REVIEW - Using Visual J++6 Special Edition


Using Visual J++6 Special Edition


Scott Mulloy




Que ()




Christer Loefving


February 2000



This is strictly my personal opinion, but I consider MS Visual J++ 6 as one of the best Java development tools. The product seems to be in limbo-land, because of the dispute with Sun about changes in the Java virtual machine, thus violating Java's platform independence. But if you already own/work with a copy of the product, should you buy this title?

Like the product itself, it looks at the world very much from the Microsoft point of view. You will find much stuff about things like creating Windows (NOT 'platform-independent') applications and how to integrate COM objects with your Java program.

At first glance the title looks impressive with its 800 pages; but one third of every page is (almost) empty because of a light-blue vertical field at the right. This gives a nice visual impression, but isn't this a little deceiving for the buyer? If you, for example, buy from an online-store and don't have the possibility to first look inside the book, the stated 'number of pages' will be misleading.

The ambition is obviously to be a kind of a 'Java Bible', with something for everyone, but this goal isn't really attained. You will find the usual newbie chapters and they are OK of their kind; but as soon as a more advanced topic is reached, e.g. threads, polymorphism, etc. it feels like it is quickly abandoned after the basics are explained. However here are also chapters about, for instance, 'database programming', 'advanced topics of the WFC' and 'Developing a network client application' with a satisfying depth. It is also easy to find that you are looking for. A big plus for a book in this category.

My overall impression is that this title is best for the purpose of a handy companion to the extensive online-help. It is absolutely not a read-through book and a beginner will get more help by buying a more general Java-beginner title. The approach is overall task- oriented and can give you a good start if you are in the situation to right now start building more advanced Java applications with Visual J++.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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