The Java(TM) Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics (3rd Edition)

The Java(TM) Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics (3rd Edition)

$49.99 $40.49

  • Release Date: 15 January, 2000
  • Used Price: $18.95
  • Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours
  • Third Party Used Price: $31.45

Authors: Mary Campione, Kathy Walrath, Alison Huml

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Customer Rating: 3.62 of 5 (16 total reviews)

  • 5 starsThis Book Deserves It!

    dont you get sick of all these 5-star reviews ...? i sure do. but this time, i liked this book so much, i am sending one in anyway.

    i don't mean to overstate things, and no, i am not related to Sun OR any of the authors, but this is simply one of the best 'computer books' i've ever read, even though it came from a vendor, and even though it's title (not to mention its topic) is rather pedestrian. here's why:

    1) unlike many of the 'teach yourself Java' books, it finds just the right level of metaphor. am i the only one tired of the use of fruit, etc. when explaining objects? this book does that a little, but it also relates everything back to real-world problems that are complex enough to matter but simple enough to be graspable.

    2) no irritating humour. I'm sorry, but i have had enough of computer-book authors who can't restrain their wit (like Bill Vaughan, so is otherwise a great writer).

    3) a great explanation of threading. in all the other java books, i gave up after a few pages. i read the threading chapter in this book while driving home, and it made complete sense the first time round!

    4) NO TYPOS. actually, i found one this morning. page 372, line 4, there is an extra hyphen. but that's it! it is almost unheard of, in my experience, anyway, to find such high quality in a 'computer book'. and personally, i find it insulting to spend $... on a book only to find the author didn't even proof their work.

    5) after reading an explanation of interfaces in at least 4 other places, i THINK i finally get it, thanks to this book!

    ONE BIG BEEF: having the answers to the exercises available only on the web is a major irritation. what were they thinking? for one thing, sun.com always seems to be the slowest site on the web. and that's assuming you have a networked PC handy, which i did not when i read this book.

    i also agree that the space taken up by references to sample code was distracting and useless. on the other hand, there were 1 or 2 places (in the Swing chapter in particular) where the book did NOT include a printout of the complete source, which it should have.

    notwithstanding the preceding comment, i believe this book was about right. it wisely omitted JDBC and stopped at a fairly skimpy coverage of Swing, which is correct, IMHO, in a book at this level. i also don't need another 4" thick book full of screen prints and fluff, which is what many of the competing books have.

    all in all, i found that despite my interest in Java being modest at best, i literally could not put this book down. i read it almost nonstop cover to cover. no, i am not a freak, normally i fall asleep after two chapters. solid writing, well scoped, and near-perfect execution earn this a *****.

  • 5 starsBest Java book if you have a Visual Basic background!

    Coming from a Visual Basic background, a lot of other Java books weren't as helpful as this one (I bought the 3rd Edition of the Tutorial). The beginning chapters on OOP were very well written, I think it was the only Java book I've perused where every sentence made sense the first time I read it. The authors' use of metaphors to help make a point is done just right, not too little and not too much. If you have *some* experience with programming techniques, even just doing some .BAT files, I think you'll do well with this book. I had started reading Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in Java" before this one, but I think the best sequence for anyone else struggling with the transition from Visual Basic, etc. to Java is as follows:

    - first read the Java Tutorial (3rd edition) and work through the exercises at end of each chapter
    - second, read Peter van der Linden's "Just Java 2" for a very readable (sometimes funny) way to wade a little deeper into how Java does things.
    - finally, and I have yet to do this myself, read Bruce Eckels' "Thinking in Java" to really wrap your head around object oriented programming and thinking like a Java guru.

  • 3 starsWoefully Inadequate on Basics

    For someone already familiar with C type programming this is probably an excellent book. It has lots of examples, great linked online resources, a pretty good index, and is one of the most error-free technical books I have read in 5 years of programming. However, this is NOT the book for those with no C (or maybe VB) type programming background.

    The authors jump right in using the Java language. While this makes it more interesting it leaves non-C programmers to wonder about the constructs. Examples area great IF they explain everything new that is introduced. For example, the following are used in the first part of the book:

    String[ ] args
    String args[ ]
    String[ ][ ]

    But it is not until nearly halfway through the book (end of Ch 4 of 10) that array constructs are discussed. And even then I don't recall any discussion of the difference between the first and second example above. Another example:

    Sleep((int)(Math.random() ...))

    What is this? Casting maybe? Casting is not even in the index so you just have to guess.

    This book needs 2 things to make it excellent: First, an appendix that clearly and thoroughly explains the constructs, syntax rules, and naming conventions - all in one place. For example, what do the curly braces signify, why are empty parens or empty curly braces or semi-colons used, when do you use String[ ] args vs String args[ ] - the works. Secondly, it needs more comments in the examples, including the reasoning involved (eg why variable was declared outside instead of inside method) and an explanation when anything new is used. Admittedly, experienced programmers will not want heavily commented examples, so making those available on line would be a good solution.