Herbert Schildt's Excellent "Java The Complete Reference, Eighth Edition"
One indicator of the recent history of Java is the fact that four and a half years elapsed between the 7th edition of Herbert Schildt's "Java: The Complete Reference" and the 8th edition, which came out this past June. I've been browsing the new edition, which includes Java 7, and I'm finding doing so quite enjoyable!
Herbert Schildt has written comprehensive guides to C, C++, and C# in addition to his Java works. Since C++ was largely an expansion of C, and Java was partly a response to the problems (consider memory management) of C++, and C# was largely a response to Java, it's clear that Herbert has an in depth view of the history of all of these languages, their interrelationships, the echos from each of the earlier languages that exist in the later languages. That's a unique point of view!
The book's Technical Editor is Danny Coward, who's contributions to Java include Java EE, leadership of many JSRs, and establishing the original JavaFX team. It's hard to see how this duo could go wrong in producing a comprehensive Java reference -- and, indeed, they succeed!
Java is a big platform. Reflecting this fact, "Java: The Complete Reference, Eighth Edition" spans 1152 pages (128 more pages than the 7th edition).
No one can possibly know every detail of every aspect of Java. All of us must specialize in a few selected areas. We're "experts" in those areas. But even long-experienced Java developers are surely novices across wide spectrums of the Java platform. This, I think, is where "Java: The Complete Reference, Eighth Edition" shines for experienced Java developers. And, for less experienced Java developers, the book is an excellent compendium of everything in Java -- a "must-have" I'd say!
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