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The Object-Oriented Thought Process (4th Edition) (Developer's Library)
by Matt Weisfeld


Addison-Wesley Professional
fourth edition
March 2013
336 pages

Reviewed by Mohamed Sanaulla, May 2013
  (8 of 10)



If you were to ask me a book to understand the Object oriented concepts in a practical way- I will surely recommend "The Object Oriented Thought process".

These are some of the good things I found:
- the author tries to be independent of the programming language while explaining the concepts. You can see few Java examples to make things more clear, few C# examples and a mention of Objective C here and there.
- there has been use of UML class diagrams in a simple way and a dedicated chapter to understand UML class diagrams.
- in the first part of the book i.e upto around chapter 10 the code examples are fairly simple.
- some introduction to few advanced concepts in OOP like serialization, persistance, client-server, design patterns.
- the author tries to explain any new concepts right at the place where they were introduced.
- the author uses simple language to explain concepts.

These are some of the not so good things:
- the code examples in the application chapters are a bit overdose. They are a bit complicated for a newbie in Java, but the stress is not on the code but on the concepts.
- illustrations in few places were not required.
- code exmaples in XML chapters are not so clear and at few places the code is not indented correctly.

Bottom line is: Recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a good understanding of basic OOP concepts without much intervention of a programming language. Not much recommended to someone who's already been doing OOP development for quite sometime.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Java 7 New Features Cookbook
by Richard M. Reese, Jennifer L. Reese


Packt Publishing
edition
February 2012
384 pages

Reviewed by Jeanne Boyarsky, April 2012
  (9 of 10)



"Java 7 New Features Cookbook" is a quick way to learn what is new in Java 7. It assumes you know Java 6 and feel comfortable reading Java code which is a perfectly reasonable assumption.

Each recipe holds the same formal: why we do something, sample code, how it works and issues/gotchas/etc. It was fast moving and a learned a few things.

I liked how features were introduced as needed with a note on where more detail would be. I also liked the comments on when it is useful to use an API and what happens when you miss it.

While I found only one English typo and one code mis-tab, the braces were aligned weird consistently. Anytime there was a close brace, it was aligned all the way to the left. Making the code look like:
public void method() {
if ( a ) {
}
}

The only reason I didn't give the book a perfect score is the formatting. It is an excellent book.

---
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Java Programming
by Poornachandra Sarang


McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
1 edition
January 2012
672 pages

Reviewed by Mohamed Sanaulla, March 2012
  (9 of 10)



Caution: Dont get bogged down by the number of pages. As The books is more of hands on, most of the content is code samples and their explanation. This book explains the concepts by using examples. This is exactly how one can learn the language and its vast libraries. Each topic is supported by an well explained example, and the examples are not trivial. Something that which reminds me of examples in Core Java book.

The book starts with Arrays, as the basic syntactical chapters are available online. Topics like Generics are given their due share (unlike in Core Java book, very less of Generics was covered). Interesting to see that advanced concurrency related concepts are also covered and not to forget the new features introduced in Java 7 are also covered as and when required. The "Notes" and "Cautions" are quite useful and informative.

Reading the book doesnt bore you provided you sit with the Terminal and a Editor open. I would strongly recommend to code the examples and try to compile and run them. As always one should befriend the API and documentation for help in the long run. Anyone looking for books other than Head First Java can get a copy of this book.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours (Covering Java 7 and Android) (6th Edition)
by Rogers Cadenhead


Sams
6 edition
October 2011
432 pages

Reviewed by Mohamed Sanaulla, May 2012
  (5 of 10)



If you are starting out learning Java, then this book is NOT for you. If you have programmed quite a bit in java then this book is NOT for you.

With the introduction above, let me start with the good points about the book:
1. A good amount of effort put in for Swing and AWT related concepts.
2. There are some exercise questions to follow after each chapter.
3. Gives some introduction on Android. This I think is good because as a beginner its appealing to know the adaption of Java language.

Now to the not so good parts:
1. Uses/Encourages the use of NetBeans IDE. Whereas beginners are not encouraged to use IDEs as they never allow you to fail.
2. No chapters on Generics and Collections. Threading covered in terms of Swing which is not the right way to cover it.
3. No try-with-resources feature of Java 7 mentioned in the exception handling section.
4. The chapter on creating Web Services using JAX-WS, parsing XML were not really required. Moreover there has been mention of REST in the JAX-WS chapter where as its using SOAP.
5. No real value added examples to back the content.
6. No good coverage of OOP concepts.

The bottom line is if you are serious about learning Java, then this book is not recommended. The content is simple to understand, but it really doesn't teach Java the right way.

And on a closing note, one can learn a language only when they spend some time learning and trying out the examples and for a language like Java learning about its API is also important.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition
by Herbert Schildt


McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
5 edition
September 2011
656 pages

Reviewed by Jeanne Boyarsky, September 2011
  (9 of 10)



"Java A Beginner's Edition" takes you through the language of no Java knowledge to what you need to know to start learning about libraries. It covers the core language and can be used to learn Java 5, 6 or 7. The book assumes you are new to the C++ family so parts are slow going if you already know those parts. The author does point out what is different from C++ for those with that background.

I liked the mix of text, explained code and "try this" exercises. Each chapter ends with a self test to test your knowledge. The author does a good job not dumbing things down for the reader while making it easy to follow. It even covers recursion.

The author usually explains when he does something differently than one would in the real world. There were a few cases where he didn't - not using "com... in a package name", using get_pwr as a naming convention and using StringBuffer over StringBuilder (in this case the text was probably old.)

Overall, I liked this book better than the Deitel book for a programmer new to Java.

---
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Java for Programmers (Deitel Developer)
by Paul J. Deitel, Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Harvey M. Deitel


Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
February 2009
1200 pages

Reviewed by Campbell Ritchie, March 2009
  (8 of 10)


This book follows the winning formula which all Deitel books use; some people (myself included) like the Deitel style and others don't. Nil desperandum: you can probably find sample chapters at www.Deitel.com. Like all Deitel books, it is large and provides lots of pages for your $!

I enjoyed reading it. The book follows the same pattern as its "How to Program" stable-mate, but lacks some of the beginner's material, so it is quicker to read. Unfortunately the exercises at the ends of chapters, and some of the larger code examples (e.g. the messenger) have gone too.

It is very clear to read, covering all the basics, and introductions to Swing, regular expressions, generics, and threading. Threading can only be handled briefly in a general book and those wanting more detail should look for Brian Goetz's book. Similarly a full handling of websites or databases would require another book.

Exception handling is well covered, but I would have preferred to see more about preconditions and postconditions, and how to maintain a class invariate.

The book has been updated to Java 6 and includes SwingWorker and the Desktop interface. There are also chapters about interfacing with networks, databases (MySQL rather than Derby) Ajax, Java server Faces and Web services.

