README — Java Syntax
These pages are intended as a quick guide to Java syntax, for use by people learning the language. They are richly interlinked, so that it is possible to hop quickly from one topic to another. Each page is flagged with one or more of the following:
These are topics which you need to know about in order to write any reasonable programs. All these topics should be learned in your first few weeks of programming.
These are topics which every Java programmer must learn. You should know all of this material very well by the end of your first course in Java. You don't need it right at the beginning, but it doesn't hurt to look at it.
These are topics which you should learn eventually. Most of them are either (1) important only for certain kinds of programs, or (2) useful but not ever really necessary. If you are first learning Java, you probably should avoid these sections.
Since style is extremely important in programming, numerous style notes have been included.
There is a lot of Java syntax, and these pages do not cover it all, even in the "advanced" sections. Similarly, the style rules given in these pages are only the most basic syntax-related style rules.
These pages are not a complete guide to Java syntax. That would be nice, but I have neither the time nor the energy to do that much work.
These pages describe Java syntax only; they do not cover the Java API.
In many other languages, when you have mastered the syntax and a few library calls, you are done learning the language. In Java, that's akin to mastering the grammar of a foreign language, but not the vocabulary. Beginning Java programmers must learn some of the hundreds of Sun-provided packages, and must learn their way around the Java API (as of June 2005, the current version is at http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/api/index.html). Experienced Java programmers become very familiar with finding what they need in the Java API.
Here are the most important Java API packages for beginners:
||This package contains the most fundamental classes. It is unusual in that the things in this package are automatically available to every Java program--you don't have to explicitly import it.|
||This package contains many useful utility classes, including most of the Sun-provided data structures.|
||These are the most important packages needed to create GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces). All but the most basic GUIs will require some additional packages.|
Copyright © 2005 by David Matuszek
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