The Java Language Specification

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Addison-Wesley, 1996 - Computers - 825 pages
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Written by the inventors of the technology, The Java Language Specification is the definitive technical reference for the Java programming language. It provides complete, accurate, and detailed coverage of the entire language and its syntax. If you want to know the precise meaning of Java's constructs, this is the source for you. The book specifies all of Java's syntax and semantics. It contains both lexical and syntactic grammars for the language, including a LALR(1) grammar. It describes all aspects of the language as checked by a Java compiler, including the semantics of all types, statements, and expressions. It also covers all aspects of the Java execution model, including exceptions, threads, and binary compatibility. In addition, the book gives specifications for all the types defined in the core packages of Java's Application Programming Interface (API): java.lang, java.io, and java.util.

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I have half a shelf full of Java books, and a folder full of online bookmarks, but after a half dozen frustrating searches through the others, I've learned to always look here first for a question about the core language. This book doesn't cover the non-core packages, and it doesn't cover the newer (Java 2) extensions, but it is indispensible for what it does cover. Plus, it has the most interesting index of any technical book I've seen. 

Contents

Lexical Structure
11
Types Values and Variables
29
Conversions and Promotions
51
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

The Java Series is the official source of complete, expert, and definitive information on Java, from the creators of the Java technology at Sun Microsystems. These books, written by members of the JavaSoft team at Sun, provide the inside information you need to understand Java thoroughly and to work with it effectively to build flexible, robust, portable, and secure Java applications and Internet applets. The series is an indispensable resource for anyone programming in Java.

James Gosling is a Fellow and Chief Technology Officer of Sun's Developer Products group, the creator of the Java programming language, and one of the computer industry's most noted programmers. He is the 1996 recipient of Software Development's "Programming Excellence Award." He previously developed NeWS, Sun's network-extensible window system, and was a principal in the Andrew project at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a Ph.D. in computer science.

Bill Joy is a cofounder of Sun Microsystems, where he led the company's technical strategy until September 2003, working on both hardware and software architecture. He is well known as the creator of the Berkeley version of the UNIX® operating system, for which he received a lifetime achievement award from the USENIX Association in 1993. He received the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award in 1986. Joy has had a central role in shaping the Java programming language. He joined KPCB as Partner in January 2005.

Guy L. Steele Jr. is a Sun Fellow at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, where he is responsible for research in language design and implementation strategies, parallel algorithms, and computer arithmetic. He is well known as the cocreator of the Scheme programming language and for his reference books for the C programming language (with Samuel Harbison) and for the Common Lisp programming language. Steele received the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award in 1988 and was named an ACM Fellow in 1994, a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2001, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2002. He also received the 1996 ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award and the 2005 Dr. Dobb's Journal Excellence in Programming Award.



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