REVIEW - Java Collections


Java Collections


John Zukowski



Apress (2001)




Christer Loefving


October 2004



This is yet one more of these easy-at-hand titles. Excellent to have behind you on the desktop when working. But to read them through becomes tiring after a while. I started to read my copy with some expectations though, because the cover promise a "Comprehensive coverage of the Java Collections Framework", and "Real world examples, no toy code".

My enthusiasm also remained after the starting chapter about arrays. I learned some odd but interesting facts about this "primitive" collection and often forgotten area of Java programming. The first part of the book is dedicated to the so called "Historical" Collection Classes; Vector, Hash Table and Bit Set classes sort under this label, as well as the Enumeration interface. Later years updates of the Collection classes seems to be well covered. For example, the Bit Set class is not final anymore.

Core of the book is the coverage of Java Collection API. After a brief introduction and some pages about the newer Iteration interface which is meant to replace Enumeration, reading now becomes a little boring. Everything is still well explained, but the style starts to feel more like programmer's documentation.

What about "No toy code" then? Well, in my opinion there is still a lot of toy code. Maybe the code listings presented in the "advanced" ending part (describing COLT) are more professional and useful.

The book gives an interesting and reliable insight in Java Collections, but unless you are particularly interested in the subject or work with very advanced collections, you do not really need it. The Java API documentation gives enough information with good code examples to solve the main part of your Java Collection problems.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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