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Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animal appearing on the cover of Java Enterprise in a Nutshell is a sand dollar (Echinarachnius parma). The sand dollar is a flattened, rigid, disk-shaped marine invertebrate related to sea urchins and sea stars. It is found in large numbers on the sandy bottoms in the coastal waters of many parts of the world. The sand dollar's shell, or test, is often perforated with petal-shaped slots arranged around a central point. The mouth is located in this central position on the underside of the shell. The shell is covered with spines of varying lengths. These spines aid the sand dollar in locomotion and enable it to burrow just below the surface of the sandy bottom. In this sand, the sand dollar finds the tiny organic material it feeds on, pushing the food towards its mouth with tiny tube feet. Additional tube feet on the upper side of the sand dollar are used for breathing.

The sand dollar's flower-like appearance and its abundance in many parts of the world have made it a favorite of shell collectors. Scientists have also taken an interest in this small invertebrate. The sand dollar is frequently used in the study of mitosis, the process of cell division. It is believed that a better understanding of mitosis may lead to a better understanding of cancer.

Mary Anne Weeks Mayo was the production editor and copyeditor for Java Enterprise in a Nutshell, Maureen Dempsey and Jane Ellin provided quality control, and Paulette Miley proofread the book. Kimo Carter provided production assistance. Lenny Muellner provided SGML support. Ellen Troutman Zaig wrote the index.

Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book, using a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Kathleen Wilson produced the cover layout with Quark XPress 3.3 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font. The interior layouts were designed by Edie Freedman and Nancy Priest, with modifications by Alicia Cech and Lenny Muellner implemented the layout in gtroff. Interior fonts are Adobe ITC Garamond and Adobe ITC Franklin Gothic. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Rhon Porter using Macromedia FreeHand 8 and Adobe Photoshop 5. This colophon was written by Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary.

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