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We’ve designed Murach’s Beginning Java with NetBeans specifically for beginning programmers and programmers with limited experience who want to learn Java at a professional level. By the time you finish this book, you’ll have all the core Java skills that you need to move on to web or Android programming.[/quote]
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"Murach's Beginning Java with NetBeans" teaches Java and your first IDE (integrated development environment) at the same time. Like all Murach books, the book is heavy (600+ pages) and contains good review/labs at the end of each chapter. Including those that have you modify existing code. When I feature was introduced in a certain version of Java, the book points out which one.
I really liked the intro including types of applications and keywords. I like the covering NetBeans as needed for specific concepts including code completion and the debugger. Including the “main project” concept which is something that makes me crazy in NetBeans! Similarly, good programming idioms are covered so readers can see patterns. I particularly liked how the code listings highlighted the relevant parts. I also liked the UML class diagram introduction.
The only thing I noticed missing was the introduction of equals(), but not hashCode(). Since they should both be used together, I feel like they should have been covered together. Also, I disagreed with the comment about lambdas not being reusable. They can be assigned to a variable and reused that way.
There's an Eclipse version of this book that came out this year. I reviewed it and both are of good quality. Eclipse is more marketable than NetBeans so I lean towards suggesting that version.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher for reviewing it on behalf of CodeRanch.