Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: March 2005
Pages: 1256

With more than 700,000 copies sold to date, Java in a Nutshell from O'Reilly is clearly the favorite resource amongst the legion of developers and programmers using Java technology. And now, with the release of the 5.0 version of Java, O'Reilly has given the book that defined the "in a Nutshell" category another impressive tune-up.

In this latest revision, readers will find Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition, does more than just cover the extensive changes implicit in 5.0, the newest version of Java. It's undergone a complete makeover--in scope, size, and type of coverage--in order to more closely meet the needs of the modern Java programmer.

To wit, Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition now places less emphasis on coming to Java from C and C++, and adds more discussion on tools and frameworks. It also offers new code examples to illustrate the working of APIs, and, of course, extensive coverage of Java 5.0. But faithful readers take comfort: it still hasn't lost any of its core elements that made it such a classic to begin with.

This handy reference gets right to the heart of the program with an accelerated introduction to the Javaprogramming language and its key APIs--ideal for developers wishing to start writing code right away. And, as was the case in previous editions, Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition is once again chock-full of poignant tips, techniques, examples, and practical advice. For as longas Java has existed, Java in a Nutshell has helped developers maximize the capabilities of the program's newest versions. And this latest edition is no different.

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews


by PowerReviews
oreillyJava in a Nutshell, 5th Edition

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 5 customers

Displaying reviews 1-5

Back to top

(0 of 10 customers found this review helpful)



By Ambiguity

from Knoxville, TN

Verified Reviewer


  • Concise


  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Intermediate
  • Novice
  • Student

Comments about oreilly Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition:

As a reference for command line applications in java it works great, but java has native support for guis (swing, awt). I'm personally more familiar with C++, and if I was writing a command line application I would use it because cross-compatibility is not an issue; however, the application that I need to write requires a GUI.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Superb as a textbook too

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition:

I use the 5th edition of Java in a Nutshell as the textbook for an undergraduate course on Java programming which focusses on concurrency and other "advanced" features of the language. Some of the students find the style intimidating initially, but they mostly adapt quite quickly. The very focussed tutorial material at the start of the book gives an excellent run through for anyone who can already program, and the API reference material at the back is extremely helpful for novices who need to browse to find out more about what the libraries can do. I think this is a superb teaching resource for anyone learning Java as a second or subsequent language. The on-line APIs are important too, but having a book to hand can make all the difference and this is the book to have.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


A book you will use throughout your career

By Matthew Mark Miller

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition:

I disagree that this book is "not good for beginners." This is the book I learned Java from. The first few hundred pages constitute a condensed but never diluted tutorial with short and to the point examples on how to do everything in the language. There's no dalliance on minor points, no exercises, no workbook -- just the facts you need to get started WORKING with Java.

For a while there wasn't a day when I didn't rely on this book to fill in when my knowledge was lacking. Even now, as a certified developer in his eighth year working with this stuff, there are times when I grab for the book to get an overview over some relatively obscure API or language feature.

This is not a deep book. It does not proffer information that you can't get from other places. The API documentation is no replacement for a link to the platform API nor the tutorial a replacement for the language spec. Regardless, this book organizes essential information in an eminently usable way, and for that I give it highest marks. And then I'm buying yet another copy.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent Reference

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition:

This is one of the best books I've ever seen. I am a computer science and computer engineering double major ready to enter the workforce after this semester, and while I've read computer book after computer book during my educational years, I have seen very few like this one.

For me, this book had two key parts: A syntax overview portion in the front of the book and a very large reference to the Java API farther in. I was able to very quickly learn the essentials of programming in Java using the syntax chapters early (it should be noted that I had a lot of previous programming experience in other object oriented language). It gave me exactly what I needed without a lot of extra verbosity, and it used concise, well commented examples to help me see the basics. Once I started programming, the API reference was really helpful. It was faster to use than Sun's documentation, and it was selective in how much it would list for a class, which tended to make it much easier to find relevant information. I used this book constantly, and I know it saved me many hours of frustration. In short, if you are going to program in Java, this is the book you must have.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


A COMPLETE reference guide

By Mitch R.

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Java in a Nutshell, 5th Edition:

Java in a Nutshell, Fifth Edition

By David Flanagan

Fifth Edition March 2005

Series: In a Nutshell

ISBN: 0-596-00773-6

1264 pages, $44.95 US

This has to be one of the thickest "Quick Reference" books I've ever seen. The 5th Edition to Java in a Nutshell was updated to cover Java 5.0. The cover of this book under Java in a Nutshell reads "A Desktop Quick Reference". I understand how this book is more of a reference guide to Java rather than a run through of what Java is about, but the thickness of this book doesn't agree too well with being quick reference. There is a lot of this book to dig through and almost would benefit from a CD-rom version for the search functions.

If you need a complete reference book to Java including Java 5.0, this book is for you. This book starts with an intro to Java and goes right into the syntax of Java from the ground up and Java programs from the Top Down. Chapter 4 covering Java 5.0 Language features is a nice addition to this 5th edition book. Chapter 5 covers the Java platform and then Chapter 6 goes into the security of Java including security risks. The different Java Development Tools are covered in Chapter 8 which is where a lot of beginners will probably want to glance over.

The second part of this book is entirely a API Quick Reference, and here is where the book grows in thickness. I'm glad they added the first part of this part, "How to use this quick reference". Without this section, navigating between pages 385 through 1076 would be a bit more difficult when it comes to understanding how information is organized.

This massive book contains 2700 lines of cleanly commented code that demonstrates how common tasks can be accomplished. Demonstration code is always an added bonus in a reference book as it'll give you the chance to see how certain things are put together rather than just reading about them individually. It'd be nice if this book was a bit lighter but atleast it covers everything it needs to cover and then some, along with being fairly easy to navigate. This book combined with a few Step-by-step Java books would make a completely Java CD Bookshelf and would make navigation of the information a lot easier.

I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for Java information but this is definitely not the book for beginners to learn Java from.

Mitch Randall

Pensacola Linux User's Group

Displaying reviews 1-5

Back to top

Buy 2 Get 1 Free Free Shipping Guarantee
Buying Options
Immediate Access - Go Digital what's this?