You Know Your Programming Language is Complicated When



Java in a NutshellThis is an exercise best done at a brick and mortar bookstore. First, find yourself the Java section. Then locate the 5th edition of Java in a Nutshell, newly revised for Java 1.5. Take a close look at it. Thick, isn’t it? Now pick it up. Note that it weighs 3.2 pounds. Now thumb through it, all 1264 pages. That’s a bunch of pages.

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, your programming language just might be complicated when you have trouble telling the difference between its Nutshell book and a telephone book.


15 responses to “You Know Your Programming Language is Complicated When”

  1. Henry Story Avatar

    Well most of the book contains descriptions of the libraries. You could make a criticism about c being even more complicated by writing a “c in a nutshell” book that contained an overview of the c language and an overview of all the unix libraries including X. Hey you could then even add a section on the Windows libraries. My guess is that at that point your book would not fit into your car.

  2. aaa Avatar

    This blog post does not make sense. in reality, C#, or C++ is more complicated then java “programming language”. You read the wrong book if you want to see the “Java programming Language”. you should read this:

    The book you said is about “Java Platform”, not the language only.

  3. David Flanagan Avatar

    I know, I know! And that doesn’t even include the AWT or Swing APIs!

    I’m collecting suggestions for shrinking this book at my blog

  4. James Chochlinski Avatar

    Take a look at the huge list of APIs in Java EE 5:

    The specific API’s mandated for Java EE 5 are:

    Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) 3.0
    Servlet 2.4
    JavaServer Pages (JSP) 2.1
    Java Message Service (JMS) 1.1
    Java Transaction API (JTA) 1.0
    JavaMail 1.3
    JavaBeans Activation Framework 1.1
    J2EE Connector Architecture 1.5
    Web Services for J2EE 1.1
    Java API for XML-based RPC (JAX-RPC) 1.1
    Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS) 2.0
    Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) 2.0
    SOAP with Attachments API for Java (SAAJ) 1.3
    Java API for XML Registries (JAXR) 1.0
    Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition Management API 1.0
    Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition Deployment API 1.1
    Java Authorization Service Provider Contract for Containers 1.0
    Debugging Support for Other Languages (JSR-45)
    Standard Tag Library for JavaServer Pages (JSTL) 1.1
    Web Services Metadata for the Java Platform 1.0
    JavaServer Faces 1.2 Requirements
    Common Annotations for the Java Platform 1.0
    Streaming API for XML (StAX) 1.0
    Java Persistence API 1.0

    The spec does not mention JSR 223 scripting integration, Service Data Objects, or the Work Manager API.

  5. Marcelo R. Lopez, Jr. Avatar
    Marcelo R. Lopez, Jr.

    James Chochlinski….thanks for putting them together like that. But I have to agree with Henry, the C# in a nutshell book isn’t a slouch either, and it’s STILL growing…how many people are TRULY going to use the “??” operator in 2.0. Oh please.

    Funny how you saw including references to many of the common namespaces is a bad thing. Sure, it goes beyond the name “nutshell” at that size, but if there isn’t as much to put in the C# nutshell book, then obviously we’re talking that the sheer bulk of infrastructure, then we’d have to compound the C# in a nutshell book, with the ASP.NET in a Nutshell, ADO.NET in a nutshell, and possibly others. How bulky does that get to be ? After all, the fact that C# in a nutshell is “only” 928 pages, nah…it’s not bulky enough.

    C’mon, there’s lots more significant things to rant about….

  6. […] Yet it clocks in at 3.2 pounds and 1,264 pages. […]

  7. Simon Gardner Avatar
    Simon Gardner

    I don’t see how a large library of code makes these languages difficult. You’re not going to use everything, just take what you need. Its like saying a spoken language is more difficult because it has a lot of words. It makes the language more functional and expressive.

  8. When Your Nutshell Gets to 1300 Pages……

  9. isaac Gouy Avatar
    isaac Gouy

    “your programming language just might be complicated when you have trouble telling the difference between its Nutshell book and a telephone book.”

    That just shows that you misunderstand what the “In a Nutshell” books are intended to provide.

    Your programming language just might be complicated when you have trouble telling the difference between its Pocket Reference and a telephone book.

  10. Trejkaz Avatar

    I don’t know if you can call something a nutshell if it’s that big. What kind of nut comes in a shell that big?

    Maybe a coconut?

  11. Java Avatar

    He was joking guys come on!

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