Perhaps the most important aspect of continued success in Java game programming is keeping up with the latest trends and technologies. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources-both online and other-for keeping your game programming skills up-to-date. This appendix points you to some of the more useful resources, which you should attempt to make use of as often as possible.
Sun's official Java site on the Web is maintained by JavaSoft and contains all of the latest Java information and tools produced by JavaSoft, the Sun subsidiary responsible for Java. You'll definitely want to keep an eye on this site because it is the central location for obtaining official Java updates. It also has a pretty extensive set of online documentation, including a really nice Java tutorial. The Sun JavaSoft Web site is located at http://www.javasoft.com (see Fig-ure B.1).
Gamelan is currently the end-all Java resource directory! Besides the official Java Web site at Sun, Gamelan is by far the most useful and comprehensive source of Java information anywhere. It conveniently divides Java up into different categories, with each leading to a wealth of information, source code, and sample applets. Check out Gamelan yourself and you'll see what I mean. It's located at http://www.gamelan.com (see Figure B.2).
The JavaWorld online journal is an excellent publication by IDG Communications that always has some interesting Java programming articles. You can even subscribe to JavaWorld and receive Java information via e-mail. The JavaWorld Web site is located at http://www.javaworld.com (see Figure B.3).
Digital Espresso is an online weekly summary of the traffic appearing in the various Java mailing lists and news groups. Digital Espresso is an excellent Java resource because it pulls information from a variety of sources into a single Web site. It is located at http://www.io.org/~mentor/DigitalEspresso.asp (see Figure B.4).
The Java Developer Web site is a very good Web site for sharing information and finding answers to Java programming questions. It has a section called "How Do I " that lists common (and not so common) Java programming questions and their corresponding answers, including example source code. The Java Developer Web site is located at http://www.digitalfocus.com/faq (see Figure B.5).
When you want to get some game ideas or just check out what other Java game programmers are up to, head over to the Applet Arcade. The Applet Arcade is a Web site containing links to a wide variety of Java games. The Applet Arcade is located at http://members.aol.com/shadows125/arcade.asp (see Figure B.6).
An excellent source for general game programming tips and tricks is Game Developer magazine. Game Developer isn't likely to include a great deal of Java information, but it is indispensable in keeping up with the latest game programming techniques. You can pick up a copy of the magazine at your local guidestore, or check out their Web site at http://www.gdmag.com (see Figure B.7).
Another cool source of general game information is the Games Domain Web site. The Games Domain contains a variety of game information, including reviews and a complete section devoted to game programming. It is located at http://www.gamesdomain.co.uk (see Figure B.8).