I understand there are hundreds of packages and many more classes in these packages that can be used for all kinds of programming tasks. I have seen listings that list the "most important ones" etc. Is there something like an official complete listing of all the packages and classes and perhaps even methods in the classes? And what would be a good way to find a class or method for a specific task or problem I am thinking about?
The API docs are vast and don't really give you much guidance about where to start. If I come up with a new task I don't know how to start, I try Google for "java something tutorial" and almost always hit a winner from Sun or a magazine or university. Remember how frustrating this is when you write your own code for others to read, and write a terrific package.html that explains how a newbie might start or choose which of your classes to use.
A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi