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To Douglas Dunn

Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

What motivited you to write Java rules?


Groovy
Doug Dunn
Author
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Joined: Aug 03, 2003
Posts: 66
Why do I feel like I'm being baited here?
Okay, well first off, I thought it would be a five month job, not change my life. It has, however, because it turned out to be an unbelievable huge job, one that is far from complete. Originally, the "Java Rules" book in print, Mastering the Fundamentals, Volume 2, and all the unpublished chapters were one book. I work in Adobe FrameMaker, which has .book files. I still maintain a .book file that includes all my work for the purpose of searching. However, several years ago I renamed it to "The Monster.book"
Why I have not given up is one thing, why I started is another. Doubtless there were mixed motives, but I think the main one was that I was so frustrated trying to learn C++. I just thought I could do a better job. Java came along right when I was working on the beginnings of a C++ book, and leveled the playing field. I saw that as a once in a lifetime opportunity and threw myself into the writing of a Java fundamentals book.
Here I want to point out that I was a construction worker for five years before becoming a computer programmer. I throw that out because I have never thought of myself as one of the "best and brightest" in the profession. James Gosling, Guy Steele, Gilad Bracha, Neil Gafter, and the other luminaries at Sun are gods in the Java pantheon, and I admire them as much today (if not more) than I did when I started.
I have written a number of papers on this subject, but will try to condense the thoughts. I do not think the MIT or IIT grads or what I call the "best and brightest" can write this book. It simply had to be done by a lesser mortal. As your understanding progresses, you lose the perspective of someone that knows nothing about the subject. That perspective is what allows you to "translate" the knowledge. The best and brightest lose that perspective long before they even graduate from college. (I dropped out after three years and joined the Army, by the way.) I cannot overemphasize this point. That is why I have been so diligent in documenting my learning experience from day one. Java Rules and all my other work on this subject are what I like to characterize as a "travel log" of my journey from knowing nothing to having a reasonably good understand of Java language fundamentals. I have been maintaining that travel log from the 1.0.2 release, fully seven or eight years now, which is why I am confident that noone will ever be able to reproduce my work. A thousand times over my understanding of the subject has blossomed and I have never once failed to document the experience. If you wait even a day or two to do so, you begin to lose the perspective of where you were before. No one else has ever done this. Instead they wait until they have already mastered the subject, and then it is too late, way too late. I still have a long way to go. I know this. Just last night I completely rewrote the section on narrowing reference conversions. It was a massive leap forward in that particular section.
You can't imagine how time consuming it is to do this. It has derailed my entire career in computer programming to the point that the book has now become my career.
Beyond this historical perspective, I have always enjoyed helping other programmers even more than I enjoy programming. I really mean this. The programmers I have worked with in the past have known this, and I always had people coming to my cube because they knew I would not make them feel stupid no matter what the problem. I suppose I thought I could do the same on a larger scale by writing this book, at least I hope so. Time will tell. I never promoted the "Java Rules" book in print because I see all of the flaws in it. It has only been with the publication of Mastering the Fundamentals, Volume 2 some three months ago that I have begun for the first time ever to promote my work, and things are unfolding rapidly.
You asked a huge question, and I have taken the bait. I hope what little I have said here gives you a better idea of what motivated me.


Download a copy of <a href="http://www.javarules.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><i>"Mastering The Fundamentals of The Java Programming Language"</i></a>
Ivaturi Srinivas
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Joined: Jun 03, 2003
Posts: 42
Hi Dunn,

I am very excited to read your answer. Hats-Off to your effort which, made to deliver a masterpiece on Java. I have downloaded Volume 2 and started reading, as I am aspirant of SCJP. You have referred Volume I in many places of Volume 2. I was wondering where can I get volume I. The second chapter you have provided �Scope, Shadowing, and Qualified Access� is too difficult to understand. I think I should read JLS first before I start reading any chapter. Anyhow your effort is worth and I forwarded the same book to so many of my friends and colleagues. Now I am a big fan of you.
PS: I want your personal email (if it is not restricted)address so that I can get in touch with you for more details on JavaRules.

Thanks for your effort
Srinivas Ivaturi
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Doug can be reached here: author@javarules.com


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Armando Anton
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 22, 2003
Posts: 16
Hi Doug!
I have just downloaded the book and i have seen the table of contents and everything sounds really interesting but there are 1000 pages and i think it will be really hard to read all
is a good idea to try to read all the book or only the topics that are needed?


Looking for best practices
Doug Dunn
Author
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Joined: Aug 03, 2003
Posts: 66
Mastering the Fundamentals is a reference work. I strongly discourage cover-to-cover reads, and have only done so myself a few times. You will find the material most interesting when faced with a specific programming problem. The book is very well organized, and you should have no problem finding the specific section that addresses a programming problem you are faced with. The most I would expect anyone to read in a single sitting is one chapter, but the first and last chapters defy even that.
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

Does it cover java 1.4?
Are you planning to write java tiger (1.5) in future?
Doug Dunn
Author
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Joined: Aug 03, 2003
Posts: 66
The only section I know for sure that will have to be revised in Volume 2 for the Tiger release is the section on enumerators. Volume 2 is otherwise current as of the 1.4.2 release. Most of Toger affacts Volume 1, which is what is holding up the Second Edition.
Doug Dunn
Author
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Joined: Aug 03, 2003
Posts: 66
I had to come back one last time because of this: http://ivaturis.blogspot.com/. I was a little shocked when my reciprocal link software came across this web site. I see now it was Ivaturi Srinivas
who copied the answer. I think it was my mom who said never to write anything unless you wanted to see it on the front page of the New York Times the next morning. I guess she was right.
By the way, in my last response to this post I said that only the section on "enumerators" had to be changed in the second volume to make it "Java 1.5 Ready". I meant to say the section on "enumerated types." The Tiger release, however, is requiring huge changes in Volume 1 because of parameterized type.
Marlene Miller
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2003
Posts: 1391
Doug, I found your brief bio very interesting. Somehow it helps to understand your intent when reading your book.
However, I am very sad this has happened to you - someone copying and displaying a casual conversation without your permission. It was Extremely inconsiderate and unprofessional of that person.
Don't worry. Everyone has a story. Now we know there is a real human being behind all that deep technical stuff in your book.
[ October 29, 2003: Message edited by: Marlene Miller ]
 
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