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The Java Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics Paperback – 29 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 4 edition (29 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321334205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321334206
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 17.4 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 574,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By on 18 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
The Java Tutorial from Sun is now legendary in its scope and completeness, with sections on the core classes and Java Swing, plus JSP, together with the myriad of other APIs that have grown up in the last 13 or so years. There is also an electronic version of the language specification which is essential reading for deciding how and why what you thought would happen didn't.

Fortunately for Java and its users, Sun made electronic copies freely available to anyone to download and install on their PC. In a way, this is more satisfactory than a printed book, since hyperlinks take you to other related sections. Moreover the review and correction cycle on the electronic versions is quicker than that of printed editions.

Many programmers (and managers) will be happy to have electronic copies of the tutorial(s) plus the full API documentation that comes with Java, a complex hypertext labyrinth taking you up and down the class hierarchies. These two resources are a must on any system, but then a printed copy is also worthwhile too. Often it is easier to find a reference by picking up the book and thumbing the pages rather than navigating an HTML multi-document. Thus, buying the printed books gives you a distinct advantage.

The current volume covers the basics and so its pace is gentle, loaded with examples, and gives a thorough groundwork for anyone coming fresh to Java. There is also enough of interest to hold the attention of more experienced programmers who will rapidly want to rush past the usual "Hello World!" programs.

If you enjoy the style then I recommend you read the The Java Language Specification (Java Series) next.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The basics and then some 22 Feb 2007
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a terrific introduction to the Java programming language. It has been written to coincide with the release of Version 6 of JSE (Java Standard Edition). I had not seen the previous editions of this book, but I was quite impressed with the entirety of this edition. In particular, I really liked the organization. There is a brief chapter that introduces you to the basic recipe of writing Java programs on various platforms, and then the book gets down to business with object-oriented concepts first, before it tackles any other issue. Next it tackles the basics of the Java language specifically - variables, operators, expressions, control flow, classes and objects, and then interfaces and inheritance. This gives the novice an idea of how to do very basic programs in Java that include its object-oriented facets. Next, the more elegant concept of generics is introduced. The book makes it clear not only how to use them, but why you would - they add stability to your code by making bugs more detectable at compile time. Oddly enough, the next chapter is where the author chooses to introduce the creation and usage of packages. This is generally saved to the end of most books, since bundling classes and interfaces into packages is not something that the novice Java programmer needs up front, but it is a well-written and well-illustrated chapter on the subject. Next the author returns to more basic Java topics - numbers and strings, exceptions, and basic I/O. It is hard to do anything meaningful in Java without a grasp of these topics, and the book does an especially good job of explaining the confusing world of Java I/O.

The chapter on the Java Collections Framework is made easier by the previous chapter on generics. The chapter on concurrency is well done, and catches you up to concurrent processing on the Java platform as it exists in Java 5.0 and later. Regular expressions will probably be old hat if you are from the world of Unix scripting, but this chapter does not make any assumptions and explains the concept from the beginning and then how that concept is implemented in Java. Next is an oddly practical chapter on the platform environment that includes issues like system utilities and the PATH and CLASSPATH environment variables that you almost never see published in a book. Usually, you see Swing explained along with exceptions, but since properties and exceptions have already been covered, this makes explaining the complex issue of GUI implementation with Swing a bit easier. The book concludes with chapters on JAR files, Java Web Start, and the ancient topic of Applets, which, after all, is the reason Java was such a hot language in the first place. Appendix B is a handy one on preparing for Java Programming Language Certification, which was not the purpose of this book, but it certainly is a useful tool in this process.

Each chapter concludes with questions and programming exercises to test your knowledge. The book clearly explains each topic, has plenty of good illustrations, and lots of sample programs to illustrate the points being made. If you are a beginning Java programmer, I can't see a better way of picking up the Java language in its most modern form than this book. The following is the table of contents:

Chapter 1. Getting Started
Chapter 2. Object-Oriented Programming Concepts
Chapter 3. Language Basics
Chapter 4. Classes and Objects
Chapter 5. Interfaces and Inheritance
Chapter 6. Generics
Chapter 7. Packages
Chapter 8. Numbers and Strings
Chapter 9. Exceptions
Chapter 10. Basic I/O
Chapter 11. Collections
Chapter 12. Concurrency
Chapter 13. Regular Expressions
Chapter 14. The Platform Environment
Chapter 15. Swing
Chapter 16. Packaging Programs in JAR Files
Chapter 17. Java Web Start
Chapter 18. Applets
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Much more than I expected 29 Oct 2006
By David O'Meara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is based on the tutorials available on the Java site, but I found this didn't worry me at all as I read the book.

I have always been impressed with 'The Java Series' of books from Sun and this one ranks well. But while I was prepared to accept a more superficial transfer from the web version, what I got was much nicer. The book includes many important topics that are required to move from 'basic Java' to serious development, and while the collection topics alone is enough to recommend the book, the coverage is a mixture of the basics, advanced, and the "need to know" which impressed me.

The coverage of the very basics is a lighter than in many beginners books so you wouldn't want this to be your only book, but I would certainly recommend it to people who have a grasp of the Java basics, anyone moving to Java from another language, or even if you haven't done much work with Java 5 and would like a decent reference for the additional material.

All things considered, this book has better coverage and more uses to a larger audience than I expected and look forward to having it near me on the book shelf for my future needs.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Useful, easy, contains CD 18 Mar 2009
By Douglas Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is basically just the online tutorials, but it is much much easier to go through them in book form. I found the book easy to read and a helpful reference to flip through. It includes a CD which contains an only slightly out of date Java 6.x and all the trimmings, plus the tutorials and source code for the example. Better to get a new Java from Sun if you are seriously going to use the language, but the one on the CD should be good enough to experiment with.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A good primer but CD has issues 8 Mar 2012
By Christopher T. Swearingen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I could give 3.5 stars instead of only 3 or only 4.

So far this book seems to be a great primer on Java. It's not written in a style that assumes you have a CS degree and already know 27 different languages and OOP libraries. Coming from a structured programming background I find this to be a big plus. I hate "starter" books that assume you have a broad knowledge of the topic even before you get into the first chapter.

The accompanying CD seems to have come from a different edition than the book itself. For instance the answers for Chapter 1 questions and exercises don't match up to what's on the CD. There's an extra exercise on the CD and exercise 1 is different as well. Does not instill confidence in the authors/editors.

The other "gripe" I have is that the book is slanted to the Netbeans IDE. I know this is mainly due to it being a "Sun" book and therefore they're going to push their IDE (now Oracle). Still it would be nice to have an IDE agnostic approach as much as possible. Most things in Eclipse seem close to what's shown for Netbeans anyway.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Clear and Concise 1 Aug 2011
By G. Halcomb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is basically the Sun online Java tutorial in book form. It is much easier to use than the online material. The coverage is extensive, but there is not a lot of explanation, hand holding, or sample apps. Good for Java newbies, but not programming newbies. A great introduction and reference for those who want "just the facts."
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