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Closing the Hood
Author Bids Farewell to Longtime Column
by Bill Venners
First Published in JavaWorld, November 1997

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The origin of Inside the Java Virtual Machine
Although writing a monthly column presented quite a challenge for someone accustomed to writing software, before long I decided to go even further -- to take the big book-writing plunge. A literary agent looking for Java book authors read one of my JavaWorld articles, e-mailed me, and I ended up writing a book proposal. The proposal was accepted by McGraw-Hill, and I was then faced with the task of writing an entire book about the Java virtual machine.

The book, titled Inside the Java Virtual Machine, is currently in production at McGraw-Hill and should be available in December. This book is related to the Under the Hood column in both content and focus. It contains some material I originally wrote for the column, and the column contains some material I originally wrote for the book.

Why learn about the Java virtual machine?
The point of both the JavaWorld column and the book is to illuminate the technology that sits between you, the Java programmer, and the computer that runs your Java programs. One nice thing about the Java virtual machine is that, although it is complex, everyday Java programmers can understand it. In most cases, the Java virtual machine is, after all, just a program. With an understanding of the Java virtual machine, you can better understand the Java language itself, and most importantly, you can better understand how to put the Java language to use.

A great feature of an online magazine as opposed to a print magazine is that the back issues of an online magazine stay online. In JavaWorld, the back issues are as accessible as the current issue, being merely a click away. As a result, the Under the Hood column can be viewed as a unit, as an online Java internals resource. For descriptions and links to all the Under the Hood articles, see the next section of this article.

To view an online version of the book Inside the Java Virtual Machine, visit McGraw-Hill's Beta Books site. You may also wish to view an online copy of the Interactive illustrations Web Site, which is delivered on the CD-ROM that is included with the book. This Web site contains simulation applets that illustrate the concepts presented in the text of the book. (For links to the Beta Books site and the Interactive illustrations site, see Resources.)

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