Those who like a traditional pedagogic introduction to a wide range of Java work, and who like the style, will find this book a great asset; raw beginners might prefer the "How To" book.

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Prentice Hall PTR
second edition
April 2011
1168 pages

Reviewed by Wouter Oet, July 2011
  (4 of 10)



Java for Programmers claims to be a book for the professional programmer. I find this odd since the first 300 pages (out of 1168) are about how to program in Java. If the target group is professionals then remove that bit or if it also includes people that are new to Java or programming in general then 300 pages isn't nearly enough.

The book covers the following topics: Java APIs, Object-Oriented Programming, Database, SQL, JDBC, JavaDB/Apache Derby/MySQL, Networking, JavaServer Faces 2.0, AJAX-Enabled Web Application, Web Services, Generics, Collections, Files, Exception Handling, Multithreading, Swing Graphical User Interfaces, Graphics/Java 2D, Multimedia, OOD/UML ATM Case Study, Debugger and an online introduction to Android App Development. When I saw this list I was quite surprised. For almost each of these topics you can pick up a book of the same size. I was skeptic about how they managed to fit all that information in there.

The main reason I decided to review this book was that it also claimed to cover Java SE 7.Unfortunately these claims have not been totally fulfilled. There is nothing about NIO 2.0 (file-handling), the fork-join framework and binary integral literals and underscores in numeric literals.

The book feels like a big collection of enhanced tutorials. The chapters allow you to write an example program but if you deviate only slightly you'll need to look up materials only as it isn't in the book. The authors decided to use Netbeans as tool to generate code and directory structures. I don't use Netbeans so that was quite annoying. Using Maven it would have been possible to generate code and support for your favorite IDE.

Some of the code examples in this book are just wrong. Improper closing of resources, excessive usage of System.out.printf(), usage of System.exit(1) in exception blocks and no seperation between Model, View & Controller for example.

This book tries to cover to much and therefore fails to properly cover the topics. The quality of the chapters isn't great. If you want to know little about a lot of topics then this is a great book, otherwise google for an tutorial about your topic of choice or pick up a book specific for that topic.

---
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

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Pro Spring 2.5
by Jan Machacek, Jessica Ditt, Aleksa Vukotic, Anirvan Chakraborty


Apress
1 edition
August 2008
920 pages

Reviewed by Mark Spritzler, December 2008
  (9 of 10)


8 1/2, but since we only have 8 or 9, I liked it enough to make sure I rounded up instead of down.

I highly recommend this book to learn Core Spring. It is the only book currently out by Dec 08 that covers version 2.5. Other books still only cover 2.0

I found the writing easy to understand, I found that they covered the material very well with good examples. They cover a lot of material and leave you with great in-depth knowledge in each of those Spring technologies.

Now, I don't agree with everything they say in the book, but it isn't that they are wrong, but that I just disagree with certain statements. For example, in a Note section they stated that "They do not encourage the use of annotations on the objects you will persist using Hibernate." Using JPA Annotations, from an ORM tool expert, is a best practice and makes your life so much easier, in my opinion, and many other ORM experts. This note should have been left out of the book, unless they wanted to fully cover why.

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Java Fundamentals I and II (Video Training)
by Deitel and Associates Inc.


Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
March 2008
128 pages

Reviewed by Marc Peabody, May 2008
  (6 of 10)


First off, this didn't work in my DVD player. I had to play it from the computer. Small bummer.

This was basically fourteen hours of staring at code already written in a NetBeans editor while a faceless (and somewhat monotone) voice explained how the code works. The mouse pointer moves around or highlights some text to point out a particular area of code, the lessons sometimes shift to JavaDoc or a diagram, and you see Paul's face while he gives the intro and summary of each lesson but it wasn't enough to keep me engaged.

Most if not all of the examples come from the book Java How to Program by Deitel and Associates, also around a hundred bucks. Personally, I'd prefer the book. If I'm staring at a pre-existing code sample, it's easier to read on paper. This does come with a small supplemental book with code samples but it's black and white, whereas the Java How to Program is in beautiful color.

Overall, this LiveLessons DVD pack isn't horrible - I simply think the Deitel book is a better value and I can only recommend this DVD product if you have two hundred dollars to spend and you wish to buy both the Java How to Program book and purchase this LiveLessons as a supplemental to break up the pace of your reading (it's a big book).

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Core Java, Volume I--Fundamentals
by Cay S. Horstmann, Gary Cornell


Prentice Hall PTR
8th edition
September 2007
864 pages

Reviewed by Jeanne Boyarsky, October 2007
  (9 of 10)


"Core Java, Volume I -- Fundamentals" is meant to teach Java to developers who already know another language. Or as they put it, "serious programmers ... with a solid background in a language other than Java." This is important as the book assumes a knowledge of programming concepts. As such, the authors can explain OO rather than how a loop works. The syntax diagrams and flow diagrams offer concise explanations.



This edition (the eighth of the book) covers Java 6. I liked that each section was updated to reflect changes to the languages. The authors didn't just tack on some chapters about the new features. They integrated features as they made sense. More importantly, they updated existing examples to reflect the way they would be written if they were initially written today. This gives the reader appropriate exposure as to when to use new features. At the same time, the authors point out what was added in Java 1.4 so you can use it with an older version. There was even a screenshot of Windows Vista in the getting started section.

The book is about 800 pages. Some of this is long classes and API extractions. The authors do highlight important code snippets with explanations first, so it is possible to skip these parts. I did like the feature of the API extractions that showed when methods were introduced.

The authors explain Java in practice well including caveats. There are a few carefully labeled sections that are quite advanced. (proxys and new classloaders.) This is definitely not just an intro book! There was a bit of premature optimization. I don't see a need to worry about whether ArrayList is efficient unless it is a problem. At the same time, it is important to know why things work the way they do.

I recommend this book if you are looking to learn Java or have only used certain pieces of it. Just be sure to read the TOC carefully as the authors branch out. For example, the inheritance chapter covers var args and reflection.

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Murach's Beginning Java 2, JDK 5
by Doug Lowe, Joel Murach, Andrea Steelman


Mike Murach & Associates
1 edition
January 2005
782 pages

Reviewed by David O'Meara, March 2005
  (8 of 10)


This book is aimed at someone learning to use Java for the very first time starting with version 1.5. There are sections that will be useful to people moving to Java 1.5 from a previous version, but there are probably better books if this is what you need.

Murach's "Beginning Java 2, JDK 5" is set out like a text book, where it is mainly designed to be read cover to cover, possibly skipping a couple of chapters on the way. It starts very slowly, guiding you through your initial steps and spends the first few chapters building a basic knowledge of the Java language. As long as you bother to do the exercises after each chapter you should have a solid foundation to work on.

I was disappointed that (possibly due to the library size) the javadocs weren't included; it's just my preference, but I spent hours flipping pages while learning the language.

However, it is nice that the 'required reading' is extended by devoting a chapter each to topics such as collections, threads and Swing to name a few.

