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Using the Java API documentation

From: Java Essential Training

Video: Using the Java API documentation

As you've seen so far in this course, when you work in Java you are highly dependent on the classes that are a part of the Java Class Library. You can find documentation about these classes in the API documentation that's hosted on the Oracle website. One way to get to that documentation is simply through a browser. You can download the documentation locally, but by using the version that's on the Oracle website, you'll be sure you are looking at the most recent version. I am going to go to Google and search for Java 6 API docs.

Using the Java API documentation

As you've seen so far in this course, when you work in Java you are highly dependent on the classes that are a part of the Java Class Library. You can find documentation about these classes in the API documentation that's hosted on the Oracle website. One way to get to that documentation is simply through a browser. You can download the documentation locally, but by using the version that's on the Oracle website, you'll be sure you are looking at the most recent version. I am going to go to Google and search for Java 6 API docs.

You can also look for Version 7 if that's the version of Java you want to use. This link takes you to the documentation. You'll see that there are literally thousands of classes to choose from, shown in this list in the lower left hand corner. You can filter the list if you know the package or group that a class is a member of. For example, one of the most commonly used packages in Java is called java.lang. A package is a group of classes that have common characteristics or work together in some way.

I'll click on java.lang and I'll see a list of all sorts of classes that you'll use frequently in your Java programming. So for example, here is the String class. If I click on the link, it shows me all the documentation about the String class, the class that represents a string value. I've also used the System class so far, and that's also in java.lang. Now, you can also get to this documentation easily through Eclipse. You'll still need to be connected to the Internet, because you'll be referring to the same files up on the Oracle website, but you'll be able to get to what you want much more quickly if you know a couple of little tricks.

So I am going to return to Eclipse, and let's say, for example, that I want to learn about the String class. I am going to move the cursor over the word String and after a moment Eclipse pops up a little bit of documentation. Notice in the lower right hand corner of the pop-up window it says press F2 for focus. So I'll press F2 and now I can expand and scroll through this set of documentation. And not all of the documentation that shows up in this window will contain links to get to the full docs for a particular class.

So here is another way to do it. I am going to double click the word String to select it. Then I'll go to the Menu and choose Help>Dynamic Help. I see a new view appear on the right, the Help View. And I see a link, javadoc for 'java.lang.String'. When I click the link, that takes me to the full documentation for that particular class. I'll double click the Tab of the Help View and now I can scroll through and read everything about the String class; all of the different methods, properties, constructive methods, and everything else about it.

I'll close the Help View and return to the main Perspective. Finally, I'll also show you that when you are working with a property of a class, and that property is an instance of a particular Java class, you can frequently get to the Javadocs for that class very simply. Just move the cursor over the property name and wait for a moment until the pop-up window appears. Then press F2 to give it focus. You can once again expand and scroll through the contents, and you'll see that the out property of System is an instance of a class called java.io.PrintStream.

When you click the link, that takes you directly to the documentation for that class. And you can once again expand to Full Screen and read everything you want about the class and how to use it. So that's a look at how to get to the Java API documentation. Again, you can get to the complete documentation set through the browser; you'll be looking at documentation from the Oracle website. Or you can look at the documentation directly from within Eclipse, by using the dynamic Help feature or by using the F2 pop-up window that gives you direct access to the documentation for the classes that you are working with.

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This video is part of

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Java Essential Training

71 video lessons · 66736 viewers

David Gassner
Author

 
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  1. 10m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Is this course for you?
      5m 35s
    3. Using the exercise files
      3m 30s
  2. 31m 24s
    1. The history of Java
      5m 19s
    2. Java compilation and syntax
      8m 54s
    3. Understanding the principles of Java
      8m 28s
    4. Choosing a development environment
      8m 43s
  3. 19m 5s
    1. Installing Java on Windows
      6m 42s
    2. Installing Eclipse on Windows
      3m 19s
    3. Exploring Java on Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard
      2m 27s
    4. Installing Java on Mac OS X Lion
      3m 27s
    5. Installing Eclipse on Mac OS X
      3m 10s
  4. 46m 10s
    1. Creating a Hello World application
      11m 7s
    2. Exploring the Eclipse IDE
      8m 55s
    3. Compiling and running from the command line
      8m 2s
    4. Passing arguments to the application
      8m 17s
    5. Using the Java API documentation
      4m 5s
    6. Memory management and garbage collection
      5m 44s
  5. 58m 57s
    1. Everything is an object
      5m 59s
    2. Declaring and initializing variables
      9m 15s
    3. Working with numbers
      8m 32s
    4. Converting numeric values
      6m 40s
    5. Understanding operators
      7m 58s
    6. Working with character values
      5m 14s
    7. Working with boolean values
      5m 13s
    8. Outputting primitive values as strings
      5m 33s
    9. Creating a simple calculator application
      4m 33s
  6. 53m 40s
    1. Writing conditional code
      5m 35s
    2. Using the switch statement
      8m 50s
    3. Repeating code blocks with loops
      7m 35s
    4. Creating reusable code with methods
      6m 31s
    5. Declaring methods with arguments
      5m 41s
    6. Overloading method names with different signatures
      5m 53s
    7. Passing arguments by reference or by value
      5m 35s
    8. Creating a more complex calculator application
      8m 0s
  7. 20m 30s
    1. Using the String class
      5m 44s
    2. Building strings with StringBuilder
      3m 34s
    3. Parsing string values
      3m 19s
    4. Working with date values
      7m 53s
  8. 20m 44s
    1. Understanding compile-time vs. runtime errors
      4m 5s
    2. Handling exceptions with try/catch
      4m 55s
    3. Throwing exceptions in methods
      2m 50s
    4. Using the debugger
      8m 54s
  9. 32m 22s
    1. Using simple arrays
      4m 47s
    2. Using two-dimensional arrays
      6m 17s
    3. Managing resizable arrays with ArrayList
      7m 14s
    4. Managing unordered data with HashMap
      6m 5s
    5. Looping through collections with iterators
      7m 59s
  10. 52m 2s
    1. Understanding encapsulation
      5m 59s
    2. Creating and instantiating custom classes
      8m 8s
    3. Organizing classes with packages
      6m 47s
    4. Creating and using instance methods
      6m 52s
    5. Storing data in instance variables
      6m 56s
    6. Using constructor methods
      5m 40s
    7. Managing instance data with getter and setter methods
      8m 26s
    8. Using class variables and Enum classes
      3m 14s
  11. 41m 15s
    1. Understanding inheritance and polymorphism
      9m 12s
    2. Extending custom classes
      9m 1s
    3. Overriding superclass methods
      3m 8s
    4. Casting subclass objects
      5m 3s
    5. Understanding interfaces and implementing classes
      4m 2s
    6. Creating your own interfaces
      4m 14s
    7. Using abstract classes and methods
      6m 35s
  12. 32m 17s
    1. Managing files with the core class library
      7m 46s
    2. Managing files with Apache Commons FileUtils
      7m 32s
    3. Reading a text file from a networked resource
      7m 52s
    4. Parsing an XML file with DOM
      9m 7s
  13. 17m 39s
    1. Creating your own JAR files
      4m 54s
    2. Understanding the classpath
      5m 2s
    3. Documenting code with Javadoc
      7m 43s
  14. 47s
    1. Goodbye
      47s

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