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The JavaSoft Site

As you learned during Chapter 3, "Vacationing in Java," JavaSoft maintains an active Web site at the following address:

Because JavaSoft is the division of Sun responsible for the Java language, this site is the first place to go when looking for Java-related information. New versions of the Java Developer's Kit and other programming resources are available from this site.

The site is broken down into the following areas:

  • What Is Java? This area features articles about the language aimed at people who are discovering the language. This is a good place for readers of this guide to check out because it introduces topics with beginners in mind.

  • What's New? This area contains announcements related to upcoming product releases and Java-related events such as JavaOne, the yearly conference for Java programmers. This area also contains JavaSoft press releases and schedules for training sessions that are offered by the company.

  • For Developers: This area is a consolidated resource for all JavaSoft information of interest to Java programmers, including complete documentation for the Java language in HTML format. You can find information on language conferences, JavaSoft's for-a-fee programming support program, official Java guides, and other resources.

  • Where Can I Read About...? This area is a good place for information that you're having trouble finding elsewhere. This heading includes a link to the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Java. If you're unfamiliar with FAQ lists, they provide concise answers to as many commonly requested topics as possible. If you encounter a stumbling block as you attempt to accomplish something with the language, visit the following page to see all the topics that have their own FAQ listings:
  • How's Java Being Used? The area provides a description of what JavaSoft calls its "success stories," which are some of the examples of Java being used on the World Wide Web or in stand-alone programs.

  • Download: This area is a directory of all the things that can be downloaded from JavaSoft, including the Developer's Kit, language documentation, and other files.

  • Applets: This area is a showcase for Java programs running on the Web, including more than two dozen offered by JavaSoft developers that can be readily adapted for use on your own Web pages. There also are links to several applet directories, including Gamelan at and the Java Applet Rating Service (JARS) at

  • Do Business with JavaSoft: This area provides licensing and trademark guidelines for using Java products.

  • About JavaSoft: This area is a profile of JavaSoft with links to its employees and current postings of employment opportunities at the company.

  • Java Store: This area is a catalog of official Java merchandise that can be ordered over the Web, including denim shirts, coffee mugs, T-shirts, and caps.

This site is continually updated with free resources of use to Java programmers. One thing you might want to take advantage of immediately is the Getting Started With Java page at the following address:

This page features a step-by-step introduction for new Java programmers. Although much of the material will be a review after going through the preceding 24 Chapters, it's a good chance to practice your skills and see more of what's offered on the JavaSoft site.

Other Java Web Sites

Because so much of the Java phenomenon has been inspired by its use on Web pages, a large number of Web sites focus on Java and Java programming.

The Java guides Page

Those of us who write Java guides like to think that you're forsaking all others by choosing our work. However, anecdotal studies (and the number of Java guides on our shelves) indicate that you might benefit from other guides devoted to the language.

Stephen Pietrowicz of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications maintains a list of current and upcoming Java- and JavaScript-related guides. You can find it at the following address:

Another rundown of Java-related guides is presented by Elliotte Rusty Harold, the author of one of the guides described on the Web page. Harold's list, with reviews of many of the guides, is available at the following page:

Gamelans Java Directory

Because Java is an object-oriented programming language, it is easy to use resources created by other programmers in your own programs. Before you start a Java project of any significance, you should scan the World Wide Web for resources that you might be able to use in your program.

The place to start is Gamelan, the Web site that catalogs Java programs, programming resources, and other information. Visit the following address:

Gamelan is the most comprehensive directory of its kind on the Web, surpassing even JavaSoft's own site in the depth of its coverage. It has become the first place that a Java programmer registers information about a program when it is completed. Gamelan staff members update the site on a daily basis. Gamelan also highlights the best submissions to its directory at the following page:

Java Applet Rating Service

To access another directory that rates Java applets, direct your Web browser to the following address:

The apple logo of the Java Applet Rating Service (JARS) can be seen on numerous Java applets offered on Web pages. The JARS site has been expanded recently to include news about the language and related developments, reviews of Java development tools, and other useful information.

JavaWorld Magazine

One of the best magazines that has sprung up to serve the Java programming community is also the cheapest. JavaWorld is available for free on the World Wide Web at the following address:

JavaWorld publishes frequent tutorial articles along with Java development news and other features, which are updated monthly. The Web-only format provides an advantage over some of its print competitors such as Java Report in the area of how-to articles. As an article is teaching a particular concept or type of programming, JavaWorld can offer a Java applet that demonstrates the lesson.

Java Frequently Asked Questions

As a complement to the Java FAQ lists that are available on the JavaSoft Web site, Java programmers using Internet discussion groups have collaborated on their own list of questions and answers.

Elliotte Rusty Harold, one of the keepers of the Java guides Web pages, also offers the current Java FAQ list at the following address:

Another similar resource, titled the "Unofficial Obscure Java FAQ," was begun to answer some less frequently asked questions. It's at the following Web page:

Java Newsgroups

One of the best resources for both novice and experienced Java programmers is Usenet, the international network of discussion groups that is available to most Internet users. The following are descriptions of some of the several Java discussion groups available on Usenet:

  • Although this group is designated as the Java discussion area for all subjects that don't belong in one of the other groups, it gets more use than any of the others. It replaced in mid-1996. Any Java-related topic is suitable for discussion here.

  • This group is devoted to any Java discussions that are likely to inspire heated or comparative debate. If you want to argue the merits of Java against another language, this is the place for it. This group can be a good place to consult if you want to see whether Java is the right choice for a project you're working on.

  • This group posts announcements, advertisements, and press releases of interest to the Java development community. It is moderated, so all postings must be submitted for approval before they are posted to the group.

  • This group discusses the Java language's Application Programming Interface, the full library of class programs that comes with the Java Developer's Kit and other implementations of the language.

  • This group contains questions and answers related to Java programming, which makes it another good place for new programmers to frequent.

  • This discussion group is devoted to security issues related to Java, especially in regard to running Java programs and other executable content on the World Wide Web.

  • This group provides a place to discuss installation problems related to Java programming tools and similar issues.

  • The most advanced of the Java discussion groups, this group is devoted to discussing the implementation of the language, issues with porting it to new machines, the specifics of the Java Virtual Machine, and similar subjects.

Job Opportunities

If you're one of those folks who is learning Java as part of your plan to become a captain of industry, you should check out some of the Java-related job openings that become available. Several of the resources listed in this appendix have a section devoted to job opportunities.

If you might be interested in joining JavaSoft itself, visit the following Web page:

JavaWorld offers a Career Opportunities page that often has several openings for Java developers:

One tactic that can make Java employers aware of your skills is to register yourself as a resource for the Gamelan directory. Gamelan will add you to its site, and this listing might result in e-mail about Java-related job assignments. To find out about registering yourself, head to the following address in the Add a Resource section of Gamelan:

Although this Web page isn't specifically a Java employment resource, the World Wide Web site Career Path enables you to search the job classifieds of more than two dozen U.S. newspapers. You have to register to use the site, but it's free, and there are more than 100,000 classifieds that you can search using keywords such as Java or Internet. Go to the following address:

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