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Tip of the Day
Language: Java
Expertise: All
Nov 7, 2000

Learn Java from the Source

I'm continually suprised by the number of veteran Java programmers (those with more than six months' experience) I encounter who aren't aware that the full source code for the standard Java libraries is included with most Java development distributions. In a typical Windows installation of Sun's Java Development Kit, the source code is packaged in a JAR file called "src.jar," which is usually in the top-level directory where the JDK is installed (for example, C:\jdk1.3\src.jar). The source tree can be extracted with the jar utility command:

 
    jar xvf src.jar

It can be quite informative to browse through this source code and see how the "magic" behavior of many of the common Java classes is implemented. Those familiar with the concept of object-oriented design patterns will see many excellent examples of applied patterns, particularly in the design of the Swing library and the Java 2 Collections framework.

David Glasser
 
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