December 3, 2004

Review of 'Just Java 2'

TBR writes "The best developer books are those where the author treats his or her readers as colleagues to be informed rather than inferior beings waiting to receive wisdom from on high. This is true whether the book deals with some arcane and complex technology or whether the book is pitched at an introductory level. There's no reason why a book that introduces a programming language should be any different - even if the material is, on the face of it, straightforward compared to the internals of compilers or operating systems or multi-variate statistics. This is a long-winded way of introducing 'Just Java 2', by Peter van der Linden, now into a sixth edition and updated for J2SE 1.5 (Tiger).

Written in a thoroughly engaging style, the book is both an introduction to the language and to the core J2SE libraries. This makes for a wide-ranging scope, covering everything from basic syntax, programming constructs (loops, flow control etc), objects (inheritance, polymorphism etc), files, network programming, introductions to XML, databases (JDBC), GUI programming (Swing) and a whole bunch more. It is then, a fairly complete introduction to the entire Java platform, even managing to touch on server-side programming with JSP and servlets.

The material is well-covered, with a good level of detail, useful code samples and a clear style that entertains as well as it instructs. While no prior Java knowledge is assumed, there is an assumption that the reader knows something about programming. So, while the book details how to create while loops in Java, it does not explain what a loop is. However, while the intention is to teach Java, the book certainly can work for someone who is new to programming as well."



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