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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Java 3D API Jump Start
Aaron Walsh&Doug Gehringer
Prentice Hall
Alan Barclay
Appeared in:
This book encourages the reader to discover how the Java 3D API unleashes a new generation of 3D programs for the desktop and the Web. Aimed at the Web professional this book is an introductory text and not an extensive reference manual, although the Java 3D API documentation itself assists in this area.

After a slightly confusing and protracted beginning the book settles down into a relatively straightforward rambling description of the main components of the Java 3D API. It provides the reader with useful knowledge but perhaps leaves them facing extensive trial and error in order to achieve the 3D scenes that they desire to create. At times some extra detail would have been useful but this would have added to the workload of learning this quite extensive subject area.

With a reasonable sprinkling of code snippets and illustrations the book attempts to show the major capabilities and drawbacks of the API but unfortunately I was sometimes left unconvinced by the examples.

There are some useful embedded Notes and Tips sections within the main text and a link to download the author's very nice Java 3D Explorer demonstration application. For best results the reader would benefit from some further 3D education, perhaps in the form of an OpenGL text, to complete the picture. Recommended with reservations