July 30, 1998


I still don't have my own copies of XML: Extensible Markup Language, but IDG did send me this small picture of the cover:

Near as I can make out that's a side-on view of a spiral galaxy, but I could be wrong.

IDG's official name for this series is "The Professional Series" but that's rather boring, and I don't think that name is used outside of IDG. Other books in the series include my own JavaBeans which has a picture of a nebula, Troy Downing's Java RMI, Bernard van Haecke's JDBC, and Daniel I. Joshi and Pavel A. Vorobiev's JFC: Java Foundation Classes. Cover pictures are below.

JavaBeans cover JDBC Cover JFC Cover Java RMI cover

What do you think this series should be called? Space books? Astrobooks? Hubble books? (All the cover pictures come from the Hubble Space Telescope) Something else? Send me your ideas. I'll post the best ones here, and send a free copy of XML: Extensible Markup Language to the person who submits the most creative, humorous, and/or original suggestion.


There were numerous suggestions for nicknaming IDG's new professional series. A few seemed misinformed that all the books in the series are related to Java. That's actually not true. Two that aren't are my own XML: Extensible Markup Language and Jeffrey Hughes and Blair Thomas's NDS for NT.

Several correspondents noted that the galaxy on the cover of XML: Extensible Markup Language is the "Sombrero Galaxy". The most detailed response comes from Robert J. Brunner of Caltech's Astronomy Department:

As a professional Astronomer, I thought I would give you a little information on your book cover. The object appears to be the Sombrero Galaxy (Officially known as Messier 104). It has not, nor could it be (at least to my knowledge), been imaged by the Hubble space telescope (it is relatively nearby and hence too large to fit within their aperture). It is a late Sa or early Sb type galaxy that is inclined to us by around 6 degrees -- thus your observations as to an edge on spiral is quite astute.

This page contains links to images of M104, some of which should look very familiar.


The public pictures from HST are viewable at


The only clear example of an HST image is the Java RMI cover which is a dying star.

Hopefully this help, let me know if you have any other questions. (BTW: I vote for the Uncle Sam's Pretty Picture series)

Dr. Brunner wins a free copy of XML: Extensible Markup Language for his informative answer.

Other interesting suggestions follow:

Blue Shift Books : A fresh approach to reseeding the cutting edge of technology..
--a.i. persofsky
The "Write Once, Run Universally" series
--Andrew Sherman
The Final Fronteer Series (Go Boldly Where No-one Has Gone Before)
--Remko Popma
My vote goes to "Spaceman Spiff Bedtime Books" ;-)
--Gernot Hueller
The Odyssey Series or The Odyssey Books
--Richard Jefts
How about Java - The Final Frontier or just Final Frontier
--Malcolm McCulloch
How about the "Exploit techno-geeks' fascination with astronomy books"? or to be even more cynical: the "Let's nickname these books so they seem to be accepted industry-wide like the other nicknamed books/series"

p.s. I enjoy your writing and have purchased your books, I just don't like marketing tactics of publishers. And I failed a test today so I am in a bad mood, 8^)

--Danny Rathjens
Actually, I believe the picture on the cover of your book is the Sombrero Galaxy.

Here are some links with pictures and information. Hmmm - do you think that on one of those billions of stars, someone is contemplating the design of a standardized markup language? Weird. Even weirder - do you think someone there could be looking at a picture of our galaxy on the cover of their book ( or reasonable facsimile ).

I look forward to purchasing, reading, and applying your book soon.




--Richard Williams
I'd like to suggest 'Pioneer Books' or 'Java Pioneer Books' as the name of IDG's Java books. As I see the cover pictures of them, I have an illusion that I become another Columbus exploring Universe and I feel as if the pictures were saying 'You are a Pioneer of Java Universe!'. So I suggest 'Pioneer Books' or 'Java Pioneer Books' as the best name.

For reference, Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'pioneer'(noun) as 1 : a member of a military unit usually of construction engineers 2 a : a person or group that originates or helps open up a new line of thought or activity or a new method or technical development b : one of the first to settle in a territory

--Kang Pilsung
--David Brown
The Thousand Points of Light Series
--JP Bonn
How many entries do I get? 