Unfortunately it is not set out like a reference book so it may be harder to find topics when you need to refer to them later, but the book will certainly give you a solid beginning and be a valuable resource in your first year of programming Java.

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Java Garage
by Eben Hewitt


Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
August 2004
480 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, November 2004
  (4 of 10)


Headache. That is what I got when I picked up this book. Too cute. Too many short sentences. Sentence fragments. Headache. Recipes. My 12-year-old daughter's instant messages.

First thing to note is this is a beginner's book although you won't find that in the description. Second is that I blame this on "Head First Java". You know when a successful TV show comes out and the other networks copy it? You know how they never do it right? It's as if someone saw "Survivor" and decided it was a success because people ate bugs so they made a show where people ate bugs to win. "Head First Java" uses humor to help focus the mind on difficult concepts. This book uses humor to be cool(?), funny(?) but most of the time it is just annoying, which is a shame because there is some good information and some of it is well presented. I assume the author is trying to be amusing and be less like a traditional technical book but he fails at the former and overachieves at the latter.

At one point in the book the author suggests that if you still have questions that you should get Zoloft and take up a hobby like gardening. I think it's a little odd for an author to suggest that his readers are in need of anti-depressants but if forced to read this book, it may not be a bad idea. cya.

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Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
August 2004
480 pages

Reviewed by Johannes de Jong, November 2004
  (5 of 10)


It's becoming a trend in computer books to try and put a personal "stamp" on the book by adding humor and/or personalized "information". The danger of doing so is that the reader might end up not liking the book because of this "extra baggage". This was the case for me with Java Garage, which actually is a pity because once I looked past it, I found some very useful information, like the Java Development tools and the FAQ chapters for instance, but I'm afraid that overall I'm not very positive about this book.

I personally do not much care for a book that compares computer languages. Mr. Hewitt regularly compares Java with C#. Another "sin" in my eyes is when the author starts explaining something and then tells me that the how's and why's will be explained in the next book. Why bother to mention it at all then.

More time could also have been spent on the layout and/or editing. The book is full of errors and the code because of the tabbing is downright unreadable at places.

This book gets great reviews from others so it might all come down to me not liking the format, but I honestly can say that I can not recommend anybody to spend their hard earned cash on this book.

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Just Java 2
by Peter van der Linden, Peter van der Linden, Peter van der Linden


Prentice Hall PTR
6 edition
July 2004
848 pages

Reviewed by Dirk Schreckmann, August 2004
  (9 of 10)


I wish I'd had a copy of Peter van der Linden's "Just Java 2" when I first began to learn Java programming. This is the best introductory Java book I've read. It's also an excellent reference for experienced developers, with twenty-eight chapters of clear and concise explanations on J2SE topics, plus coverage of some J2EE topics, including JDBC, networking, servlets and JSPs, XML and web services.

If you're not quite sure how some part of the Java language or API works, if perhaps a new feature in Java 5, such as generics or auto-boxing (sorry, no coverage on annotations), is unfamiliar territory, you will understand it and how to use it after reading Peter's explanations. On every page, it shows that Peter understands what experienced developers should know, as he explains the purpose, mechanism and use of topic after topic, providing very informative breadth and depth.

If you're brand new to programming, you'll likely want to get hold of another introductory programming resource, and use "Just Java 2" as *the* reference for gaining a strong understanding of Java programming concepts.

Alas, the book no longer includes a CD with example code and miscellaneous utilities. The back cover of the book suggests that all the example programs are available at http://afu.com/jj6, but they aren't, yet. Don't despair. I'd bet they'll be available soon.

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Prentice Hall PTR
5th edition
December 2001
1136 pages

Reviewed by Marilyn de Queiroz, February 2003
  (9 of 10)


The fifth edition of Peter van der Linden's book is an excellent introduction to Java 2. I found this book to be not only an informative and well-written view of Java, but also relaxed and amusing. At the end of each chapter is a section called 'Some Light Relief'.

The author now introduces Java to the beginning programmer as well as bringing the book more up to date by covering the new items in Java 1.4. He explains OOP concepts in plain English and uses illustrations. Small code snippets are used to demonstrate where needed, and he even builds a small webserver to demonstrate networking. He covers topics such as running servlets and JSPs on Tomcat, Java Beans, EJBs, networking, sockets and IO, including the new IO classes, advanced Thread topics, and RMI after he covers the basics of Java.

This book is not meant for people who are looking for a text to help them pass the Sun certification exams, but it will certainly help with understanding how the language works. In addition, the author has added exercises to help you consolidate and expand on what you have learned in each chapter.

The book also includes a CD which contains not only the sample programs developed in each chapter, but dozens of useful Java programs and utilities such as decompilers and obfuscators. It also contains a C/C++ editor and compiler, TCL, Perl and Python language kits and a number of Windows utility programs and shareware.

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Prentice Hall PTR
fourth edition
December 2001
1136 pages

Reviewed by Paul Wheaton, January 2000
  (9 of 10)


My favorite all purpose Java book. When I started with Java, I browsed over 30 books and read twelve. At the time, Just Java 1.1 had just come out and it was the one that made everything click in my head. Now, whenever I want to try something new, or I want a refresher on some part of Java, this is the book I turn to first. The author has an excellent sense of humor and a way of writing that makes the topic seem obvious. The author is also a Java kernel developer, so you can be sure he knows what he's talking about. Be sure to look for "alternative material" on the CD :)

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OOP DeMystified
by Jim Keogh, Mario Giannini


McGraw-Hill
1 edition
March 2004
288 pages

Reviewed by Dirk Schreckmann, April 2004
  (8 of 10)


OOP DeMystified is an excellent book, targeted at programmers new to object-oriented programming, that clearly explains the fundamental concepts of object-oriented thinking and programming, in the same manner as we use around the JavaRanch Saloon and as I've used for teaching at work for years.

The entire book, and most of the explanations, are short, complete, clear and to the point. Each chapter is followed by well-targeted review questions, that help the reader verify whether they've understood what should be understood. After reading the book, new programmers are sure to come away confident and feeling, "Object-Oriented programming - I get it!" I loaned the book to three new programmers before writing this review. They all "get it" now.

This book is not intended to replace a standard introductory programming book. It's not full of complete syntax examples and explanations or programming exercises. OOP DeMystified is designed to be a very good supplement to a course or book on object-oriented programming.

In this reviewer's opinion, a couple of the explanations weren't perfect and could use reworking. Despite that, as mentioned it's an excellent book and I'd recommend this book to any programmer new to object-oriented thinking, to supplement their studies.

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McGraw-Hill
1 edition
March 2004
288 pages

Reviewed by Gregg Bolinger, March 2004
  (8 of 10)


McGraw Hill/Osborne has a book series coined DeMystified and have recently extended the series into the computer science area. The books target readers who want to learn complex subjects in an easy non-technical manner without formal training and who have limited time.

