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Objects First with Java: A Practical Introduction Using BlueJ Paperback – 30 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 5 edition (30 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132835541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132835541
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Objects First with Java ; A Practical Introduction using BlueJ

Learn Java and BlueJ straight from the source!

Welcome to the first introductory programming textbook that completely integrates BlueJ with the teaching of object-oriented principles using Java.

BlueJ is a Java development environment that runs on top of the Sun Microsystems Java Development Kit making use of the standard compiler and virtual machine. It has been specifically designed for the introductory teaching of object-oriented programming, allowing the student to create objects of any class and interact with their methods. This truly objects first approach within the customised BlueJ environment is expected to revolutionise the way programming is taught. For the first time, the traditionally difficult concepts of objects and classes are bought alive in an easily manipulable visual form.

Key features

  • Objects first approach

BlueJ supports teaching tools that are not available in other environments, including the visualisation of class structure. This means that the student can interact with objects directly, even before looking at the first line of Java syntax!

  • Project driven approach to problem solving

Each chapter contains problems which are analyzed before the language constructs are introduced that can solve them. What is more, the book is structured along the lines of fundamental development tasks, giving clear coverage of the principles of object-oriented programming

  • Spiral approach

Challenging topics are introduced early, and then revisited later in the book in a different context in order to deepen understanding

  • Thorough treatment of object-oriented principles

Pointers are used within each chapter to refer the student to further reading, supplementary sources, and language references

  • Supplements

The book is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing the JDK and BlueJ for various operating systems. A companion website contains the style guide for all examples used in the book, as well as power point slides for instructors.

Michael Kölling is one of the developers of the BlueJ software, and is currently based at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense. David J. Barnes is at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and is the author of Object-Oriented Programming with Java, also published by Prentice Hall.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Barnes is a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Kent, in Canterbury, England. He has been teaching introductory programming for over 25 years, and has practical experience of a wide range of programming languages. He has been teaching object-oriented programming in Java for over 10 years. David is passionate about the excitement that is inherent in computer science and is actively involved in promoting it as a subject area to high-school children. In addition to computing education, his main research is in the area of software engineering.


Michael Kölling is a Senior Lecturer at the Computing Laboratory, University of Kent, in Canterbury, England. He holds a PhD in computer science from Sydney University, and has worked in Australia, Denmark and the UK. Michael’s research interests are in the areas of object-oriented systems, programming languages, software tools, computing education. He has published numerous papers on object-orientation and computing education topics. Michael is one of the developers of BlueJ and, more recently, the Greenfoot platform.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Cooke on 18 May 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, I would give it 6 stars if I was allowed to. It seems to have 2 things which all other books lack: it teaches from 'the beginning' and it is packed with useful exercises. The author expains the concepts of object oriented programming (in java but the concepts are useful for many other languages!) very well, he doesn't introduce inheritance until half way through the book and by the time he does, you are really ready for it due to the excellent teaching structure of the book. The author seems to have a great way of making you do exercises and getting you to ask yourself questions like 'wouldn't it be handy if there was something like subclassing?', and then surprise surprise!, the next section is on subclassing!

As I said, many other books seem to introduce loads of theory without giving yu any practice. This book gets you practicing and then thinking of the theory youself.

This book works for a range of people. It is great for beginners (although I highly recommend that you do every exercise), but I am sure that many experienced programmers would find it very useful too, at least for brushing up on certain concepts....
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jj Weir on 14 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Had my first taste of BlueJ as a college student at Bell College Hamilton, my Java skills have increased tremendously mainly due to the principles and concepts learned from BlueJ.
This book stands miles above all Beginner java book's on the market today. The book comes with its own IDE "BlueJ". The book focuses early on Classes, Objects and clearly explains the concepts with little regard to code. The book then invites the reader to open up example projects with the BlueJ IDE and gets the user to create objects from the classes then examine the methods, again paying little attention to coding (There is plenty of coding and exercises in this book, but kept to minimum at this stage as it’s vital to understand the concepts related with classes and objects and methods). This then enables the user to better visualize abstract concepts and object behavior.
The book uses an iterative approach and user finds that principles taught in the book are used throughout the book. The book teaches you to code practical programs such as a Database to contain CD and Video objects; most importantly it stimulates your mind and imagination. This enables the user to find other ways to apply the concepts to other problems. The book gets you to into the habit of thinking of items as objects. Plain and simple BlueJ gives you the right amount of Java knowledge without going into unnecessary details and allows the user to see the big picture and enable them to successfully start understanding more advanced Java material.
When I got to university the Students who used BlueJ at college were miles ahead in understanding Java language than those who had not. Most students who did not use BlueJ before university had a habit of writing procedural style programs with the Java
Recommended !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adam Lofting on 4 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an introduction to the concept of Object Oriented programming using the Java language. It is not a complete course in Java and by avoiding getting too involved in the specifics of the Java language, allows the skills you will learn to be applied to writing code in any object oriented language.

The book is fantastically laid out with full colour-coded syntax for all code examples making it much easier to read than most programming books.

This is a tutorial rather than a reference book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By b_nellis on 3 May 2006
Format: Paperback
I have looked at BlueJ for some time now, but wasn't quite sure just how to integrate it with course I am teaching.

Then last week I received a copy of "Objects First With Java". It just so happens that I am pulling a class of students through polymorphism using Java for the first time. It is really, really painful.

Then yesterday I received a copy of the BlueJ text. I whizzed through chapter 1 and peeked ahead through the rest of the text. My first impression is that this may be the best pedagically developed environment for learning programming that I have ever seen. It is so very, very ... simple!! I feel like I've been swimming in a lake of murky water and entangling weeds for years in teaching OOP with Borland's Object Pascal, then Borland and CodeWarrior C++, and most recently JCreator's Java IDE.

BlueJ has turned my murky lake of OOP into a fun, refreshing dip.

We currently use the same text that we have used for years, because we know just where to use the text and where to supplement and how. But now I just know that we must reconsider. The BlueJ text may triple the number of students that goes in into our advanced streams.

Sorry, but every now and then in life something is so incredibly better than anything in that particular arena that it is immediately obvious that a new standard has emerged. I am absolutely convinced that BlueJ together with the Barnes and Kolling text does that for introducing OOP particularly and Java generally. That much really is obvious.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By bs3ac on 4 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a university graduate, graduating in computer science with a 2.1 with honours.

Our course relied heavily on programming and Java was the language of choice.

Objects First with BlueJ was an essential read and the use of the BlueJ IDE was expected from all students.

Now after graduating I have read additional books on Java as to me some concepts remained unclear and so I wished to brush up on them.

Only after reading 'Head First Java' did I realise how poorly written 'Objects First' (using BlueJ) actually is. I found the book to be a very dry read and easy to forget in comparision to the layout and structure of that in the Heads First range.

Programming should be fun (if it is not then it may not be for you). It was through using Head First Java that I was able to understand complex concepts of programming while not getting bored of page after page of text.

I wll say however I found the BlueJ IDE a good learning tool to understand class relations and how objects act within a program.

If you are new to programming I would give you this advice (which I wish someone would have told me before I started my course).

Make sure you have a good understanding on the foundations of programming before attempting more complex areas. What I mean by this is truly understand objects and classes and how objects initiante an instance of a class and how those objects can be used with other objects of different classes to carry our tasks. It is through having a good understanding of the concepts of programming (in how OO works) that you can build greater knowledge on programming and it also makes the use of concepts like RMI and I/O using Sockets far easier to understand.

My second tip is to make sure you PROGRAM!
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