Java One Lessons : The book

Java One Lessons

The highlights for me were our session for Swing Hacks and meeting with customers at the JDIC and JDNC booths (more on that in my next blog). It's great to interact with developers (my "customers" essentially) and get some real feedback.

The session for Swing Hacks went quite well. I was incredibly nervous (I've never spoken in front of more than 50 people before), but calmed down once I got going. I sure drank a lot of water though! The talk was well attended (about 75% full) and we had quite a few people hang around afterwards to ask questions and sign copies of the book. Very exciting.

The book finally went up on Amazon during the conference so we can finally see what the sales ranking is (4kish, last I checked). It was originally supposed to be shipping from Amazon on the 22nd but there was a last minute glitch with the printing and we had to scrap a lot of books. Some pages near the front (all of the preface, I think) were missing the purple headers and chapter numbers. Since this was the printer's fault (not O'Reilly's) they had to scrap them all and rush to print up new ones. For the first few days the bookstore at JavaOne was the only place you could buy the book, which is why it didn't show up on Amazon until later in the week. We kept a few of the misprints to give away to the audience and other attendees, but all of the ones for sale (both at JavaOne and at other traditional sellers) are the correct copies.

We started getting our first few reviews in. The one on Amazon was very positive. The one from elliotth was pretty negative. Well I knew not everyone would be happy with the book. It's a bit of a departure from the other hacks books but I think it turned out pretty well. I think the biggest issue with the book is that it's not for everyone. If you are a super advanced Swing developer then some of the techniques will be things you already know. (Also, being in the hacks format we don't always have room to fully explore an idea, just show it's possible and suggest where it could go in the future.) Now if, on the other hand, you are a newer Swing developer who knows the basics but wants to push the envelope then this book is for you. Either way, read the reviews and tell me what you think.

One thing that worries me is that both reviews mention visual problems with the beginning of the book which makes me wonder if they got one of the misprints. If you purchased the book (rather than a freebie or promotional copy) and don't have a purple (headers, chapter numbers, etc) in the preface then please let O'Reilly know.

If you do want to buy the book I suggest you get it from Amazon. First, it'll save you 10 bucks off the coverprice that you can go spend on a nice frost beverage or three. Second, the sales numbers on Amazon are probably more important than from anywhere else and it gives us better feedback than browsing in a store. (Of course, if you really want to check out the book in a physical store and buy it there we certainly don't want to discourage you! :)

Enough about the book. I'm glad we wrote it and I hope you like it. If you have any questions feel free to email me. If you don't have the book (or don't have it yet :) you can read several of the hacks up on the official Swing Hacks site for free. If you have your own Swing related hacks you'd like to contribute then you can send them here.

Thanks for all of your support. Without your positive feedback here on we never could have written the book.

- Josh

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Posted July 15th, 2005