OOP DeMystified succeeds whole heartedly in this attempt. Beginning with the basics of an object and continuing on into classes, polymorphism, inheritance, collaboration, interfaces, and all the other ideas central to the OOP philosophy, this book uses real world examples like a Person or a Sales Order Form to help the reader understand the underlying concepts of Object Oriented Programming.

There are a few code examples in both C++, Java, and at one point even C# to help solidify the ideas trying to be expressed but nothing over the top or complicated.

The only real problem I had with this book is that sometimes, in the attempt to leave out the "technical jargon" ideas and concepts were overly explained and seemed to get a bit wordy making the concept more complicated than need be but overall this book stood behind its promise to be "concise the thorough..."

I would recommend this book to anyone needing a very basic concept of Object Oriented Programming. The book is written somewhat as a text book with quizzes as the end of each chapter. I think this book would be a good supplement to any OO language programming course but definitely needs a code centric book so that the concept may be backed up with working examples.

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Head First Java
by Bert Bates, Kathy Sierra


O'Reilly
1 edition
May 2003
650 pages

Reviewed by Pauline McNamara, January 2004
  (9 of 10)


I wish this book had been around a few years ago when I first starting learning to program with Java. It's perfect. Aimed at not-quite-raw beginners with a little scripting experience, Head First Java hits the target. It covers the basics (and some) well enough for ambitious beginners too. If you're not new to Java you won't be disappointed either - while explaining programming concepts Sierra and Bates pass on lots of insight. You'll learn not only the what and the how, but also the why, as if a brilliant friend were sitting down with you at the computer, talking you through each point. Over coffee. Reassuring you about the slippery parts (with stuff like "don't worry about [insert tougher concept here] that comes later"). Lots of exercises keep you and your brain busy, with enough variety to pick the ones that suit you. True to the book's subtitle, "Your Brain on Java - A Learner's Guide", the authors prove that using conversational tone, lots of graphics, goofy humor and examples that you can relate to are really what make it stick, AND enjoyable. If it had a little thinner errata list and a little thicker index I'd call it flawless. Do your brain a favor and feed it this book.

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O'Reilly
1 edition
May 2003
650 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, November 2003
  (10 of 10)


Who do Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates think they are? Don't they know that learning a programming language is supposed to be hard? Don't they know that it is supposed to involve suffering? Apparently not, as they have written a complete introduction to Java that is fun to read and easy to understand. If we don't stamp this out now, students will start expecting their teachers to be entertaining!

The book is an excellent introduction to Java. It covers all the typical topics of a basic introductory text and some extra including serialization, networking, and distributed computing. Each topic is covered in a fun way with important information highlighted. The authors use stories, fake interviews, pictures, nd assorted other clever techniques to catch your imagination and make the opics memorable. There are plenty of exercises (with answers) to help you check to be sure you understood each chapter. And there are plenty of fun programs to code including a cool music machine instead of the typical "reverse a String" exercises.

If you are looking for a traditional text then this book is definitely not for you. Instructors should think carefully whether this book fits in with their style of teaching. This book is not for everyone but if you want to learn Java and object oriented programming in fun and unique way then this is the book you want. Now I just have to figure out how to keep it away from my students.

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O'Reilly
1 edition
May 2003
650 pages

Reviewed by Johannes de Jong, June 2003
  (10 of 10)


Have you ever had the feeling that you simply missed the finer points of a subject that you studied? That was the case with me with Java and OO in general.

Gartner reckons that only 3 of every 10 programmers with my kind of background will make the "technology switch" from procedural to OO. This book can change that prediction.

The best way for me to describe this book is by using the teacher at school that we all have encountered in our school careers. You know the one that enthusiastically drew the most elaborate drawing on the black board to explain his point, the one that simply generates interest in his subject purely because of his sheer love of the subject he teaches. Now imagine that teacher in book form. The Head First way, you're favorite teacher in a book.

This book made me finally grasp some of the key concepts of OO that one needs to know to be able to fully use the capabilities Java has to offer.

If you are a Java programmer that has problems understanding the finer points of the language and OO in general I suggest you go out and buy the book.

I want to end with a word of caution. This book, because of its uniqueness, might not appeal to everybody. I suggest you browse the book before buying. You will immediately know if the book is for you.

(This review is based on the draft version of the book)

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The Complete Java 2 Training Course
by Deitel and Deitel


Prentice Hall PTR
5th edition
May 2003
1500 pages

Reviewed by Salman Halim, June 2003
  (8 of 10)


This package includes the full-color text "Java How to Program, Fifth Edition". The book has been reviewed elsewhere on this forum.

Running the multimedia portion (after installation) launches the default browser, although it requires IE. I simply copied/pasted the main URL into IE. Wouldn't work. Turns out a startup page downloads an ActiveX plugin that is required for the presentation links to work -- this then quickly goes on to the main page of the book's text so can be easily missed. So, not only must IE be installed on your machine, it must be the default browser! A beginner (on a system someone else configured with Netscape, for example) might have given up. This does only happen once.

The entire book's contents are available online -- there is also a very good search capability. I closed the actual book in the middle of the third chapter since the references in the text are all hyperlinked and the code examples are not only all voice-annotated but can actually be executed!

The post-assessment exams (proper HTML forms) for each chapter are a good touch and mesh in well with the end-of-chapter exercises. A total score for the test on a per-chapter basis would have been nice, though.

Final comments: the book and multimedia work well together. Read the sections of text in the book, but keep the multimedia version open -- the code examples really shine online.

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Java How To Program
by Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel


Prentice Hall
5th edition
December 2002
1536 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, March 2003
  (8 of 10)


Once again, Deitel has published a very impressive book. This new edition has been updated for Java 1.4 with, among other topics, coverage of regular expression and NIO. In addition, chapters on JDBC, Servlets, and JSP have been added. The chapter on object oriented programming and polymorphism has been rewritten and expanded into two chapters. The book has been cleaned up with redundancy removed in order to keep it around 1500 pages. Overall, the book is as complete as you would want in an introduction to Java. The book covers virtually everything in J2SE, gives a good primer on object oriented programming, covers design patterns and UML, and even gives an introduction to server side development. There's enough information in this book for at least two semesters of Java. All this information can be overwhelming but the authors use extensive, well commented color coded program samples to explain each topic. It is almost impossible to turn a page and not find either code samples or a diagram. In addition, there is a natural flow from topic to topic. This book was written as a college textbook and it has a college textbook "feel". Each chapter has well thought out exercises but the solutions must be purchased separately. A lab manual for this book is also available (release date, July 1, 2003). If you are planning on teaching a Java course and you are looking for a textbook this book would make a good choice.

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Thinking In Java
by Bruce Eckel, Bruce Eckel


Prentice Hall PTR
third edition
December 2002
1119 pages

Reviewed by Junilu Lacar, March 2003
  (9 of 10)


This edition is updated for the Java JDK 1.4 and includes significant changes over the previous edition.