How bout : 
"bloated hot air" series, 
"the vapor" series 
"the blackbooks" 
--Joe Robertson
The 'Distant Suns' Series

The 'Stuff That New Worlds Are Made Of' Series
The 'Something Old, Something New, Something Exploding and Something
Blue" Series
The 'Galxies For Dummies' Series
The 'I Just Made Up A Name In Hopes That Rusty Would Send Me A Free
Book' Series
The 'Universal Neighbor' Series
The 'Cosmic Object Model' Series (brainy, eh?)
The 'Cosmic Garbage Collection' Series (it is 3:24 am, after all)
The 'In Space, No One Can Hear You Learn' Series
--Matthew Grimm
How about "Voyager series"?
--Thomas Liou
I regularly check your page for news/updates and I couldn't resist
adding my $0.02. Here are a few suggestions ..

Cosmic Java
The Java Galaxy
The Javanaut series
The Java Frontiers series
The Java SuperNova
.. or if you get a series of 12 books maybe they could be called the
Java Zodiac.

I liked "Javanaut" myself  not just because it has a space feel
to it but also because it has the astronaut/explorer connotation
and those are the people these books are intended for - folks
who want to explore the increasing frontiers of Javaspace :-)

Thanks again for maintaining a great page!! Cafe Au Lait is a great
--Nitya Narasimhan
--Curt Cox
I suggest the name of the series be called "The Heavenly Books"
--Ishak Jamil
Yes, you are wrong, the picture in the cover is an eliptical galaxy and is far greater than eliptical ones. You are honored because the real size of the galaxy in your book is huge in comparison with the rest of the bodies in the other authors books. Some that I believe is dificult is to to think that XML will be more important than JavaBeans, JDBC or JFC but who knows the future?
--Pietro Pesci-Feltri C.
What do you think of the following:

1) The Frontier Series (since all the technologies covered are at the
forefront of the web field)

2) The Final Frontier Series (a simile from Star Trek's "Space, the final
frontier..." since the technologies covered - XML and Java - probably
represent the final evolution of the two fundamental infrastructure building
blocks of a global digital network - a markup language and a programming

--rukesh patel
My suggestions is:

Become a Starr of the Web

There is not spelling error.
--Andreas Schaefer
I think they should be called "Web Trek: Deep Space v1.2" or simply, "Web Trek".
--Kevin Albrecht
My suggestion for the series title:

ET Java series.
(pronounced 'eat' - no puns intended:).
Regarding the astronomical photos on the IDG books (which are delicious,
a great idea!)
(i) Yes, it is an edge-on spiral galaxy, M 104 "the Sombrero Hat" galaxy

(ii) Your JavaBeans book shows part of the HorseHead Nebula in Orion
(iii) Database Connectivity shows a recent photo of the (bigger,
brighter) Orion Nebula (taken in non-visual wavelengths if I remember
correctly, which is why it looks odd - the colours are false)
(iv) The JFC book appears to sport a globular cluster, there are 150 in
our galaxy but Hubble has sent back some great photos of globulars in
other galaxies recently so it is probably "out there"
(v) Java RMI book shows what appears to be a planetary nebula. I will
have to hunt through my back copies of "Sky and Telescope" magazine to
identify it, - *later*

The Java Database Connectivity picture is certainly NOT from the Hubble
telescope, as the Hubble's field of view would only be a tenth the width
of the photo. It may have been from a small research telescope mounted
in the shuttle, I didn't pay a lot of attention to the details when I
saw the picture months ago.

My humble suggestion for the series (if it be purely devoted to Java) is

"Java Firmamentals".
--Jim Fenner (member of Canberra Astronomical Society and admirer of Orion since age of 5)
How about 'The black hole books'? Because if you start to read them, they suck you in like a black hole!
--Andreas Keiser
Galaxy Cafe

Universal Standards

I really just want the free book :-)
--Hans Gerwitz
1) Beyond the event horizon lies the Java black hole.
2) Exploding Sun Series
3) Deep Space Java
4) Infinite Vistas
5) Java: A Theory of Everything?
--David Moran
actually... that is the "Sombrero Galaxy"

it is a spiral but it has the nickname Sombrero for obvious reasons due
to the dust clouds.



p.s. is classpath always so difficult for the newbie ?
--Graeme Wallace

And yes, the class path is always that difficult.

by the way, the galaxy on the book cover is M104, the sombrero galaxy in virgo. i got an A in astronomy 104! by the way, i think the series shoud be called "the IDG cheap cover photos series" because the usage fees on star pictures are really low. either that or "more books with a coaster" because of the CD. dont balk rusty, you are the one who told me how useless those things are!
--kathy ottersten
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Last Modified August 14, 1998