My favorite book for those coming from a C++ background. Bruce Eckel explains complicated things about Java with the casual clarity of a conversation between two smart colleagues. You'll spend a lot of time reading this book. I must get Bert his own copy; he keeps going after mine.(cowgirl May 1999)
I thought the coverage of object-oriented programming in the book was quite good. Overall, though, I am not a big fan of this book. I'm new to programming, but I had done some online tutorials and read Sams Teach Yourself Java 2 in 21 days prior to tackling this book. I thought the examples in the book poorly explained, the exercises don't build upon previous chapters, and the alleged answer guide for the exercises should have been included with the book as opposed to currently non-existant. I am a big fan of looking at someone else's work to see if there is a way I can improve on what I do. This book doesn't provide that. Matthew Phillips
The concept of offering the entire book online for free is so cool that I immediately went out and bought a real copy of this book. Well, that and the fact that I didn't want to spent $150 in ink cartridges printing the book at home . Check out www.bruceeckel.com to browse the book before you buy it.
"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
I love this book but it definitely is not for a raw beginner programmer. Eckel states that a knowledge of C/C++ is a prerequisite. But the chapter on interfaces/abstract classes is worth the price of admission by itself.
This is the de facto book for programmers who want to get into serious Java programming. It covers the majority of area's which new comer's to Java really need to get up to speed with. If you're one of those guys who likes to WHAM-BAM-IN-21 days/hours etc. then this book is probably not for you! Bruce takes his time to build up the language for you to use in a long term way. Even after you've finished reading the book you'll still have to keep it around for Java basics referencing. If you're reading for the Sun Certification exams then using this book as your main reference would not really be a good idea. The span and depth of the material would probably be a distraction. I should know, I tried! For that you should get a book that specifically focuses on the exam. Akanimo.
My own feeling is that learning the language to pass the exam is going about it exactly backwards. You should learn the language first, writing programs and getting a solid understanding of what Java is about and how it works. At that point you should look to studying for the certification exam.
A very effective method of learning Java is to go through Thinking in Java one chapter at a time, and at the end of each chapter view the corresponding audio/slide presentation from Bruce Eckel's cd Hands On Java. It really makes what you read stick and click. Julia
I thought the examples in the book poorly explained, the exercises don't build upon previous chapters..
Now this is not true: exercises DO build upon previous chapter's codes. It is not an easy book to read and if you have the stamina the go thru the book you will certainly learn a lot. After reading the entire book with only 2 months of Java knowledge I thought I ate bad mushrooms : dazed and confused, but surely it caused an addiction : right after his book I read Mughal's book ( SCJP ). stay away from those 21 day & nite books (If you want to become a serious Java programmer) it is total waste of time. Anyway this is a must read