File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Beginning Java and the fly likes any good way to pick up API? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Java » Beginning Java
Bookmark "any good way to pick up API?" Watch "any good way to pick up API?" New topic

any good way to pick up API?

yung wong

Joined: May 04, 2004
Posts: 16
I found there are lot of J2se API and others.
It is hard for me to pick them up.
How's you guys study API?

Megs Maquito
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 18, 2005
Posts: 84
I still don't understand most of the classes in the java API but can easily understand the other methods of classes that I already know. Ex. Math class has pow(int x, int y) method which i already know from tutorials. I needed a method to determine which among two integers in bigger. Upon reading more of the methods in the Math class, I saw max() which does this.

Personally, a good book and javaranch will help a lot.

I'm a Hood Ornament
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

You can certainly read books to get you started with the basic APIs, but for anything beyond the basics, there's really no substitute for experience. When in the course of a real programming project you need to use an API you haven't used before, have a look at it, read a tutorial or book about it if necessary, but then simply use it. Experience is the best teacher.

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Nigel Browne
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2001
Posts: 673
If you have wallspace you know that this poster will help you learn api's and look kinda cool.
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
If I have to get into a new part of the API I google for "java tutorial <subject>" and almost always get great hits from Sun and often university course slides.

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
Daniel .J.Hyslop
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2005
Posts: 55
When I first learnt of the existence of and looked at the API , I went EEK!Gosh ,It`s massive,Which of course it is.I am just a beginner at java in the true sense - coming on for six months in the hot seat now.My recipe for learning the object methods within the API is to write a class which (if possible) contains all the methods for that particular object call.It`s maybe stating the obvious(if it is I appologise)but writing code does help to remember and you are learning to construct classes at your particular level at the same time.

an island in the sun <br />with a language of many tongue?
Daniel .J.Hyslop
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2005
Posts: 55
just to add do post example uses of certain Object methods like String,StringBuffer, Object you should maybe check it out
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
Buy it a few drinks, offer to show it your spaceship?
Layne Lund
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 06, 2001
Posts: 3061
First, you should learn how to navigate the API docs. These are a great resource, especially when you already have a good idea what class or package you need to look at. It's impossible to memorize every single set of parameters and return values for all the methods available, let alone which method belongs to which class.

Second, you should take a look at Sun's Java Tutorial. This is a great place to at least get your feet wet with the basics of different parts of the API.

Third, as someone already mentioned, experience will take you a long way. I mostly say this because I feel like I lack "real world" experience. All my knowledge about programming in general and Java specifically is rather academic.


Java API Documentation
The Java Tutorial
Nitin Chaumal

Joined: Jun 13, 2005
Posts: 6
Another great way to explore the API and other cool features is to subscribe to Sun's Core technology and Language Fundamentals Newsletters. I think they are weekly. They include short/simple examples and echniques for common problems and some not so commonly used but useful classes/packages of the API. The link is

Hope this helps

- Nitin
Clivant Yeo
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 22, 2004
Posts: 124
I guess you will need some beginners guide on Java. Learn how to navigate through the api first. As you ride further with this bandwagon, the web and some java forums will be your "companion guide". APIs are just references remind you of class methods and etc; it is the methodologies that you need to pick up.

Clivant Yeo
My Personal Website
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: any good way to pick up API?
It's not a secret anymore!