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Any beginner books with lots of practical exercises and compiling?

 
Greenhorn
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I am just starting to learn Java, my background is in mIRC script.

I am learning okay with Head First Java 2nd edition but it could be a lot better.

I have been trailing behind since the arrays chapter with the 1st battleship game, the chapter after that was a bit of a waste for me for that reason.

The problem is, although it explains everything great there isnt enough application of the knowledge so I am not comfortable with the coding structure at all, or even the use of arrays and ArrayLists. I feel this is because I have not written out enough of my own code for everything to sink in deep enough.
I am basically learning new concepts day to day at a fast pace without applying them.

In the past I have found I learnt best by writing my own code getting stuck and checking a reference for a new concept but this is intimidating without any guidance as Java being my 1st programming language is very big to me.

I wish I could make myself some programs but I dont have enough to work with to get me motivated, no GUI no sockets or i/o just arrays variables, yet its now starting to teach me about inheritance and polymorphism.
I feel I should do a lot more coding before I move on to that.

I think I would benefit from a 2nd book to read side by side with Head First Java, or should I just roll with it and take in what I can?
 
Sheriff
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Welcome to the Ranch!

I love Head First and would recommend sticking with it. But everyone learns differently, so a book to complement Head First might make the most sense for you. For that, I would recommend Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel, which goes into far more detail and explanation. Each chapter of Eckel also has lots of exercises.

(Note: The 4th edition is the most recent of Eckel, which covers Java 5. That should be fine, since the differences between Java 5 and 6 are minor.)

Also check out Oracle's free online Java Tutorials.

Edit: Added note about editions.
 
Michael Shoemaker
Greenhorn
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Thanks Marc, I am looking forward to my stay.

That book looks interesting, its like the opposite to head first in a good way, very detailed. I should be able to learn between the two.
 
marc weber
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Michael Shoemaker wrote:... That book looks interesting, its like the opposite to head first in a good way, very detailed...


Exactly! It's an entirely different approach. Perhaps overly detailed for a lot of beginners, but I think it would be good for you.

I learned Java using Thinking in Java alongside Sam's Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days. Personally, I would have done better with the Head First book as an introduction, but it wasn't around then.
 
Marshal
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Don't like the SAMS book myself.

It is worth considering a Deitel book because they have lots of examples and exercises in, but see if you can find a sample chapter first; the Deitel style is by no means to everybody's liking. Get a Java™ How to Program book, edition ≥ 6th, and I suggest if there are "early objects" and "late objects" editions, get the "early" edition.
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