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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Who is this book aimed at? On the back cover it says "Assuming little or no programming experience". Actually, I disagree with that. It does assume some programming experience, making use of jargon that has not previously been explained, and relying on prior knowledge rather than explaining various topics properly. Really, I would say that this book is best for somebody who has programmed in a language other than Java, and who now wants to learn the basics of Java, covering a broad range of subjects but none in great depth.

In just under 450 pages, it covers subjects such as how to install the Eclipse IDE (Integrated Development Environment), where to find WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) GUI (Graphical User Interface) designers, the fundamentals of the Java language, Applets (applications that run in Internet browsers), generics (if you're going to be implementing generics get another book), simple network programming (for anything non-trivial get another book), the basics of multi-threading (if you're going to be writing multi-threaded code, get a specialist book), databases using JDBC (Java Database Connectivity), Swing (GUIs), RMI (Remote Machine Invocation), servlets (server-side applications), SOAP, Hibernate, etc, etc. Basically, it gets you going in the Java world, and gives an introduction to many of the key technologies that Java developers are likely to encounter. As long as it's treated as a taster to the language and the related technologies, rather than being considered definitive on any of those subjects, then this book may be ok (for people with some experience). Certainly, for an experienced developer who wants to learn Java in a hurry, this book has potential. However, where it falls down is that it uses very imprecise language. Over and over again, as I was reading this book, I was thinking to myself "oh, that could be misinterpreted", "oh, that's misleading", "oh, that's not strictly accurate" or even "oh, that's wrong". An experienced developer who has worked in another language would probably spot those same things and either realise the issue or be doubtful enough to check elsewhere. I'm not convinced that somebody with "little or no programming experience" would recognise these issues, which makes me think of the quote about knowing just enough to be dangerous. This book would have been helped by more thorough proof-reading - far, far too many issues slipped through.

For me, the best aspects of this book are (a) the broad coverage, and (b) the list of interview-related questions near the end. I certainly agree with the author's comments about interviewing enterprise developers. That section alone tells me that the author has been around long enough to "know his stuff". However, knowing his stuff is not the same as being able to convey his knowledge to others, whether absolute beginners or not. Unfortunately, the assumptions that this book makes, and the multiple issues in the language used, let this book down.

I should mention, for sake of completeness, that this book does come with a DVD containing additional teaching material. It may be useful, but I buy books so that I can read them when away from my computer, absorb their content, then try out what I have read when I am back in front of the computer. I therefore haven't looked at the DVD. It may be useful, it may not. I cannot comment.

Oh, and the "24-Hour" in the title is completely misleading. Inside, the book says that it doesn't mean that you can work through the entire book in 24 hours, but that you can have the book with you and be reading it at any time of the day, as if any book without "24-Hour" in the title is something you have to hand back when the sun goes down... Wrox should be ashamed of themselves for putting something that misleading in the title.

Would I recommend this book? Whilst the language is so imprecise, I'm afraid not. If, in a future edition, all of the issues were fixed, then maybe I would recommend that future edition, although still not for absolute beginners.
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on 3 August 2011
The thing I like best about this book is that you can tell its written by someone who knows Java inside out and uses it professionally. Its packed with real-life examples of coding tasks and can get you coding pretty quickly.
Also useful in my case was that many of the examples tended to be toward stocks and shares, price quotes etc which is the area I'm interested in using Java in.
The initial intro/refresher on Java was very useful, as I had some previous Java knowledge but from many years ago, so this got me back into it. The book also points you in the direction of using the Eclipse IDE for your development and I have to say thats a great idea, as the last time I saw Eclipse (many years ago) it was a very expensive IBM product, now you can use it for free as its Open Source.
This book is a great way of getting to know - and using - many different important areas of Java - for me, the chapters on JDBC, JMS, Network Programming and Swing/JTable. After combining a few of the examples in these chapters I had constructed a Stock Quote engine which got stock quotes from Yahoo Quotes, put them on an OpenMQ message queue and then updated the database with the latest quotes. Thats pretty amazing for a book just introducing you to these technologies!
I hope the author might produce another Java book in this style, ideally based around a development project in the financial/stocks area.
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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a well put together guide for folk with basic coding knowledge who are looking for some support in using Java. The contents are clearly laid out into relatively intuitive sections, but novices beware, a level of understanding is assumed by the author and some jargon and terminology may not be clearly enough explained to be entirely understandable by everyone. It's a fairly common crtiticism for this kind of book, but that handicap aside, the guidance offered is generally useful and the videos are handy for those who like to see how things work before they get their hands dirty.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
THis is a very well writen book that will act as a good introduction to programming using Java. However it does not provide a good introduction to the absolute beginer nor does it give enought details for an experienced developer wanting to learn a new language. In order to get the most out of this book you will either need a basic grounding in software development, but if you are already and experienced developer then there are better books to help cross train.
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VINE VOICEon 16 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Back in the 1990s many computer books took the reader through the syntax of a new language in a systematic way, introducing new concepts with each chapter, often building up a program incrementally on the way. As connectivity between computers increases the number of potential uses of a language has increased and programmers often become specialised in one area of design/programming rather than in one language.

