Mike Klein

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since Jun 22, 2009
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Recent posts by Mike Klein

I've been working through the Head First Java book (2nd edition), and things were going pretty well until chapter 6. Now I'm totally lost and frustrated. I apologize in advance, but this is going to be a bit long and rant-ish. But I REALLY want to learn java and now I'm very discouraged.

It seems like there are two main things that should be accomplished in CH6: learning to use some java pre-built classes, and fixing the DotCom game. I pretty much follow everything up through page 133, then things start going horribly wrong.

On page 134 they want me to compare ArrayLists to regular arrays in a "Sharpen Your Pencil" exercise. Like "how would you get the size of a regular array"? I have no idea, and the index in the book is awful.

On page 139 there is a class. Cool. I want to type in the class and see it work. But it doesn't work. Something about setLocationCells being passed an int, but expecting a String. Or is that a <String>? Is there a difference? I have no idea. I thought strings were declared with [].

Now on page 140 it looks like they're going to introduce multi-dimensional arrays, but then they don't. But on page 141 they're talking about 3 classes - and they proceed to print multiple versions of some of the classes, but not all the classes you'd need to actually have a running program, and with tons of junk scribbled amongst it. And then on pages 146 and 147 there's an exercise to match up code to annotations, but then they never give you the answers, so I don't know if I'm right or not. Now there's some stuff about booleans, then more "ready-bake" code, then to a really well written few pages about "Using the Library (the java API).

ARGH!

This chapter seems to present things in the most illogical, random, and confusing way possible. I'm not even sure what I was supposed to have learned in this chapter, and since there's really nothing except a "code magnet" exercise, I have no way to check that I really understand this stuff before proceeding to the next chapter. I also thought I was going to be writing some code, or at least typing in some code..?
10 years ago
Actually, I'd recommend that you NOT get Head First Java. I've been working through the book and I find it incredibly frustrating.

Sorry, I don't have a recommendation for other books - that's why I'm here too!
10 years ago