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Chapter 13 --Understanding the Java Reference Section

Chapter 13

Understanding the Java Reference Section


What Does This Section Contain?

The Java language consists of two parts: the syntax and the libraries. The Java syntax closely resembles that of C++ as it defines the structure of your programs. The Java API libraries are the resources that you, as a programmer, have to work with. By using the libraries according to the rules of the Java syntax, you are able to develop programs.


The largest part of this section is devoted to the Java API libraries. These libraries were written by the developers of Java to enable you to create full-bodied applets and applications.

The API libraries are made up of several packages, each containing several classes that are grouped by functionality. These classes are composed of fields and methods.

This section lists and explains every class and interface as well as their respective fields and methods. The classes are in alphabetical order by package, and the summaries of many classes include examples of their use as well as the output of the code. In addition, every component has a figure, so you know how your interface will look before you even begin!


To make this section easy to use, there are several indexes that organize the "API Reference" chapter in various manners. At the end of this section, you will find indexes of all classes, methods, and fields. Each entry provides you with the full package and class name as well as the page number directing you to a detailed summary of the class.

Furthermore, you will also find at the middle of this section the "Action Index," which not only lists several of the major tasks that Java is used for, but also lists those classes necessary to accomplish those tasks.

How to Use This Section

Designed as a handy reference, this section can be used in a myriad of ways as described in the following sections.

API Reference

This chapter serves as the primary source of information for the section. Each class, interface, exception, and error used in Java programming is listed here and explained in depth. In addition, every method and field within these classes and interfaces is also explained in detail. For easy reference, they are in alphabetical order and grouped by package. Furthermore, to give you a jump start on your task, several classes have complete applets that serve as code examples.

Due to their unique natures, exceptions and errors are listed separately after the classes and interfaces. They too are in alphabetical order and grouped by package.

Syntax Reference

Even the most experienced programmer sometimes