Review of Java The Complete Reference: Eighth Edition

Java The Complete ReferenceToday I wanted to share with you all another great book that I have in my library. Java The Complete Reference written by Herbert Schildt and published by Oracle Press is a beast of a book and contains just about anything you want to look up about Java. This particular edition came out in June of 2011 and has been updated to include JDK 7. As it stands it is about 1085 pages. I am a sucker for thick reference books that cover languages I frequently code in. So this book immediately caught my attention at the local bookstore.

What I really like about the book

I am a relative newbie when it comes to Oracle Press books but the overall appearance of the book is pretty nice. The pages are of good quality and is chalk full of great content! Every page contains some kind of code snippet, table, chart or great text on just about every reference topic you can think of. I find myself continuously going to the book when I am running across an issue that has me scrambling to remember a function signature or how a particular class works. I know there are online reference pages which work out really nice and that is why I typically use this book, in conjunction with that online source, to cover multiple angles on a topic.

Another thing that is nice about this book is that the author does take the time to explain some of the rarely used classes. The use of bolding and font changes really emphasize the key points of a particular topic. I also like how the author created several tables showing the methods of interest as well as their meaning. They are often explained in simple English and without all the jargon which makes some books dry and hard to read. This book is a great quick reference for looking up terms but has a little extra if you have a second or two to stick around and read some more.

What I don’t really care for in the book

There is actually very little I don’t like about the book. However, one thing I thought the book could have used was a few sections with a little more meat to them. I know the author was trying to cover a lot of material and I couldn’t imagine covering that much material myself. I am a bit surprised there was not multiple authors listed on this book given how much content there is. However, covering this much material means that some topics have to be sacrificed and skimmed over lightly. Unfortunately these topics are sometimes the topics you want to know the most about.


But what it lacks in material I usually can make up on the web. So my conclusion is that this is one of the most definitive books on the language I have ever seen. It covers a lot of content and in order to do that skims through some of the lesser known classes… which are typically the classes you need to look up. Like I said before I am a bit new to this book series but based on my love for this book I will definitely be looking out for more of these books in the future. I will make this book a strong recommendation to anyone who is seeking a great solid reference book to add to their Java library and compliments the documentation you can find online.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Martyr2 is the founder of the Coders Lexicon and author of the new ebooks "The Programmers Idea Book" and "Diagnosing the Problem" . He has been a programmer for over 25 years. He works for a hot application development company in Vancouver Canada which service some of the biggest tech companies in the world. He has won numerous awards for his mentoring in software development and contributes regularly to several communities around the web. He is an expert in numerous languages including .NET, PHP, C/C++, Java and more.