Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 24 Hours (3rd Edition)
||Author: Rogers Cadenhead|
List Price: $24.99
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Publisher: SAMS (22 October, 2002)
Sales Rank: 7,250
Average Customer Rating: 3.3 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
I found this book to be an excellent start...
Although I had some previous scripting experience, I am still basically a beginning programmer. However, I found it easy to grasp the basics of Java using this book. If you are new to programming and want to grasp the basics of Java, I do recommend this book...
Rating: 4 out of 5
Great for those already familiar with programming concepts
The other reviews are right; this is not a book for those who are beginning programmers. In order to fully appreciate this book, you have to at least understand object-oriented programming in theory, if not actual practice.
Having taken courses in Visual Basic, Java and C++, I'm hardly a begginer. I bought this book so that I could keep fresh on my programming skills between Java classes (no pun intended). This book served as more than a simple refresher, however; I can honestly say that I have learned more about Java 2 in the first half of the book than I have during my entire last quarter at school. This book digs deep into event procedures and error handling; it goes a bit lighter on making the user geenerate multiple interacting classes, and it also goes a bit lighter on the web side (applets) of Java. I would have preferred to switch the chapters on applets with newer ones dealing with ArrayLists and Iterators. The amount of time devoted to GUI's was just about right.
One of my biggest complaints with programming books is that they tend to be dryly written and haphazardly orginized, digging too deep into some matters, while glossing over more intimidating concepts while not providing real-life code examples. Thanfully, that is not the case with this book. I find the authors humor, while a bit esoteric for my tastes, refeshing, and the style of writing agreeable. The topics are all dealt with fairly evenly, and the more intimdaaating concepts were alll given thier fair due. While I know that 24 one-hour lessons may not be that much time in which to cover such topics as ArrayLists and Iterators, perhaps squeezing a bit more into the introductory chapters and glossing over applets (as you can tell, I'm not a big fan of Java applets, and too many books spend way too much time on them anyway) might have helped to introduce (or refamiliarize) readers to these two powerful features.
Rating: 3 out of 5
a little too unclear
I bought this book having some background (but not much) in C. I was pretty familiar with programming in general, but I had never really programmed anything very complex. This book touted that it was meant to be readable by beginners who never have programmed before, but it seems like it would be rather hard to use this book as an introduction to programming, or to Java, for that matter. Let me explain...
The book starts out great...but he loses his momentum quickly. I assumed that since the book was meant to be readable by someone with no programming experience there would be lots of hand holding, but the frustrating part is that he explains in detail the things that are rather trivial (like typing stuff in the command line on your OS, for example), while the complicated subjects are rather skimmed over, leaving you confused and frustrated. I found myself often having to look up extra info on the internet to demystify the explanations in the book.
So if you do decide to buy this book, you might want to have Sun Microsystem's API reference handy ("http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4/docs/api/", as of 3/15/03). Another thing you'll probably need to bookmark if you read this book is the Java 2 Specification ("http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/second_edition/html/jTOC.doc.html" as of 3/15/03). This website pretty much outlines the whole theory of the language, and is the only reference I found that describes the syntax of the entire language. Beginners be wary though, these documents are written in "programmer jargon" and are sometimes so cryptic that it can be very frustrating for those with little or no programming experience.
The reason I mention those websites is because the book is very very frustrating without them. There are lots of examples in the book that contain mystery code that hasn't been explained, and to make it worse, there are excercises at the end of the chapter that sometimes require you to use that mystery code, even though he hasn't explained it. I found this to be very aggravating. This is why I had to constantly refer to those two websites.
Another thing that I felt was a drawback was that the book never goes over boolean operators. This is something you'd expect to find in every introductory Java book, but I couldn't even find it in the index of the book. In fact, he uses them in some examples in the book, but they aren't explained anywhere in the book!...unless I missed it :/, which is unlikely, since it's not in the index :p.
You do learn how to write Windowed applications in this book, but from what I have seen, virtually any beginning Java book will cover this topic.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who has never programmed before. Too many topics are skimmed over or skipped. I'll give him a bit of credit though... it WAS supposed to be condensed into "24 hours". He just doesn't quite seem to grasp the right topics to emphasize in this condensed format though. That said, let me sum it up:
1) If you are a beginner with no programming experience, then this book should be avoided.
2) If you are a beginner with some programming experience and are interested in learning Java, then this book might work, but you'll need to refer to the 2 websites i mentioned above a lot...prepare to be frustrated ;)
3) If you are already fluent in one programming language and are just getting into Java programming, then this book might be ok as a quick overview of the Java language...but might be too basic for your needs...
Lastly, I just want to say that the author mentioning EverQuest in his book did not help his image :p, as EQ is the worst MMORPG ever made! Just had to get that out of my system ;)... Sorry :(...
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