Hi folks, Hoping you can give me your opinions on two beginners books. I can really only afford one or the other, as I feel I�ve wasted time and money on books that didn�t really suit me before. This time I want to get it right! I have �beginners experience� with Pascal and VBScript although I can�t claim to have ever really studied hard on either language. I�m coming to Java to learn a programming from the ground with what seems to be a very �pure� language. I�m not really interested in doing graphical programming yet, and I�m quite happy with the console box. I have no formal education with programming, although I�d hope to change this after a year or so with Java, by looking at Uni/college courses.
Hi John, Here's one that helped me when I was learning Java: Core Java 2, Volume I You can even buy it used at half.com for about $10. I would also advise you to pick up a book on Object Oriented Concepts. Hope this helps, Michael Morris
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
If you're coming at programming as a beginner (or nearly so), Just Java 2 isn't really for you. Nor is Core Java 2, in my opinon, though that's probably closer. I think the Smiley book is your best bet, from what I've seen of it. However, the book's style is a bit unusual - most of it is prose descriptions of conversations between a professor and his class. Check out the sample pages at Amazon to get an idea (though he's not in the class yet in those samples). Some people (well, me at least) find this style kind of annoying, so check it out first. However the presentation is very good otherwise, IMO.
Since you said you have no formal training in Java but have programed a little in Pascal and VBscript I would recommend the Deitel & Deitel book Java How to Program (4th Edition). I am currently using this book to a)refresh my memory on java programming b) study for my java cert and c) punish myself. This book has an excellent approach to teaching the java language. Even though I have read Just Java 2 -Fundamentals and understood that perfectly, the Deitel book is slow going as I am doing as many if not all of the assignments in each chapter in an attempt to "remember how to ride a bike" so to speak. If you have the diligence I would recommend the Deitel book with the caveat that you will only get out of that book what you put into it.
Thanks all, I think the only way to tell would be a visit to the bookstore to check them both out. The Amazon samples are okay, but it's not the same as randomly flicking through to get a feel for a book. I have the Deitel & Deitel book, although I'd planned on getting some basic experience first with a real beginners book. I've also got Bruce's book (in PDF form), as this seems to be almost universally liked. However, it seems a little tough for me at the moment. Thanks again. John [ August 06, 2002: Message edited by: John Logan ]
I used Eckel's book and loved it. But it does assume that you have a C or C++ background. I know C (not C++) prior to using this book and, in my opinion, it worked just fine but may not work as well for someone coming from Pascal and VBS.
In the introduction of his book, Bruce says "Of course, the book will be easier for the C programmers and more so for the C++ programmers..." and I think it's true... I don't recall anywhere in his book where he went over the C-like syntax that Java uses as a base. Maybe we shouldn't use words like mandatory... I was thankful for some C knowledge prior to learning Java. By the way... for 20 years I programmed in IBM 370/390 assembly language with just a hint of COBOL... for me learning C then Java was the correct path and learning C only took a month of reading a text book and doing programming assignments in the evenings... all self taught.
John, Here's my 2 cents. 1. Don't let the title fool you re: the thread which I started re: "Learning OO Concepts and Java 2 for Mainframe developers" - many people offered some really good ideas. I created the same thread in the Sun beginners forum and got additional good ideas. 2. Having said that, here's what I have discovered... a. Thinking in Java - highly praised but IMHO not for the real beginner. Probably very good and even has some CD's ($40 US per CD, I believe) that accompany the book. b. Look at the "1's and 2's" on the amazon sites, etc. for the book reviews. These are the people who did not like the book for some reason and I find their input even more helpful for me to decide if I want to consider purchasing the book. Sometimes, the 1's and 2's are ridiculous statements which gives the book an even higher "grade". Otherwise, you'll spend so much time analyzing books that you'll get analysis paralysis. c. So that you don't break the bank, absolutely look into the used book vendors from amazon and other places. I have done remarkably well stocking up a library for my company. Sometimes the books have a big sticker on the back of it but no highlighting. At 25% of the book price, I can live with the sticker! Also, if the books turns out to not work out so well, you won't feel so bad if you donate it to the library or use it as a door stopper, etc. d. And, now, here's the books I would recommend for Java 2 (notice, not just 1 because I have not found that 1 author covers all the concepts clearly or in the order that I think works best for our staff): =====>1. Java Programming for the Beginning - KN King =====>2. Core Java 2 - Vol 1 - Fundamentals - Cay Horstmann =====>3. Java 2 A Beginner's Guide - Herbert Schildt =====>4. Java for the COBOL Programmer - E Reed Doke (I wouldn't bother with this book if you're not from the COBOL world) =====>For OO, I've been using: Applying UML and Patterns - Craig Larman and am looking into some other books I hope this gives you a good start. Good Luck with your educational pursuit and let us know how it works out! Janet [ August 06, 2002: Message edited by: Janet Wilson ]
Yes thank you Janet, some really excellent and useful information there. I agree that the 1's and 2's are always worth reading. I think I may go back at some point and add some reviews of books I've read. I'll try to balance it out