Feeds

Java Puzzlers

Excellent!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Book review 'Java Puzzlers' is unlike any Java book we've seen before. Promising the reader an exploration of 'traps, pitfalls and corner cases', this is by turns entertaining, infuriating and downright puzzling. It is also truly illuminating, and serves to educate while it entertains. One would expect no more from the combined talents of Joshua Bloch (author of the classic Effective Java, one of our most highly recommended intermediate/advanced Java titles), and Neal Gafter (formerly of Sun and now Java evangelist at Google).

The book consists of 95 puzzles themed across ten chapters. Most puzzles consist of a small block of seemingly innocent code and a straightforward question. But the appearance of simplicity is usually deceptive and the puzzles cast a light on some quirk, trap, pitfall or ambush. Occasionally there's no code and the puzzle is for the reader to supply the code to answer the question. And, like the best puzzles, these ones grab the reader and don't let go. This is not a book that you can read passively. It's also a lot of fun.

While this isn't the sort of book that we'd recommend to the complete beginner, anyone competent with Java will find the contents engaging and challenging. Getting the right answer gives a real buzz, but even if your answers are mostly wrong you'll learn something in the process. And it's doubtful that anyone, no matter how good they are, will skate through this book and not get tripped up along the way.

There's a serious intent behind the book as well and that is it does high-light the traps that await the unwary. With frequent references back to the Java language specification and to Effective Java, this is a book that warns of suspect practices and points out the source of hard-to-find bugs and odd program behaviour. It's educational in the best sense of the word.

An appendix provides a complete listing of all the traps and pitfalls high-lighted by the puzzles, along with a word of advice on how to avoid the problem in the first place. It's good advice but not half as much fun as working through the puzzles in the first place.

Mention must also be made of the design of the book. It's put together in such a way that the solutions to the puzzles always appear over-page, so there's no chance of accidentally getting sight of the solution as you're reading the question. The book is also illustrated with optical illusions which add to the pleasure.

What more can we say? It gets a very hearty recommendation.

Title: Java Puzzlers

Authors: Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter

Publisher: Addison Wesley

ISBN: 032133678X

Media: Book

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Verdict: Excellent!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10
A third of them are doing it in VMs, but early feedback focuses on frippery
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Ploppr: The #VultureTRENDING App of the Now
This organic crowd sourced viro- social fertiliser just got REAL
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.