This book takes the old approach, and shows an overview of a large number of local and network possibilities, all built up from Java. While there are many reasons to learn Java, it is unlikely that someone new to programming is going to want to progress from "Hello World" through all of the 37 lessons contained within - a more sensible approach would be to learn Java basics and then gain a deeper understanding of the technologies that interest you, and then apply your newly-gained language skills to them. Instead this book takes a lighting tour (for example, 9 pages covering Hibernate) of various aspects of the technology, but without getting deeper in any of them. As a reader you will know the technologies exist, but will probably not understand why any one technology is worth looking at or not.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the book, and it teaches the basics of Java well in the first 17 lessons, but it's difficult to be sure that the target audience exists anymore. If you're interested in learning Java then the first half of the book will help, but it might be worth skipping the second half until you have some understanding of why it might be useful to look at any one technology in particular. Developers who are just starting with one of the technologies in the second half of the book will find the relevant chapter useful for a short time, but quickly want more details. The practice-interview questions at the end are rather good, though it's not worth buying the book for them alone!
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have a great interest in IT and have worked with DB3 and db4 so wanted to try Java programming - so got the book.

I wanted to understand it and hoped it would walk me through what to do in simple, jargon free language. This book is aimed at people new to programming but I did not see it as being aimed at basically a novice. I tried working through it but it did prove more complicated than I thought.

If you know programming and/or have prior Java experience then I would say it is worthwhile looking at as an option. I could not say further than that. If you are a novice then you may get lost so either look for something else or combine it with a course.

Three stars as I don't see it as a training guide for a novice but someone who already knows something about Java and/or programming
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on 17 May 2012
Honestly, this is one of the best books on Java I came across in my life. Simple to read and understand, examples are not too long and straight to the point. I keep it as a reference. Found videos on CD helpful. Also, I personally respect the author Yakov Fain, holder of Java Champion title for providing knowledge and experience as well as for his personal podcast "Americhka".
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First of all, I have to disagree with the review that this is NOT a course of Learn Java in 24 hours but just that this is available 24 hours a day. The first 24 lessons cover Java programming from start to finish. Each lesson is contained within a short chapter composed of explanation, practice and consolidation. Each chapter CAN be completed within one hour, in fact the first few are so short that 30 minutes would suffice. Therefore, you could learn the fundamentals of Java programming within 24 hours of training but of course not within one day (unless you don't sleep, eat or interact with humankind - as in fact most programmers are said to do anyway!).

I have a technical background, I studied C+ programming, Basic and other programming in general at University on an Internet Technology course 8 years ago. I am also a self-taught PHP/MySQL programmer, highly conversant with HTML, CSS and other web design languages and so the introduction of Constants, Strings, Variables, Libraries, Classes and Objects were not new to me. However to an individual, with little or no programming knowledge or experience, these concepts would have to be grasped securely before proceeding. Having said that, the author does try to explain them adequately, albeit in a technical way.

Each lesson introduces something new and with that, you are slowly building up a program and learning how each line of code and each element works. One criticism is that the code can be downloaded from the wrox website or available on the dvd. Now while there is software available (some of which is recommended and used by the author) which can partially complete your coding to save time, simply copying code is perhaps not the best way to learn how to do something. Repetition and typing out the code yourself is the only way you will learn the syntax, and making errors now will help you correct any errors later in practice more easily.

There are additional lessons covering server-side programming, APIs and web services. All of which are covered briefly and only intended for giving a workable overview, not an indepth knowledge worthy of a qualification. In fact, this book is all about that. It gives you the knowledge you need to proceed further with your Java programming and with practice become proficient. There simply is no substitute for practical experience in programming but this book does cover what you need to get a good grasp and write a few simple lines of code that you can expand upon.

Well laid out, good content but you do need technical head to get along with this.
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VINE VOICEon 20 April 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have read some of the other reviews and I think that some of the readers have not understood what the text intends to do.

In the introduction the author explains that this is not a book for learning Java in 24 hours. The 24 hours in the title means that having this text is like having 24 hour support. This is a very tall order to ask of a text, but the other thing that the author explains is that many programming texts have become so bloated that people no longer buy them because they are too big and too intimidating. I can certainly think of a few texts like this. So by giving the reader the core of the language and possibly the "24 hour support" of the accompanying videos, the reader can then supplement this text by using the Internet as a resource.

Learning a computing language is a very personal thing as different people have very different needs. This book does not take novice programmers through all the steps of learning to program as it cannot hope to without becoming too big, but by taking a very practical approach and "expecting" users to find other materials on the web it tries to cover the essentials for Java. The selection of topics is good and the material is sensibly split between client and server side sections. It covers using an IDE which many texts miss out focussing on the language rather than the practice.

To sum it up for me it is a good book, but not perfect and so I will keep looking for that perfect text, but it is certainly not a bad place to start.

On the negative side I cannot see when I would want to see the videos, why do I need to see someone installing software and programming? I know when a program works as it compiles and does not give me a million syntax errors.
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VINE VOICEon 9 May 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Whilst i am not new to programming, I am a beginner that knows the basics,but never stuck with any language long enough to learn it properly. This is my first foray into Java programming and this book is a great introduction. Eases you into things and teaches you all the basics and principles in an easy to grasp manner.

Plenty of examples and references to online resources make it easy to follow and develop your own simple java programs.

This is an interesting book which suits beginners though it helps if you know a bit about coding already. It has certainly piqued my interest in this popular,but often frowned upon language.
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