Wiley Publishing | ISBN: 0764580078 | 900 pages | May 28, 1997 | PDF
Java is generally a well-documented language, but not every language feature is fully specified, documented, or identical across all platforms. Java Secrets takes you into this Java twilight zone and introduces you to the language's hidden power. The book's first section explores the inner workings of many Java mechanisms, including representation of data types in memory, argument passing, and the implementation of strings and arrays. The author also investigates niceties of threading models and garbage collection as implemented on different Java platforms.
A large group of undocumented classes (the sun.* packages) constitute what amounts to an undocumented Java application programming interface (API). The next large section of Java Secrets details these classes and how to use them safely. Although these classes ostensibly exist to support the Java environment, you'll learn how to use many of their interfaces for a variety of tasks including layout management; FTP, HTTP, mail, and news communication; data encoding; and character conversion. A final big chunk of the book is devoted to techniques for adding platform-dependent features to Java applications. This is a controversial subject for a supposedly platform-independent programming system, but the author provides a balanced assessment of the benefits and drawbacks.
All in all, this is one of the most interesting, unusual, and engagingly written books on Java programming we've seen. It's hard to imagine a serious Java programmer who wouldn't find it well worth his or her time.
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