New and expanded discussions touch on assertions, I/O and new I/O, logging, JavaDoc comments, exception handling, JNLP and Webstart. The 2nd edition's chapter on distributed computing, which included EJBs, Servlets and JSPs, RMI, and JNDI, and the appendix on JNI are gone and moved to another book on Enterprise Java.

Staying abreast of current development practices, Eckel introduces brief discussions on using Ant for automated builds, and version control using CVS. He also puts more emphasis on unit testing, replacing comments and System.out.println statements from previous editions with code that uses his own unit testing framework in most of the book's sample code. The source code, which you can download from his website, also comes with Ant build files.

The CD that comes with the book contains a multimedia course called "Foundations for Java" which you should go through before reading the book. Unfortunately, the CD I got was damaged during shipping and I haven't received a replacement as of this writing.

One minor complaint is that the typeface in the code and tables are not very readable. In the tables, the number 0 looks like a lowercase o. Overall, I think Eckel did a good job in keeping the book up-to-date and relevant to the needs of beginning to intermediate Java programmers who would benefit from this book.

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Prentice Hall PTR
second edition
May 2000
1128 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Sierra, May 1999
  (8 of 10)


My favorite book for those coming from a C++ background. Bruce Eckel explains complicated things about Java with the casual clarity of a conversation between two smart colleagues. You'll spend a lot of time reading this book. I must get Bert his own copy; he keeps going after mine.

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Objects First with Java
by David J. Barnes, Michael Koelling


Prentice Hall
unknown edition
October 2002
400 pages

Reviewed by Frank Carver, December 2003
  (9 of 10)


This book is intended to be a course text book for an introductory course in Java and Object Oriented Programming. The authors have made a conscious decision to cover the material in a different order to almost all other books on the subject. You won't find an initial chapter on classpaths, compilation and the main method, there's no pseudo-procedural "hello, world" example. The book leaps straight in to creating objects from classes, examining values and calling methods.

There is a trick to all this, of course. The book is based on a kind of Java development environment optimised for teaching called "BlueJ". BlueJ is a free download, and a copy is included on a CD with the book, along with all the source code examples. I've had a play with BlueJ, and it certainly makes important things like the distinction between a class and an object, and the inheritance structure of the code, much clearer than traditional IDEs.

If you are planning to teach a course on Java or OO, you should certainly take a look at this book. Even if you don't run the course exactly as presented, the approach is fascinating. If you are trying to pick up these tricky ideas on your own, this book might also be very useful. Even if none of those cases apply, the BlueJ software is still a really neat tool for prototyping.

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Java Power Source
by Luis A. Gonzalez, Charles R. Buhrmann


Best Power Source LLC
1 edition
October 2002
254 pages

Reviewed by Andrew Monkhouse, October 2003
  (8 of 10)


This book covers all the basics of how to program in Java, then provides an introduction into many specialized parts of Java.

This book is very light with only 250 pages. To cover such broad ground, the authors chose to leave out most code samples (available on the book's web site), opinions, experiences, or analogies. As a result, this book covers more topics than much larger books. And being much light, it is easy to carry with you.

The book is divided into four parts. The first part details how to write a Java program - from the low level keywords, through what makes up a class & how to use threads, up to common classes in java.lang and java.util.

The second part quickly covers GUI programming, describing the main classes of the AWT and Swing classes, and describing Applets and Graphics methods. The third part briefly describes the major classes of I/O, Networking, Databases, JSP and Servlets. Finally the book covers Mainframe issues and an introduction to Design.

Covering as much ground in sections 2, 3 and 4 means that they are not covered in depth. These sections will only give you a feel for what is possible, and give you clues where to find out more information.

All in all, a very good book - one that can be used to learn the basics of Java, and can be used as a refresher / reference guide to many of the capabilities of the Java language.

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Java 2, J2SE 1.4 Complete
by Sybex, Inc.


Sybex
1 edition
June 2002
1008 pages

Reviewed by Colin D. Bennett, August 2002
  (7 of 10)


This highly practical book is an interesting compilation of five other Sybex. Its broad coverage and the low price for just over 1000 pages makes it hard to find another book this economical. This book is more of a how-to than a reference, starting with basic object concepts and moving on to I/O, threads, AWT and Swing components, and JavaBeans. I found the chapter on custom GUI components particularly interesting. Developers of all experience levels will get something out of this book.

One of the unique features of this book you will come to appreciate as you read it is you get to preview several other books. The table of contents, as well as each chapter's opening page, identifies the book and the author or authors each chapter was drawn from.

My main complaint is related to its title. The "J2SE 1.4" label has been slapped on this book without actually including any real J2SE 1.4 content in it. I expected more serious coverage of J2SE 1.4 features.

I didn't find the appendix, "The Essential Java 2 API Reference", to be essential at all. It consumes about a third of the book's pages, but provides only an alphabetical listing of standard Java classes, fields, and method signatures.

If you don't already own the predecessor to this book, "Java 2 Complete", which has almost identical content, this book is a worthy addition to any Java programmer's bookshelf.

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The Java Class Libraries Posters, Standard Edition, v1.3 and Enterprise Edition, v1.2
by Patrick Chan and Rosanna Lee


Prentice Hall PTR
7th edition
March 2002
2 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, March 2001
  (7 of 10)


These posters contain a list of each Java package contained within either the J2SE or the J2EE. The J2SE poster contain 58 of the 70 packages in the Standard Edition while the J2EE poster contains all the packages within the Enterprise Edition. Between the two posters, almost 80 packages and well over 2,000 classes are displayed. The posters show each package and the classes and interfaces making up the package along with their hierarchical relationship to each other and to other classes in other packages. Classes from other packages are coded to show their "home" package. Abstract and final classes are indicated. Posters containing a list of all the classes in the J2SE or the J2EE are useful at times and may save hunting down a class in the API to determine if, for example, JarOutputStream inherits from DeflaterOutputStream or not. But that isn't the real reason you want these posters, and you know you want them! You want these posters on your wall because they look so cool. Just think how jealous your co-workers will be when they see them hanging in your office or cubicle. Think how impressed your boss will be when she realizes how much there is to know about Java. And when you're stuck on a problem and leaning back looking for inspiration you can stare at these posters and no one will think you're daydreaming.
(This text refers to the fifth edition).

