Written for the working Java developer, Joshua Bloch’s Effective Java Programming Language Guide provides a truly useful set of over 50 best practices and tips for writing better Java code. With plenty of advice from an indisputable expert in the field, this title is sure to be an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to get more out of their code. As a veteran developer at Sun, the author shares his considerable insight into the design choices made over the years in Sun’s own Java libraries (which the author acknowledges haven’t always been perfect).
Based on his experience working with Sun’s best minds, the author provides a compilation of 57 tips for better Java code organized by category. Many of these ideas will let you write more robust classes that better cooperate with built-in Java APIs. Many of the tips make use of software patterns and demonstrate an up-to-the-minute sense of what works best in today’s design.
Each tip is clearly introduced and explained with code snippets used to demonstrate each programming principle. Early sections on creating and destroying objects show you ways to make better use of resources, including how to avoid duplicate objects. Next comes an absolutely indispensable guide to implementing “required” methods for custom classes.
This material will help you write new classes that cooperate with old ones (with advice on implementing essential requirements like the equals() and hashCode() methods). The author has a lot to say about class design, whether using inheritance or composition. Tips on designing methods show you how to create understandable, maintainable, and robust classes that can be easily reused by others on your team. Sections on mapping C code (like structures, unions, and enumerated types) onto Java will help C programmers bring their existing skills to Sun’s new language.
Later sections delve into some general programming tips, like using exceptions effectively. The book closes with advice on using threads and synchronization techniques, plus some worthwhile advice on object serialization. Whatever your level of Java knowledge, this title can make you a more effective programmer. Wisely written, yet never pompous or doctrinaire, the author has succeeded in packaging some really valuable nuggets of advice into a concise and very accessible guidebook that arguably deserves a place on most any developer’s bookshelf. –Richard Dragan