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The second edition of Inside the Java Virtual Machine has arrived. This book describes the inner workings of the Java virtual machine, and several Java APIs closely related to the virtual machine. I am posting the book online, where you can read it free of charge.
Categories on this Page
Books about the Java Virtual Machine
Books about Java Security
Books about Garbage Collection
Books about Threads
Inside the Java 2 Virtual Machine
This book gives a programmer-oriented overview of Java's architecture and internals. The second edition is fully updated for Java 1.2 and the new edition of the JVM specification.
Virtual Machine Specification Second Edition
Tim Lindholm and Frank Yellin
For information about the Java Virtual Machine, the first place to look is the specification. This book is the official word. In addition to or instead of buying the actual book, you can browse or download a free HTML version of this book at JavaSoft's web site.
The Java Virtual Machine
by Jon Meyer and Troy Downing
This book also describes the inner workings of the virtual machine. It doesn't really cover any ground that isn't covered by Inside the Java Virtual Machine or the specification. This book's special redeeming characteristic is that it includes an assembler for Java bytecodes. You can read about and download the assembler, named Jasmin, at the Jasmin Home Page. This book is several years old, and has not been updated since the second edition of the JVM specification has been published.
Security (from Inside the Java 2 Virtual Machine)
For a general overview of Java's 1.2 security model, check out chapter 3 of my book Inside the Java 2 Virtual Machine, which is available in its entirety on this web site free of charge.
Securing Java: Getting Down to Business With Mobile Code
Gary McGraw and Edward W. Felten
This book gives you a good overview of Java's security model and walks you through a history of the security holes found in Java (and their fixes). It is a bit short on example code for those who are trying to use Java's security APIs, but it is long on context. The authors are recognized security experts, and their opinions are sprinkled liberally throughout the text. I'd recommend this book for anyone who would like a good overview and history of Java security, and a good feel for how Java security fits into the more general field of computer security.
This book dives in depth into the security features of JDK 1.2. Although it doesn't have the historical context of the McGraw/Felten book, it has a great deal more practical code examples. If you are looking to actually use Java's security framework in your programming, I'd recommend this book.
Inside Java 2 Platform Security
I really liked this book, which is written by the head Java security guy at Sun. The version I bought had several unfortunate production problems, but the text of the book really provided the best perspective on the 1.2 security model of any book I read. It doesn't have as many code examples as the Oaks book, but goes quite in-depth in security concepts and all the thinking and tradeoffs that went into the 1.2 security model.
Garbage Collection: Algorithms for Automatic Dynamic Memory Management
Richard Jones and Rafael Lins
This book gives an in-depth treatment of garbage collection.
Concurrent Programming in Java: Design Principles and Patterns
Gives a very technical treatment of threads programming, with an emphasis on patterns.
Scott Oaks and Henry Wong
Gives a good overview of Java threads, though lacks the depth of the Doug Lea book.