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Beginning Java 2 SDK 1.4 Edition
by Ivor Horton


Wrox
unknown edition
March 2002
1100 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, April 2001
  (9 of 10)


Ivor Horton has once again produced an exceptional beginner's book for Java. I have reviewed many beginner books on Java in the search for a textbook for an "Introduction to Java" class that I teach at Hofstra University. Few of these books have met the goal of providing a solid ase of knowledge upon which a programmer can build. Ivor Horton's "Beginning Java" is one of those few. This book is an excellent introduction to Java for anyone who has a basic understanding of programming and is willing to apply some effort to learn the language. Horton proceeds at a rapid pace to cover virtually every important topic in Java outside of the Enterprise Edition. Starting with the basics of the Java language Horton explains the Java syntax in great detail. He then goes on to cover exceptions, streams, utility classes, threads, GUI (with a concentration on Swing), and file processing. In addition, Horton covers all the important new features of the 1.4 release including more than 100 pages on XML. Each chapter builds upon the previous chapter using extensive, well designed and clearly explained examples. Although the book covers a wide range of topics, it does not treat any of them lightly. Many introductory books fall short in the very important topic of object oriented technique. Horton does an excellent job of both explaining OO and then using it in his many examples. Unlike other books that you may read and discard, this is a book that will continue to provide help far into your Java career.

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Java in a Nutshell
by Flanagan, David.


O'Reilly
fourth edition
March 2002
992 pages

Reviewed by Paul Wheaton, January 2000
  (5 of 10)


Review is for a previous edition Usually the O'Reilly books are hard to beat. And I'm a big fan of UNIX in a Nutshell. But I haven't found much use for this book so far. I'm glad I have it on my shelf because there has been a time or two that it had info that the others didn't. Most of the book is supposed to be reference - but my "The Java Class Libraries" books are far superior in this department.

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The Complete Java 2 Training Course
by Deitel & Associates (Editor), et al


Prentice Hall PTR
fourth edition
November 2001
1100 pages

Reviewed by Johannes de Jong, February 2003
  (7 of 10)


I've always been a fan of Deitel books but I have always found them heavy going to read from cover to cover. I mostly grab their books when I need to know how something is done. I can t remember the time they let me down when I needed help.

When I asked to review their Multimedia Cyber Classroom, I wanted to see if it would help me work through the whole book, because I honestly feel that if I could manage to do that, I will become a much better Java programmer. But alas it was not to be.

In general, I found the audio parts boring and of very little added value. Good points for me were the electronic Assessment exams but I wish they did the same for Self Review exercises. What I found fantastic was the fact that the complete book, Java How to Program, was available in electronic searchable format.

The CD is a constant companion in my briefcase now, it weighs much less than the book I promise you, and I get a lot of joy out of this easy way finding Java knowledge, and for that alone I advise you to get the Cyber version of this fantastic book, if you have the extra money.

The book gets a rating of 8, heck everything you want is there, but I'm afraid I can't give the Cyber part more than a 6, which makes a 7 average.

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Murach's Beginning Java 2
by Andrea Steelman.


Mike Murach & Associates
unknown edition
September 2001
712 pages

Reviewed by Carol Murphy, September 2001
  (8 of 10)


This is a book for those who think learning to swim is best accomplished by being thrown into the deep end of the pool. Instead of beginning with several chapters dedicated to syntax and theory, you start coding right away. Chapter 2 deals with some basic coding skills and by its end introduces you to importing classes and Swing!?! Chapter 3 introduces static methods, exceptions, the Java Archive tool, and encourages you to browse the API documentation. Writing object-oriented programs begins with Chapters 4 and 5. In-depth discussion of Java syntax is sprinkled around in each chapter, and given more attention after Chapter 6, which introduces designing and testing object-oriented programs. Sound crazy? It might be crazy enough to work.

The material is presented in easy to understand language, and I understood most of the explanations the first time I read them. However, I really think that if I had no previous experience with Java at all, I would have freaked out at the end of Chapter 3 when asked to modify a sample program so that it "uses a nested while loop and a try/catch statement to catch the exception that may be thrown by the parseDouble method". Not for the faint of heart. I like this book, and I think it can deliver as promised. A person who wants to learn Java quickly would get a lot out of this book. Their code might not be pretty, but it would probably run.

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Java How to Program
by Paul J. Deitel, Harvey M. Deitel, Paul J. Deitel, Harvey M. Deitel


Prentice Hall
third edition
December 1999
1355 pages

Reviewed by Mary Jane Swirski, August 2002
  (7 of 10)


Positives:
At end of each chapter you are given a review test (answers are provided), in addition there are many exercises to work on at the end of each chapter, however, answers are not provided, but if you work through the exercises - you begin to feel like a java-guru. The authors also provide excellent support, I had difficulty with 2 questions and the authors responded to & corrected my code!

Negatives:
Difficult to read, would not recommend this to a "newbie", it is probably more suitable for an "intermediate" programmer. The chapters on "classes" and "OO concepts" very poorly written (I had to switch to another book to learn OO concepts & classes).

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Prentice Hall
fourth edition
August 2001
1546 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, September 2002
  (7 of 10)


Deitel & Deitel books are impressive. They are impressive in size and scope (not to mention weight). How can one describe a book that starts with "What is a computer?" and ends with a discussion of the Java Media Framework? The book is as complete as you would want in an introduction to Java. It is more than 1500 pages plus bonus chapters on the included CD. The book covers virtually everything in J2SE, gives a good primer on object oriented programming, and covers design patterns and UML. There's enough information in this book for two semesters of Java. Perhaps this is the problem with this book. All this scope, all this information is just too overwhelming. Trying to use this book to self-teach Java would probably be too much. This is the kind of book that needs a steady guiding hand to point out the important information. The book even starts out hard, throwing the reader right into Swing which is used throughout the book. But this book is good. Code examples are everywhere and they are very well explained. The publisher even uses multi-color syntax highlighting to make it easier to read the code. Virtually every line of code is explained. It is almost impossible to turn a page and not find either code samples or a diagram. If you are planning on teaching a Java course and you are looking for a textbook this is one book that would make a good choice.

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Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 Days, Professional Reference Edition
by Laura LeMay and Rogers Cadenhead


Sams
second edition
May 2001
816 pages

Reviewed by Jane Griscti, August 2001
  (7 of 10)


If you are new to Java this book will give you a good look at some of things that Java can do. It paints Java with a broad brush; covering Applets, Applications, Swing, Servlets, JSP and XML In other words, it tells you alot about Java, including the language itself. Unfortunately, it doesn't give you many of the details.

It's great if you just want to learn something about the language and get a general feel for it's scope. But teach you Java?? Maybe, if you've got some prior programming experience and you're not interested in the nitty gritty. On it's own, it won't give you enough information to pass the SCJP but it could be a useful tool to help you decide whether or not you're really interested in the language enough to seek certification.

It wouldn't be the first book I'd recommend if you were serious about learning the language; but if you're just curious, then it's worth a look.

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An Introduction to Software Construction with Java
by Jaime Nino, Frederick A. Hosch


Wiley
1 edition
May 2001
784 pages

Reviewed by Peter Tran, June 2001
  (7 of 10)


It's not often a book causes me to reminisce about my journey to become a Professional Programmer. During those youthful days I would read any programming books I could get my grubby little fingers on. Most were beyond my comprehension; while others were not worth the paper they were printed on. And then there were those books that made everything just so simple that it was hard not to understand the subject matter.

