Java books and/references

Discussion in 'Java' started by dave keeler, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. dave keeler

    dave keeler Guest

    Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I have an
    early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first edition.) I am doing
    some gui stuff, so my assuption is that I will need something with swing.
    What do people in this group think are most indispensible, helpful,
    understandable books available?

    I hate asking such an open ended question It is just that I have been
    looking at a few books and it seems to be a difficult decision considering
    the price and getting what I want.
    dave keeler, Jul 29, 2005
    #1
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  2. "dave keeler" <> wrote in message
    news:URpGe.45363$...
    > Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    > appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I have an
    > early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first edition.) I am

    doing
    > some gui stuff, so my assuption is that I will need something with swing.
    > What do people in this group think are most indispensible, helpful,
    > understandable books available?
    >
    > I hate asking such an open ended question It is just that I have been
    > looking at a few books and it seems to be a difficult decision considering
    > the price and getting what I want.
    >
    >


    Take a look at the Java book recommendations (and reviews) at
    TechBookReport: http://www.techbookerport.com/JavaIndex.html
    TechBookReport, Jul 29, 2005
    #2
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  3. "TechBookReport" <> wrote in message
    news:Y0qGe.7666$...
    >
    > "dave keeler" <> wrote in message
    > news:URpGe.45363$...
    > > Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    > > appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I have

    an
    > > early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first edition.) I am

    > doing
    > > some gui stuff, so my assuption is that I will need something with

    swing.
    > > What do people in this group think are most indispensible, helpful,
    > > understandable books available?
    > >
    > > I hate asking such an open ended question It is just that I have been
    > > looking at a few books and it seems to be a difficult decision

    considering
    > > the price and getting what I want.
    > >
    > >

    >
    > Take a look at the Java book recommendations (and reviews) at
    > TechBookReport: http://www.techbookerport.com/JavaIndex.html
    >
    >

    Sorry, that should be http://www.techbookreport.com/JavaIndex.html
    TechBookReport, Jul 29, 2005
    #3
  4. dave keeler

    Bryce Guest

    On Fri, 29 Jul 2005 13:07:00 GMT, "dave keeler" <>
    wrote:

    >Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    >appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I have an
    >early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first edition.) I am doing
    >some gui stuff, so my assuption is that I will need something with swing.
    >What do people in this group think are most indispensible, helpful,
    >understandable books available?


    Try the latest edition of THinking in Java. Its free on his website.

    >I hate asking such an open ended question It is just that I have been
    >looking at a few books and it seems to be a difficult decision considering
    >the price and getting what I want.
    >



    --
    now with more cowbell
    Bryce, Jul 29, 2005
    #4
  5. On 2005-07-29, dave keeler penned:
    > Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    > appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I
    > have an early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first
    > edition.) I am doing some gui stuff, so my assuption is that I will
    > need something with swing. What do people in this group think are
    > most indispensible, helpful, understandable books available?


    I have the third edition of TiJ, and I love it because it addresses so
    many nits and corner cases of the language. It's not a "teach
    yourself java in x days" type book ... it goes deeper. But precisely
    because of that, I don't think it's great at teaching you the basics
    of anything; it's like the professor who kept going on really
    interesting tangents, but maybe didn't always address the material
    that ended up on the tests. If you already knew something about the
    subject of the course, it was an awesome class, but if you were just
    starting out, you'd just be frustrated.

    Er, hope I didn't stretch that analogy too far.

    --
    monique

    Ask smart questions, get good answers:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    Monique Y. Mudama, Jul 29, 2005
    #5
  6. dave keeler

    . Guest

    On Fri, 29 Jul 2005, dave keeler wrote:

    > Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    > appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I have an
    > early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first edition.) I am doing
    > some gui stuff, so my assuption is that I will need something with swing.
    > What do people in this group think are most indispensible, helpful,
    > understandable books available?
    >
    > I hate asking such an open ended question It is just that I have been
    > looking at a few books and it seems to be a difficult decision considering
    > the price and getting what I want.


    If you are not new to programming but you are new to Java programming then
    I'd recommend Learning Java by Patrick Niemeyer & Jonathan Knudsen,
    published by O'Reilly.

    Let see Java as a language with a good set of GUI libraries, e.g. swing.
    So the hello world example starts with AWT and quickly introduces you to
    Swing and layouts.

    I learned Java back at the beginning but moved away from it in 1999. I got
    back into Java last year and bought Learning Java as a refresher book. I'm
    glad I did because so much has changed since 1999 that I might as well be
    learning it for the first time.

