This book is designed to pass on some good coding philosophies to Java developers. It is not intended to teach the Java language, or to teach design patterns. Before reading this book, it is recommended you study the excellent Java language tutorials from this link: http://java.sun.com, which teach java programming.
This book is also not a substitute for good role models. If you do not have a software development mentor, find someone experienced who is happy to review your code and your progress.
I hope this text will be helpfully controversial. As with everything, you should read all the rules and then accept the ones that sit well with you. Use your good judgment about what is right or wrong.
If you don't have much time, each rule is self contained so you can read a rule a day.
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[read.example] Reading the examples
[read.class] Class terminology used in this book
[read.glossary] Glossary of words used in this book