"An Introduction to Programming and Objected Oriented Design using Java" falls neatly into this third category. If you've been programming for several years, this book may bore you, because it starts out assuming that the reader has very little knowledge for the art/science of programming. It then gradually introduces each programming concept in a well thought out process. I've always been a proponent of the ideal that if you want to be a programmer, you have to practice programming. It is a skill that can be acquired and only improves with practice. I'm glad to see that the authors also believe in this philosophy and have added numerous exercises at the end of each chapter.

Personally, I enjoyed reading this book and reviewing some of the basic principles of programming. I believe all aspiring professional programmers should first establish a strong foundation on some of the basic principles of programming. In many ways, this book will help you lay that first brick.

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Java Collections
by David A. Watt, Deryck F. Brown


Wiley
1 edition
March 2001
566 pages

Reviewed by Margarita Isayeva, February 2002
  (7 of 10)


The title of this book, "Java Collections", is somewhat misleading. The subtitle - "An introduction to Abstract Data Types, Data Structures and Algorithms" - reveals what the book is really about. It is positioned as "a first course in algorithms and data structures". It accustoms with basic Abstract Data Types philosophy on examples of set, list, map, queue, tree and a few others. For each ADT first its contract is defined - in plain English. For a set it goes as: it must be possible to add or remove a member of a set;it must be possible to test whether a value is a member of a setit must be possible to make a set empty... Then the same contract is represented as a Java interface, and several data structures and algorithms implementing it are provided. The authors show how the choice of underlying implementation, affects operation speed. To indicate algorithm efficiency O-notation is used, and it is introduced on almost an intuitive level, with very light math.
A reader is expected to possess only basic knowledge of Java. Writing style is easy; though professional programmers seeking to refresh their knowledge of algorithms, for whom the book is recommended, can be irritated by euphemisms like "a date in the ISO format i.e., 'y-m-d'".
If your goal is to learn Java Collections framework - well, there is about a page for each of its main interface. If you want more, get another book. :)

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The Java(TM) Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics (3rd Edition)
by Mary Campione, Kathy Walrath, Alison Huml


Prentice Hall PTR
third edition
January 2001
592 pages

Reviewed by Mary Jane Swirski, August 2002
  (7 of 10)


Great book for those who already have some java or C++ exposure. Like the book says, its "a short course on the basics" & it delivers exactly that - the basics. For a greenhorn... I would recommend you get another book.

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Java 2: A Beginner's Guide
by Herbert Schildt


McGraw-Hill
1 edition
November 2000
570 pages

Reviewed by Janet Wilson, November 2002
  (9 of 10)


If you have absolutely no knowledge of Java and:
1) want to learn Java 2 (J2SE) in a non-threatening way,
2) don't have alot of $$$ to spend on a book
3) don't mind that Swing is not covered
-->then run to buy this book!

I like how Schildt builds upon the reader's knowledge of the basics before moving on to the more difficult concepts. His explanations embedded in the code examples is very helpful. His coverage pertaining to classes, methods, inheritance, and polymorphism is very comprehensive.

I found his style of writing very clear and the font easy to read. Unlike some other books, I did not find errors in the text.

As the title implies, this IS very much a beginner's book but a very good one!

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Beginning Java Objects: From Concepts to Code
by Jacquie Barker


Wrox
1 edition
November 2000
665 pages

Reviewed by Jane Griscti, May 2001
  (5 of 10)


My first reading of this book left me dazed and confused; then I read the reviews on Amazon, which were good, and decided to give it another try; with the same result! The book takes you through the design and development process for a Student Registration System while describing various Java language and OOP concepts along the way. It is well written and Ms. Barker knows what she's doing and where she's going but herein lies the problem. As the reader, I felt like a daytripper on a bus tour with Ms. Barker acting as the sight-seeing guide. If you're looking for an example case study and are curious as to how someone else builds an application; this book is for you. If you want to learn Java or you want to learn OOP, start somewhere else.

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Java Programming: From the Beginning
by K. N. King


W. W. Norton & Company
1 edition
July 2000
788 pages

Reviewed by Jane Griscti, July 2001
  (9 of 10)


Java Programming: From the Beginning truly starts at the beginning: nothing is taken for granted. Mr. King maps out the first steps every programmer must take towards understanding both programming and the Java language. The book does not provide an SCJP aspirant with everything they need to know to pass the certification exam: Threads are not covered and only a fraction of the Collection classes are dealt with;however, having said that, there are so many things I liked about this book: - The content is well organized, with each chapter building on it's predecessors
- New concepts are introduced clearly and concisely
- Good programming practices are emphasized throughout
- Alternative idioms are explained as well as why one is preferred over another
- Case studies illustrate the application of concepts
- Common errors are identified There are numerous exercises and programming projects (answers are not included) which are a real bonus if you're studying for the exam. Many of the exercises focus on identifying code errors; basic training for spotting errors in exam examples, and the projects give you plenty of opportunity to code, code, code! There is one oversight: the close relationship between hashCode() and equals() is not mentioned; plus one minor nit, JavaDoc comments are not used in the examples, which, IMHO, every Java programmer should learn to use early and often. As an added bonus, Mr. King maintains a support site for the book at Java Programming: From the Beginning which is well worth a visit. In summary, if you are new to both programming and Java, this book will start you off well provisioned on your journey towards certification.

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The Java Programming Language
by Arnold, Ken.


Prentice Hall PTR
third edition
June 2000
704 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Sierra, May 1999
  (2 of 10)


Not a very *fun* book to curl up with by the fire on a Saturday night with a cafe mocha, but it comes from Those Who Know and is a great way to double-check your facts. It's still friendlier (but less thorough) than the Java Language Specification (JLS).

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Learning Java
by Patrick Niemeyer, Jonathan Knudsen


O'Reilly
1 edition
May 2000
720 pages

Reviewed by David Vick, November 2001
  (8 of 10)


A very good book for learning the basics of the Java language. The biggest problem I had was with the suggested audience; the target audience should more appropriately be for programmers coming from a C or C++ background. The authors suggest you be familiar with the basic C syntax, but the frequent references in the text to C and C++ make it more of a requirement then an option.

The book covers a wide range of topics and gives an excellent (if brief) introduction to almost all aspects of Java programming. For those looking for a good introduction to the language this is an excellent choice. Individuals looking for more detailed coverage of fewer topics should look elsewhere.

One of the best things about this book for experienced programmers is the fact that it does accept that you know loops and other control structures and does not spend any more time on them other than necessary to point out differences between Java and C/C++. This is a relief from those books that beat the subject to death for 3 chapters even when their target audience is experienced programmers.

This book is an excellent introduction to the language for someone interested in finding out what Java has to offer as a programming language. The topics are written clearly and there are plenty of small, easily understood code samples throughout the text. The authors' style is clear and not too technical, overall it makes for an easily understood and comprehensible book.

