Channels ▼

Developer Reading List

, February 25, 2014 Java 8, JavaScript, Functional Programming, and Software Engineering
  • E-mail
  • Print

Java SE 8 for the Really Impatient

by Cay S. Horstmann

Java 8, probably the most important release of the language since Java 2, is set to be launched next month. As such, it is attracting a slew of new books on the many features that will debut in this version. One of the first to hit the market is this 200-page volume by Cay Horstmann, who is the lead coauthor on the definitive Java reference, Core Java. In this book, which is intended for developers who already know Java, Horstmann goes through each of the major additions, explains its use and benefits, and demonstrates the syntax through short snippets of code. In addition, where necessary, he provides relevant details of what is happening under the hood. His sense of how much to explain and where is impeccable, so that the book is really perfectly matched to its target audience. And, as in Core Java, the explanations are crisp, lucid, and authoritative.

I was also impressed by Java SE 8 for the Really Impatient's choice of topics. All the principal advances — lambdas (closures), the stream API, improved libraries and collections — are covered, of course, but so are topics not typically associated with Java 8: the Nashorn JavaScript engine and JavaFX 2.0, both of which are now bundled with the new JDK.

In my 2012 review of Horstmann's last book, Scala for the Impatient, I complained about his use of numerous small snippets to teach a new language. He uses a similar technique here (although the snippets are longer), but it works well in this context because he's feeding information on discrete topics to readers who already know Java. In fact, snippets are an ideal demonstration choice for new features, and Horstmann uses them here to good advantage.

I suspect that almost every publisher will be putting out some book summarizing the new features in Java 8 for the legions of Java programmers. But I doubt few of the resulting works will be as informative and rewarding as this one. Highly recommended.






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.