    --
    Send e-mail to: darrell dot grainger at utoronto dot ca
    ., Jul 29, 2005
    #6
  7. dave keeler

    Hal Rosser Guest

    I like the way Walter Savitch explains Swing in his book:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...104-9953053-2587956?v=glance&s=books&n=507846


    "dave keeler" <> wrote in message
    news:URpGe.45363$...
    > Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    > appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I have an
    > early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first edition.) I am

    doing
    > some gui stuff, so my assuption is that I will need something with swing.
    > What do people in this group think are most indispensible, helpful,
    > understandable books available?
    >
    > I hate asking such an open ended question It is just that I have been
    > looking at a few books and it seems to be a difficult decision considering
    > the price and getting what I want.
    >
    >
    Hal Rosser, Jul 29, 2005
    #7
  8. dave keeler

    Nobody Guest

    TechBookReport wrote:
    > "TechBookReport" <> wrote in message
    > news:Y0qGe.7666$...
    >
    >>"dave keeler" <> wrote in message
    >>news:URpGe.45363$...
    >>
    >>>Without going deeply into my background in relation to java, I would
    >>>appreciate some guidance regarding the best overall java book. (I have

    >
    > an
    >
    >>>early edition of Thinking in Java - might be the first edition.)


    TIJ is not for beginners. I see it more as an explanation of OO and good
    programming philosophy, communicated in terms of Java.

    > Sorry, that should be http://www.techbookreport.com/JavaIndex.html


    For Swing GUI stuff, as well as overall Java 2 library information, I
    have used the Horton reference (Beginning Java 2) mentioned on the page
    at the techbookreport URL. I believe there's a newer version for Java
    1.5. The examples are copious and I recommend it.

    Don't forget that Sun constantly updates its tutorial, and many people
    overlook it. Best of all, it's free and the source code is right there.
    Nobody, Aug 1, 2005
    #8
  9. dave keeler

    Chris Smith Guest

    Nobody <> wrote:
    > TIJ is not for beginners. I see it more as an explanation of OO and good
    > programming philosophy, communicated in terms of Java.
    >
    > > Sorry, that should be http://www.techbookreport.com/JavaIndex.html

    >
    > For Swing GUI stuff, as well as overall Java 2 library information, I
    > have used the Horton reference (Beginning Java 2) mentioned on the page
    > at the techbookreport URL. I believe there's a newer version for Java
    > 1.5. The examples are copious and I recommend it.


    I'd give the opposite recommendation. Bruce Eckel's book is definitely
    wordy and long-winded and sometimes outright annoying stylistically, but
    it's really the best introductory book on Java out there. Ivor Horton's
    book, on the other hand, is absolutely notorious -- a poster child for
    horrible books that gloss over important language details and
    deliberately mislead the reader just to avoid explaining a more involved
    concept. Horton's book is not appropriate for anyone. (I haven't read
    the updated Java 5 version... but the reviews I've seen have indicated
    that this situation has not changed.)

    --
    www.designacourse.com
    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Aug 1, 2005
    #9
  10. dave keeler

    Nobody Guest

    Chris Smith wrote:
    > Nobody <> wrote:
    >
    >>TIJ is not for beginners. I see it more as an explanation of OO and good
    >>programming philosophy, communicated in terms of Java.
    >>
    >>
    >>>Sorry, that should be http://www.techbookreport.com/JavaIndex.html

    >>
    >>For Swing GUI stuff, as well as overall Java 2 library information, I
    >>have used the Horton reference (Beginning Java 2) mentioned on the page
    >>at the techbookreport URL. I believe there's a newer version for Java
    >>1.5. The examples are copious and I recommend it.

    >
    >
    > I'd give the opposite recommendation. Bruce Eckel's book is definitely
    > wordy and long-winded and sometimes outright annoying stylistically, but
    > it's really the best introductory book on Java out there.


    I agree, if the reader is not new to OO programming and/or software
    design. I love Eckel's book for showing the dimensions of the language,
    the philosophy behind why things are done the way they are, etc. This is
    all very important stuff. I have taught OO software design for years at
    a university, and I know from experiencee that Eckel's book doesn't go
    over well with students having little programming experience. I have
    even tried to use it for my courses and found it too intellectual, for
    lack of a better term.

    If I recall, the first writer of this thread asked about GUI/Swing
    stuff, and unfortunately Eckel's examples are mostly within a JApplet
    context. Although that's not bad, it's limited if you are doing other
    stuff, such as JFrame applications.