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Developing Java Software
by R. Winder, Graham Roberts


Wiley
second edition
March 2000
1028 pages

Reviewed by Johannes de Jong, March 2002
  (9 of 10)


The problem for many of us when learning Java is that we have to make a considerable mind shift from the procedural paradigm to OO, I finally found a book that really helps one make that shift.

I, especially, appreciate the small examples they have in the beginning of the book where they purposely code "wrong" solutions and then after reviewing the result recode it the OO "way". This is something they do throughout the book, constantly revisiting some examples when you've acquired new knowledge/insight. They then show you alternatives and/or improvements. A great teaching tool.

The section "Building Libraries" shows you how to build a class library containing , sort algorithms, heaps, etc. What can I say but, thanks for finally helping me understand the design considerations behind class libraries.

The case examples are fun and really very detailed, its more than a simple coding exercise. They teach you how to define the problem, design the solution, implement it, improve it, recode it, in short "dah lot".

The Java Language reference at the end of the book is also a gem. Everything you need is there. (don't expect the class libraries discussed in detail though).

I have a few small negatives that cost the book it's perfect 10, see the Book Review Forum for more info. However , I honestly believe this book teaches you sound Java and OO fundamentals, as such I highly recommend this book.

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Mr. Bunny's Big Cup o' Java(TM)
by Carlton Egremont III


Addison-Wesley Professional
1 edition
June 1999
115 pages

Reviewed by Dave Landers, September 2002
  (9 of 10)


This book is the story of Farmer Jake's quest to learn Java from his mentor, Mr. Bunny. The book starts at the beginning. This is about the last thing it has in common with other Java books (until it gets to the end).

Farmer Jake and Mr. Bunny are sucked into the computer, tokenized, put in a jar, and find themselves facing the Java Class Verifier (in the person of Telly the Bridge Troll). After passing inspection, they go on to meet Inky (a Squid-based implementation of the Java Virtual Machine). Along the way they meet many other characters that teach them about Primitives, Applets, Classes, Objects, Inheritance, the Garbage Collection, Interfaces, and even the Java Native Interface.

So much packed into one short book! Even the copyright notice is worth reading. This is an entertaining book, appropriate for readers with any level of Java experience, although greenhorns may not get all the jokes (yet). Most of the allegories and examples are reasonably accurate, technically. The explanation of threads and thread scheduling is particularly good.

If you can only buy one Java book this year, this probably shouldn't be it. But if you can scrape up some extra change from between the cushions of the couch, this would be a great way to spend it.

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Special Edition Using Java 1.2
by Weber, Joseph L .


Que
fourth edition
September 1998
1414 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Sierra, May 1999
  (8 of 10)


A rather large book, suitable for bench-pressing when you're waiting on a slow connection. If I was stranded on a desert island and could take my laptop and only one Java 1.2 book, this would be the one (benefit your brain AND your biceps). Warning: Que publishes another book also called Using 1.2, but it is NOT the same book and I didn't like it. Be SURE you look for the "Special Edition" part of the title.(Jan 2000 update: the publisher sold all the copies they made!)

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The Java Class Libraries, Volume 1
by Chan, Patrick


Addison-Wesley Professional
second edition
March 1998
2050 pages

Reviewed by Paul Wheaton, January 2000
  (9 of 10)


This book is still focused on the 1.1 stuff, but when the time comes to use a class you haven't used before or maybe the method of a class you haven't used before, this book can't be beat. Not only does it have thorough descriptions, but it gives examples for every method. That's something you don't find in the javadocs! This book covers the non GUI core library: io, lang, math, net, text and util.

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The Java Tutorial
by Mary Campion, Kathy Walrath


Addison-Wesley
second edition
March 1998
964 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Sierra, May 1999
  (10 of 10)


My favorite book for Java beginners with some prior programming experience. My copy has more dog-ears than a pack o' hounds.

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The Java Class Libraries, Volume 2
by Chan, Patrick / Lee, Rosanna.


Prentice Hall PTR
second edition
October 1997
1712 pages

Reviewed by Paul Wheaton, January 2000
  (9 of 10)


This book complements Volume 1 and covers GUI stuff: awt, applet and beans.

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Java Examples in a Nutshell
by Flanagan, David.


O'Reilly
1 edition
January 1997
397 pages

Reviewed by Paul Wheaton, January 2000
  (5 of 10)


There have been many occasions that I could use an example and I have turned to this book. On no occasion did the book have an example for me. Bummer.

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1001 Java Programmers Tips
by Chan, Mark C. / Griffith, Steven W. / Iasi, Anthony F.


Jamsa Pr
unknown edition
January 1997
624 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Sierra, May 1999
  (2 of 10)


I was writing and delivering Java applets way before I knew much about Java... just from reading these tips. I love this book! (even though it's OLD). It's still worth it, ESPECIALLY if you need to deliver applets that will run in all browsers (using 1.02-safe code). The book includes application tips as well. The publisher is NOT going to update this book, but they do have plans for a new book due fall of '99 called The Java Programmers Bible (not the same as IDG's Java Bible) and it will have 1,500 tips! (Still no sign of it January 2000 and the older book is now out of print)

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Making Sense of Java
by Bruce Simpson, John D. Mitchell, Brian Christeson, A. Rehan Zaide, Jonathan Levine


Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
June 1996
159 pages

Reviewed by Cindy Glass, August 2002
  (8 of 10)


Amazing. This book was published in 1996, and I read it on a lark, intending to get some fun out of the last chapter on The future of Java . Instead what I found was that the presentation was excellent and still entirely relavent.

Of course the discussion is kept to basic java concepts and applets J2EE was not really invented at the time, but what was presented is STILL an excellent summary for folks that want to understand what java is all about without the need to dip into the super-technical details of the language.

The book is about 150 pages and covers the basic concepts of the internet, Object Oriented languages, portability, applets, the Java Virtual Machine, developer productivity, security, copyright issues, the big-time players in the java field and finally a look into the possible future of java.

You can bet that I am going to share this book with a few of my managers who seem to get cross-eyed whenever the word java is mentioned. Yes, there are some who have been SO encased in the mainframe world that they still do not understand what the fuss is all about. I believe it will help them come up to speed enough that they can understand some of the issues and thinking behind decisions.

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Exploring Java
by Niemeyer,Patrick / Peck, Joshua.


O'Reilly
1 edition
June 1996
426 pages

Reviewed by Bodie Minster, February 2001
  (2 of 10)


This book targets programmers that want to add Java to their repitoire. It spends very little time covering the language syntax, operators, data types, and so on. It jumps right in and covers subjects ranging from creating Zip files to UDP sockets. Some subjects are treated very superficially, such as RMI and JavaBeans. Some notables that are not covered at all include JNI and JDBC. AWT, Threads, Sockets, I/O and many other subjects are covered in-depth. What this book lacks in tables and diagrams it makes up for in code snippets and examples. There are no exercises, though, which is a letdown. Overall, it is well-written and easily understandable by anyone with prior programming experience.

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