API Specifications vs.
API Developer Documentation

A common question we get is: Why aren't the JavaTM 2 platform API specifications written as more complete developer documentation? Why don't they include full working code examples, definitions of common programming terms, conceptual overviews, metaphors, illustrations, descriptions of implementation bugs and workarounds? We have chosen to put this information in the books listed below, and restrict the specifications to "assertions" necessary for conforming implementations.

  • Developer documentation contained in the Java 2 SDK documentation:
    Java 2 SDK SE Documentation - This is the documentation for a particular release of the Java 2 SDK. It points to the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition API Specification mentioned above.
Browsable online and downloadable (HTML).
  • Developer guides and tutorials:
    Java Tutorial Books - Developer documentation that covers much of the Java 2 Platform.
Browsable online, downloadable, and available as printed books.
Browsable online and available as printed book.
  • 1.2 API developer reference documentation:
    The Java Class Libraries, Second Edition - These books include more detailed, developer-targeted descriptions, with conceptual overviews, definitions of terminology, workarounds for bugs, and working code examples for nearly all classes, interfaces and members in 15 basic packages in Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition, v 1.2.
Available in print only. Code samples are downloadable.
  • Other books in the Java Series "from the source", include Developers Almanac, Java Programming Language, Java Language Specification, Java FAQ, Security, JDBC, JVM, 3D, Enterprise JavaBeans, the Class Libraries Poster and others.
Some available online, all available in print as books.

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