    > Ivor Horton's
    > book, on the other hand, is absolutely notorious -- a poster child for
    > horrible books that gloss over important language details and
    > deliberately mislead the reader just to avoid explaining a more involved
    > concept.


    "Poster child for horrible books" and "deliberately mislead", are a
    strong phrases that lack hard facts. Besides, you know what they say
    about opinions... :)

    Anyway, I say, the right tool for the right job. I don't think that
    Horton has ever mislead me. If one doesn't go into every philosophical
    detail, that doesn't equate to lying by omission.

    A good reference lets you see down-and-dirty, cut-to-the-quick examples
    without getting philosophical, so you can get a job done. I specifically
    recall Horton being useful for things like the first time I wanted to
    use a JList, a JOptionPane dialog, an implementation of Comparable or a
    Comparator, etc. That is stuff I didn't easily find as usable in Eckel,
    because of the JApplet bias and the philosophical wrapping.

    For that matter, most of those examples can also be found in the Java
    tutorial, which I still think is the best for the money. Sometimes it's
    nice to have a physical book to look at, and Horton's is one I've found
    worth its weight.

    Again, I wasn't slamming Eckel (note the lack of drama in my tone), but
    I would say Eckel is not great as a reference, much like Kernighan and
    Ritchie isn't the best *reference* for C/Unix either.

    > Horton's book is not appropriate for anyone. (I haven't read
    > the updated Java 5 version... but the reviews I've seen have indicated
    > that this situation has not changed.)


    Those are more, radically strong words to which one is entitled on
    Usenet. :) Judgment about the usefulness of a review is left to the reader.

    Google turned up this review of the Horton 1.5 book, which is fairly
    objective:

    http://www.unixreview.com/documents/s=9602/ur0503q/

    Since I mentioned my software design course, I can say that the book I
    *do* use now is OO Design and Patterns by Cay Horstmann. It only has a
    short-chapter, "crash course" on Java programming, and it's definitely
    not a reference on the language. But it's only about an inch thick... It
    talks about frameworks, coupling, reuse, unit testing, design patterns,
    etc., i.e., much more than just Java, with a case study throughout.
    Nobody, Aug 1, 2005
    #10
  11. take any book on swing and start coding. ;-)
    Any doubts post on various forums.
    dont stress on books.
    The alchemist, Aug 2, 2005
    #11
  12. On 1 Aug 2005 21:38:39 -0700, The alchemist wrote:

    > take any book on swing and start coding. ;-)
    > Any doubts post on various forums.
    > dont stress on books.


    Forums are not a *substitute* for books,
    colleagues (workmates/tutors/lecturers),
    documentation (in whatever form) and a
    search engine.

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    physci.org 1point1c.org javasaver.com lensescapes.com athompson.info
    Torn From Tomorrow's Headlines
    Andrew Thompson, Aug 2, 2005
    #12
  13. dave keeler

    Chris Smith Guest

    Nobody <> wrote:
    > "Poster child for horrible books" and "deliberately mislead", are a
    > strong phrases that lack hard facts. Besides, you know what they say
    > about opinions... :)


    Nevertheless, having read Ivor Horton's book (an older edition), I
    believe that these words are very true. The book isn't just lacking in
    details; it fails to even try to impart any kind of conceptual
    understanding of what programmers are doing. It's a book of a lot of
    magic phrases. In many cases, the book is flat wrong (in at least one
    edition, for example, in something as basic as its explanation of what
    polymorphism means, IIRC). In some cases the author seems to have
    obviously made up stuff that just sounds good, when explaining a concept
    that has nothing to do with his explanation.

    Lots of sample code is good for someone with an intermediate
    understanding of the language who can read and understand the code. The
    problem is when someone without strong language-level knowledge comes
    along, and the author is constantly taking the easy (and often wrong)
    way out. Sure, 95% of the book is fine; but in the end, the parts that
    aren't fine are steering people for a train wreck.

    > Google turned up this review of the Horton 1.5 book, which is fairly
    > objective:
    >
    > http://www.unixreview.com/documents/s=9602/ur0503q/


    Unfortunately, you've just proven that some people know even less than
    Ivor Horton. Even if you want a favorable review of the book, there are
    favorable reviews from people who aren't so obviously confused. At
    least you can find someone who doesn't think that JNDI has something to
    do with records from Oracle databases... right?

    --
    www.designacourse.com
    The Easiest Way To Train Anyone... Anywhere.

    Chris Smith - Lead Software Developer/Technical Trainer
    MindIQ Corporation
    Chris Smith, Aug 2, 2005
    #13
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