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Java Beginner's Book :
Beginning Java 2

Beginning Java 2
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Beginning Java 2
by Ivor Horton

Perfect Paperback: 1109 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 1.93 x 9.12 x 7.26
Publisher: Wrox Press Inc
ISBN: 1861002238; 1st edition (February 1999) Beginning Java 2 is one of the two best introductory Java 2 books available. (The other is Peter van der Linden's Just Java 1.2.) Assuming nothing more than curiosity and tenacity, this book explains how to create programs with the Java programming language. And not just simple, academic programs either--the applets and applications that Ivor Horton describes in later chapters take advantage of the latest features of Java 2.

After a brief introduction to the characteristics of Java, Beginning Java 2 digs into variables, data types, operators, control structures, and basic Java syntax--the stuff you absolutely have to understand in order to get anything done. Horton then explains streams, files, and threads before getting into the graphical stuff, where he details how to build attractive, functional user interfaces with the Swing components (with solid coverage of the Java 2 event model). Later chapters address Java2D graphics and database connectivity. The author treats object orientation as integral to the rest of Java programming, which is appropriate to the language.

Readers get to see how concepts work, as regular Try It Out sections include illustrative code listings and the resulting output. The author and publisher deserve kudos for printing the complete source code of example programs rather than just key excerpts. These example programs also appear on the publisher's Web site. --David Wall

Book Description: This book has now been updated to cover JDK 1.3. This updated book is Beginning Java 2- JDK 1.3 edition, by Ivor Horton (ISBN- 1861003668). The Java 2 platform, which is the release name for JDK 1.2, was released in December 1998. Java 2 is an important stage in the evolution of Java as a serious programming language. There are no substantial changes to the language - instead JavaSoft have focussed on extending class library support for common programming tasks.

This includes an improved, device-independent set of graphics libraries, the Java Foundation Classes (JFC), which includes Swing, Java2D and improved printing. These answer many of the criticisms of the original AWT graphics packages, and are both very flexible and very complete. There's also a new Collections API, a set of classes to help you look after collections of related objects. There are also substantial changes in threading, serialization and JDBC 2.0.

Book Info: Teaches the Java language from scratch with fully revised information for the Java 2 platform. Fully explains object-oriented programming, and provides a comprehensive introduction to Swing. Covers applets and animation in Java2D.

From the Publisher: One of the reviewers, Ron Phillips, commenting on Chapter 15 Extending the GUI, said, "... lots of really good information ... This chapter alone ... makes Beginning Java worth the price ..."

About the Author: After countless years in the computer industry both doing and managing, Ivor has taken up writing on programming topics for relaxation. When not relaxing, he takes an interest in cosmology, cacti, chaos and cameras, and does a little editing of other people's efforts on the side.

Customer Reviews
A great textbook introducing Java 2, May 12, 2000
Reviewer: rmaciel from Campinas, Brazil

I bought this book while attending to regular Java classes to complement my non-C programmer background. I soon realized that this is a textbook for a Java 2 introductory course. Its chained chapters must be read in sequence and thoroughly for full appreciation.

Used in this way, it is wonderful. Ivor Horton is a great professor, does not leave anything behind and found in his organized and practical book the best order to provide one's first contact with the intricacies of Java. I also liked to see that examples runned as expected. Keep in mind that this book is not a reference work. It is not designed for your expedite picking of information bits needed when you are writing your own programs.

The book teaches basic Java 2 - absolutely complete about the basics - but does not even mention more advanced features like networking or beans. You will need another book for that. True, the title "Beginning" and the introduction should hint us about this, but it is far from intuitive given the massive 1100+ pages of the book. Believe, the heavy size is due to Java's complexity and not to author's verbosity.

Two thumbs up!, June 17, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from New York

You get your money's worth, and then some, with this book. There is an awful lot to learn about Java before you can do much of anything useful with it--but once you've learned it, it's tremendously powerful. Ivor Horton has done an amazing job of packing all of the fundamental concepts of this amazing language into only 1000 pages.

As has been noted before, the average newbie to programming will find it challenging (but not impossible) to keep up. This is not because there is anything wrong with the book, but just because learning Java is not a trivial undertaking. To overcome any possible difficulties, I would recommend that newer users spend extra time experimenting with the exercises at the end of each chapter. In any case, unless you are some sort of bithead genius or a seasoned pro in C++, you should give yourself at least 10-12 weekends to let it all sink in thoroughly.

Buy this book, read each and every page (several times, if necessary), and do all the exercises. Then you'll be ready to start doing serious work in Java.

Beginning Java 2, JDK 1.3 Edition, February 23, 2002
Reviewer: steve taylor from burlington, wa. United States

I have only read a few chapters so far. But i've discovered that if you have no programming experience, this book doesn't cover the basic concepts thoroughly. At the top of the cover it reads: "programmer to programmer". So the book assumes you at least have some background in other programming languages. In which case, if I had, I may have given the book 5 stars. But if your a true beginner to programming I think it would be a good idea to purchase a book that covers the concepts of java, such as "Beginning Java Objects/Jacquie Barker ". (recommended at their All the same i'm glad I have this book, it covers Java very well, plus I will be reading it as soon as I finish learning the basics. They also have an interactive website. Certainly not a waste of money considering the return. Java programming has vast libraries of information, so reading a couple of books should be nothing. But don't be put off, it can also be fun along the way, if you understand the concepts first.

Quite useful, December 26, 2001
Reviewer: Prateek Gupta from Naperville, IL United States

I have used this since I started to learn Java. It has been quite useful, though the major handicap is that at several places, it uses continuation of previous examples, rather than fresh examples. This results in some discomfort in using this as a reference guide, although it is great as a sit-through reading book.

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