This is not a read-once-keep-on-bookshelf book. This book should be read through a few times at least.

I rarely find a tech book that offers more than a few examples I ear-mark. This book however has me re-reading it from time to time. The lessons picked up take time to sink in, and IMO no one can truly pick up all of the lessons on one read through.

Java security papers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5089041) []

This book is great (4, Informative)

deanj (519759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089074)

When this came out in 2001, James Gosling showed a copy of it at his keynote at JavaOne. They sold out every copy they had at the show, and the Effective Java talk later that day/week, was so packed you couldn't even get it. Great book.

The only book I recommend. (2)

David Kennedy (128669) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089178)

Decent review of an excellent book.

I read books like other people eat hot dinners, and when I recommend Java books in work I only recommend this one. (I tend to find that a surprisingly number of coders only read one or two tech books a year anyway). "Effective java" is very well written; it's nice and short without sacrificing any exposition of the hairer parts of the language.

And as another poster has said, at work it's often sufficient to say in a review, "HashCode as per Bloch please"

Yep, it's a good one (2)

kryzx (178628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089212)

I have this book and have read it. As an experienced java developer I found that this book had a few really good insights, and a whole load of good reminders. I'd say that it's a good review for the real pros and an indispensible piece of training for beginners and intermediate level programmers. That's much more than can be said for most books. I agree with the reviewer regarding the examples and the readability.

It's nice to see a book review that actually reviews the book, rather than just regurgitating the table of contents.

Sample Chapters (5, Informative)

darkpurpleblob (180550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089278)

Four sample chapters from the ten in the book are available in PDF format at the books website [] .

Title is Oxymoron (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5089308)

Java sucks. It is being shoved down everybody's throat. It is the New COBOL. It has neither the speed of compiled languages nor the flexibility and conciseness of dynamic-typed languages. IOW, it is the worse of both worlds. Plus, it lacks functions. OO is not always the best solution for everything. We need some balance.

Moderators SUCK ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5090107)

hey, the comments in the parent post are actually
quite INCISIVE !!! As opposed to the
"jeepers, javas grate" type comments
in this thread that get scored +5 insightful.

Best Second Book on Java (0, Flamebait)

cbare (313467) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089546)

Effective Java is the best second book for learning to program well in Java. The best first book is Thinking in Java [] by Bruce Eckel, which is just out in its third edition.

p.s. To the many Java-haters on Slashdot: If you think Java sucks, fine. Don't read a Java book review. Don't post dumb comments like, "Hey d00dz, Java sucks!" If you have nothing better to do, try and post something usefull, like a review of the best PERL book you know. (Or C, Python, or BrainFuck, if that's your language of choice.)

Thinking in Java (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089913)

Effective Java is the best second book for learning to program well in Java. The best first book is Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel, which is just out in its third edition.

You forgot to mention that most of Bruce Eckel's books are available online [] in a variety of formats, for free.

My favourite quote from the review... (1)

cheezfreek (517446) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089569)

'Minimise the accessibility of classes and embers,'

...Because otherwise you might get burned.

So sorry. My weird sense of humour strikes again.

You can catch some of the problems.... (4, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089797)

...that Effective Java talks about by using a static code analyzer. Like this one:

PMD will find places where you've used concrete collections rather than interfaces, left unused code lying around, etc., etc.


Buy this book (1)

r0ckflite (63420) | more than 11 years ago | (#5089995)

I bought this book some time ago. It really helped me. Each section is concise and incredibly well written. Buy it.

Why Java can be faster than C++ (1)

olg (140271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5090260)

In two words, dynamic compilation and inlining. You can do a lot more with dynamic information and dynamic performance profile. Being able to inline 50-100 nested calls in a hot spot may give you something the most sophisticated static compiler will never dream of.
(F.e. you can eliminate a virtual method call just because you dynamically know what method you are actually calling; you can inline methods from system and third party classes, etc.). Just don't forget to add -server to your java run.
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