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Ever since Java programmers have downloaded their first virtual machine, their ears have been glued to the ground, constantly on the lookout for tips and tricks for using the latest Java APIs. After all, there's nothing quite as satisfying as grasping a new technique for solving a common programming problem. Remember the first time you learned the power of Model-View-Controller (MVC), or developed your first singleton class? It was clear that someone out there had thought through the same problems you were having and, best of all, developed a solution that worked.
However, as any Java programmer can tell you now, learning tips and tricks for the Java APIs isn't as easy anymore. Java has grown in the past seven years to include a ghastly number of APIs, classes, and methods . In fact, Java is so big that it is now separated into three distinct areas: the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE), the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), and the Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME). And each area now has an enormous range of classes and methods available from which to choose. Quite frankly, it's nearly impossible to become an expert in all areas of 21 st -century Java.
That being said, programmers discover a number of lessons after using the Java APIs for a while. At O'Reilly, we like to call these lessons "best practices." Best practices come in many flavors. Some recommend that you always use a specific design, while others advise you to avoid a particular class or method. Still others illustrate that design and implementation choices are often not black and white, but instead shades of gray. Best practices help you decide which strategies and approaches are right for you by illustrating the pros and cons of each side.
This book focuses on the J2EE APIs. The J2EE APIs include such alphabet-soup acronyms as EJB, JDBC, RMI, XML, and JMX. Because the J2EE is the most popular area of Java right now, it seems logical that we put together a volume of experience that programmers like you can learn from. However, we have not limited this book exclusively to J2EE. This book is a companion to Java Best Practices , also published by O'Reilly, which covers J2SE APIs such as Swing, the collections classes, performance tuning, and NIO.
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