Saturday, 31 May 2014

Books , O'Reilly Reviews , Tech

Java 8 Pocket Guide

More "Java" than "Java 8" ★★☆☆☆

A "pocket guide" for something like Java is always going to be a difficult book. It's got to be succinct enough to allow easy access to salient points while simultaneously proving the depth that this complex platform deserves. A book that is perfect for experts is unlikely to appeal to beginners too, and therein lies the problem with the Java 8 Pocket Guide.

I was hoping for a speedy "leg-up" on new features in Java SE 8, having been a long-term Java developer. Sadly this book doesn't quite meet that need. There is Java 8 material here: a tour of the new Date and Time API and a good overview of Lambdas (although only a passing reference to method references, and pretty much nothing about the new collections streams).

But I'd like to see further detail on the library: a list of package names isn't enough! The Concurrency chapter was interesting, but would've been so much more informative with more detailed examples. (And those examples that are present need reviewing further: I'm sure the author meant to invoke thread.start() instead of to spawn a new thread.)

If you're coming back to Java from a long time away and need a reminder about the syntax and style of the language, or if you're new to Java and need an aide memoir to keep beside your IDE, the Pocket Guide might be perfect. Experts looking for a reference to what's new in Java SE 8 should look elsewhere.

[Note: I received a free copy of this book through the O'Reilly Reader Review Program.]

Posted by pab at 19:50 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!