The purpose of this book is to help you quickly learn the essentials of the Java language.
After its release in 1995, Java was initially used to execute programs from a Web page by
means of applets. However, Java is also a general-purpose, object-oriented programming
language. Java is used for developing applications as diverse as statistical calculations,
graphics, and accessing databases in a multitiered environment. In contrast to other
languages, Java has from the start supplied a large number of libraries. The latest release of
Java 2 Standard Edition version 1.4, or J2SE 1.4, in February 2002 contains over 2000
classes. All this means that Java is huge, and possible applications of it are very diverse.
Furthermore, many Java books tend to be huge, and though fine as reference material, do
not serve the newcomer to Java desiring a concise introduction. This book focuses on the
core language features only, and with the exception of Swing, does not cover any of the
This book is aimed at students and professional programmers who have some knowledge of
programming and are switching to Java. Experience of an objected-oriented or procedural
language such as C++, Smalltalk, C, or Pascal is assumed. The book will be suitable for
students in upper-division undergraduate or graduate Java conversion courses. It is not
aimed at students learning to program. Professional programmers switching to Java will
find a rapid introduction to the core language. This will give them the necessary Java
background for tackling more specialist material such as J2EE. For example, students and
enterprise programmers will find this book provides the Java needed for Gregory Speegle's
JDBC book in this series. This book covers only basic features, and topics such as
networking, RMI, and JavaBeans have not been included.