Tricks of the Java Programming
This book is organized in ten parts, each devoted to a different part of the Java environment, or a different aspect of Java programming. The organization is logical, and if it's your goal to become a complete Java expert, you might want to start at the beginning and read straight through to the end. Most readers, however, will have more pragmatic goals, and will want to choose the chapters that are particularly relevant to their needs. Hopefully, somewhere in the next few paragraphs you will find an approximation to your own goal, along with pointers to chapters which should help you along your way.
Most readers will find Parts 2, 3, and 4 useful: they cover I/O and concurrency, advanced AWT topics, and graphics-topics which are important for all kinds of Java programs. Also of general interest is Part 7, "Using Java Tools," which covers graphical development environments and other Java tools.
If you are interested in writing advanced applets that interact with the user and perform useful jobs, you can start at the beginning. Part I deals with advanced applet programming: inter-applet communication, using the MediaTracker to track asynchronous loading of images and other media objects, making good use of the network, and audio. Applet programmers can also make use of the general topics in Parts 2, 3, and 4. Even the I/O chapter will be useful in spite of applet security restrictions, because Java network communication is accomplished using some of the same mechanisms as are used for file I/O.
Readers who want to learn about some of the new Java libraries and frameworks which aren't a part of the 1.0 Java release should turn to the following chapters:
Chapter 22, "Authentication, Encryption, and Trusted Applets"
Chapter 34, "Client-Server Programming"
Chapter 15, "A Virtual Java-Creating Behaviors in VRML 2.0"
Finally, if you want to build full-fledged applications with Java, able to host applets or dynamically loadable extensions, you might find these sections especially helpful:
Part 5, "Writing Java Applications"
Part 6, "Security"
Part 8, "Java and Other Languages"
Part 9, "Native Methods: Extending Java in C"
Part 10, "Expanding Java"