I've never even seen the JLS and I passed the test over a year ago. So no, it's not necessary to study, but from what I understand it's a good reference to use while studying the topics of the exam in order to help illustrate certain concepts.
I agree with Sean to a point... more the "do as I say not as I do" kinda thing. The JLS is an excellent resource to use if you need to clear up a concept here or there. Every certification book you read is based on the JLS -- they just use prettier language and some easily understandable examples to illustrated their points. But if you're still confused after reading a chunk -- and you want to clear things up, check with the original. I don't think you need to go to the extreme of reading it from cover to cover, but you shouldn't ignore it completely either. I'd recommend you have it as a button on your browser so you can easily access it whenver you need to verify different little 'gotchas' that you come across.
Originally posted by sun par: Hi, Can someone please tell me whether I have to read the full JLS or what are the topics that I should read for the purpose of the certification exam. Thanks
Depends. Do you really want to be a real Java Guru, or do you just want to pass the exam? I read most of the JLS - parts of it multiple times - especially when something wasn't clear to me. But, you don't have to read it to pass the exam.
Howdy all, I agree with Jessica completely. We only use JLS ourselves to clear up a question. It does NOT make "light bedtime curl up by the fire reading" Even most of the java gurus at Sun don't have to spend time reading the JLS. Why read a spec if there are easier-to-read and more practical books? The best thing to read is the thing that you learn from, and that sticks in your head. But... when there is a controversy or confusion, and you need to know what the real guarantees are - - with respect to cross-platform compability -- then it makes sense to refer to JLS. In fact, if you're not sure, then there is really no other way to know for certain exept by going to the JLS. Some Sun specs are easier to read, but the JLS isn't one. The EJB spec, for example, really *is* pretty friendly and readable (although still not nearly as nice as,for example, Ed Roman's book or the O'Reilly EJB book). The old javabeans spec was also pretty readable. But I want to poke my eyes out over a lot of the JLS (and I really need to keep them both intact You are taking a risk, however, when you refer to something other than the JLS, because the JLS is the only true correct reference, and some books may say things slightly different, or they may base their code on what they see in the VM or compiler, and as we all know, sometimes what you see in the VM or compiler just aren't the way they are defined in the spec. But that said, I personally try to avoid specs unless I have to, or unless they are really friendly. My brain just doesn't go for that sort of thing. I passed the test twice without ever having cracked a page (or hyperlink) on the JLS. That was indeed riskier then, because in '97 there weren't very many good Java books out there! Some of you here may remember when there was only ONE Java book in the stores (I think it was called "Oh! Java" or something like that -- with a blue cover). Without the Roberts/Heller book, I probably would have failed miserably, because until I began studying for the exam, my Java knowledge was based solely on what I *thought* I knew from writing some programs. The "Rule Roundup" game here was the very first Java program I ever wrote (in 97). It was, of course, the worst Java code ever written. (But I was damn proud of those double-buffered cows, using only java 1.02 which didn't even have scrolling text areas! OK, I lied, they DID have scrolling text areas, but the scrollbars worked backwards and upside down, depending on the version.) Oops -- sorry for the digression. We'll resume our regularly scheduled topic in progress... I've done a lot of programming since (including for Sun) without having to refer to JLS, because there have always been enough good -- and more practical -- books. Bottom line: *You do NOT need to study the JLS to pass the test *You do NOT need to study the JLS to become a good Java programmer, assuming you have other good java references, many of which may be more practical and applied than the spec. *You DO need to refer to the JLS as the "final word" when there is a question or controversy. *The exam uses the JLS as the final reference for all questions. *Some brains respond better to technical specifications, while others respond to examples, and still others respond to other types of writing, explanations, or stories. This is merely a brain preference, and does not necessarily equate to how good a Java programmer you are! (especially given that being a good java programmer takes both right and left brain skills) cheers, Kathy who believes she may be missing large chunks of the left side of her brain...