This book is intended for programmers of all levels who need to learn to use threads within Java programs. The first few chapters of the book deal with the issues of threaded programming in Java, starting at a basic level: no assumption is made that the developer has had any experience in threaded programming. As the chapters progress, the material becomes more advanced, in terms of both the information presented and the experience of the developer that the material assumes. For developers who are new to threaded programming, this sequence should provide a natural progression of the topic.
This progression mimics the development of Java itself as well as the development of books about Java. Early Java programs tended to be simple, though effective: an animated image of Duke dancing on a web page was a powerful advertisement of Java's potential, but it barely scratched the surface of that potential. Similarly, early books about Java tended to be complete overviews of Java with only a chapter or two dedicated to Java's threading system.
This book belongs to the second wave of Java books: because it covers only a single topic, it has the luxury of explaining in deeper detail how Java's threads can be used. It's ideally suited to developers targeting the second wave of Java programs - more complex programs that fully exploit the power of Java's threading system.
Though the material presented in this book does not assume any prior knowledge of threads, it does assume that the reader has a knowledge of other areas of the Java API and can write simple Java programs.