Ian Darwin’s Java Cookbook is out and it’s a great resource for developers working in Java that are out there and scratching their heads asking “How would I go about…?”
The thing that makes Java Cookbook stand out is its comprehensive scope. Darwin has done an excellent job of gathering a wide array of common problems faced by Java developers and presenting solutions to those problems that are decipherable using just the language’s standard library features. (Which isn’t to say “ignore libraries” — just that there are few (any?) recipes in this cookbook that require external dependencies.) By and large, the recipes are practical and are organized into sensible categories. This isn’t a book that I’d recommend you read front-to-back, but if you’re programming in Java, it’s worth having it handy to help kickstart your thought process on a number of different problems. (Plus, 3rd edition has been updated to include solutions that highlight Java 8 features.)
In addition to the above, it’s worth noting that while Java Cookbook isn’t a great book to learn from, that if you have stumbled your way into Java with an otherwise solid software engineering background, that you could use it as a leg-up or crutch while you’re otherwise getting up to speed.
Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review.