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Java Beginner's Book :
Beginning Java Objects: From Concepts to Code

Beginning Java Objects: From Concepts to Code
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Beginning Java Objects: From Concepts to Code
by Jacquie Barker

Perfect Paperback: 665 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 1.46 x 9.13 x 7.26
Publisher: Wrox Press Inc
ISBN: 1861004176; 1st edition (November 2000) Learning to design objects effectively with Java is the goal of Beginning Java Objects: From Concepts to Code, an intensive yet approachable guide to object design, using UML and today's hottest programming language. Plenty of titles dig into the Java language in massive detail, but this one steps back and looks at object design first. The details of Java, from basic language features to a simple tutorial for building user interfaces in Swing, emerge only after a thorough tour of thinking in objects.

The book takes readers through object design, from the very beginning, at a relaxed pace. While you get all of the necessary jargon for really learning the object paradigm (for example, there's full coverage of such concepts as data encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism), the tutorial is likely to reach more readers. Without being doctrinaire about the design process, the author walks you through the steps for "discovering" objects in a business problem (including classes, attributes, and operations) and then determining how these objects work together to model real-world problems. The sample class diagrams offer quite a rich level of detail, and a single case study for a student course registration database demonstrates the design principles, including extensive class diagrams.

By the end of the book, this set of classes is transformed into working Java code, with a simple Swing-based user interface. Although the book cuts a few corners--such as using tab-delimited data instead of JDBC (a must for business programmers)--there's little doubt that this lively approach to mastering Java will benefit a wide range of readers. If ever you've been unsure about what object-oriented design really means, Beginning Java Objects can demystify important concepts and put the power of objects within your reach. --Richard Dragan

Book Description: Among Java's many attractive features as a programming language, its object-oriented nature is key to creating powerful, reusable code and applications that are easy to maintain and extend. To take advantage of these capabilities, you're going to need not only to master the syntax of the Java language, but also to gain a practical understanding of what objects are all about, and more importantly, how to structure a Java application from the ground up to make the most of objects.

Book Info: A guide for anyone wanting to learn Java 2 language, beginning with the basics. Offers example case studies for those already familiar with Java that may prove useful. Presents object terminology and concepts, how to think in terms of objects, an introduction of object modeling, translating an object model into Java 2, and more.

From the Publisher: This book is for anyone who wants to learn not only the Java 2 language, but also how to structure a problem properly from an object-oriented perspective. Even if you are already familiar with Java, this book will still be a valuable asset to you as you see an example case study evolve from its initial conception as an object model to implementation as a fully functional Java 2 application. This book makes a GREAT "prequel" OR sequel to Ivor Horton's "Beginning Java 2", another top seller from Wrox Press, Ltd.

From the Author: Time and again, I meet software developers who have attempted to master an OO programming language like Java by taking a course in Java, or by reading a book in Java, or by acquiring and using a Java integrated development environment (IDE) tool such as Forte, or Visual Café, or JBuilder, or Power J, or Kawa. However, there is something fundamentally missing: a basic understanding of what objects are all about, and more importantly, knowledge of how to structure a software application from the ground up to make the most of objects. I wrote my book for anyone who wants to get the most out of an object-oriented programming language like Java; this includes:
• Anyone who has yet to tackle Java, but who wants to get off on the right foot with the language.

• Anyone who has ever purchased a book on Java, and who has read it faithfully; who understands the 'bits and bytes' of the language, but who doesn't quite know how to structure an application to best take advantage of the OO features of the language.

• Anyone who has purchased a Java integrated development environment (IDE) software tool, but who really only knows how to drag and drop graphical user interface (GUI) components and to add a little bit of logic behind buttons, menus, etc. without any real sense of how to properly structure the core of the application around objects.

• Anyone who has built a Java application, but was disappointed with how difficult it was to maintain/modify when new requirements were presented later in the application's lifecycle.

• Anyone who has previously learned something about object modeling, but is 'fuzzy' on how to transition from an object model to real, live code (Java or otherwise).

The bottom line is that anyone who really wants to master an OO language like Java must become an expert in objects first, and my book is designed to help you do just that. I hope you enjoy it!

About the Author: Jacquie Barker is a professional software engineer and adjunct faculty member at both The George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University. With over 20 years of experience as a software developer and project manager, she has spent the past nine years focusing on object technology, and has become proficient as a "hands on" object modeler and Sun Microsystems certified Java programmer. Jacquie is currently employed as a principal member of the technical staff at SRA International, Inc. in Fairfax, Virginia, where she consults for both public and private sector clients. Previous employers include IBM, TRW, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Price Waterhouse.

Jacquie earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering with highest honors from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was also inducted into the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society. She later received a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science, focusing on software systems engineering, from UCLA, and has subsequently pursued post-graduate education in information technology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

On a personal note, Jacquie has a passion for her husband Steve, chocolate, pet rats, and programming in Java. When not engaged in "nerding", Jacquie and Steve enjoy tandem bicycling, motorcycle road trips through the Virginia countryside, backpacking, vacations at the beach, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Excerpted from Beginning Java Objects by Jacquie Barker. Copyright © 2000. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved (Excerpt from the Introduction - Copyright 2000 Jacquie Barker)
Imagine that you have been asked to build a house, and that you know the basics of home construction. In fact, you are a world-renowned home builder whose services are in high demand! Your client tells you that all of the materials you will need for building this home are going to be delivered to you. On the day construction is to begin, a truck pulls up at the building site and unloads a large pile of strange, blue, star shaped blocks with holes in the middle. You are totally baffled! You have built countless homes using materials like lumber, brick, and stone, and know how to approach a building project using these familiar materials; but you haven't got a clue about how to assemble a house using blue stars.

Scratching your head, you pull out a hammer and some nails and try to nail the blue stars together as if you were working with lumber, but the stars don't fit together very well. You then try to fill in the gaps with the same mortar that you would use to adhere bricks to one another, but the mortar doesn't stick to these blue stars very well. Because you are working under tight cost and schedule constraints for building this home for your client, however (and because you are too embarrassed to admit that you, as an 'expert' builder, don't know how to work with these modern materials), you press on. Eventually, you wind up with something that looks (on the outside, at least) like a house.

Your client comes to inspect the work, and is terribly disappointed. One of reasons he had selected blue stars as a construction material was that they are extremely energy efficient; but, because you have used nails and mortar to assemble the stars, they have lost a great deal of their inherent ability to insulate the home. To compensate, your client asks you to replace all of the windows in the home with thermal glass windows so that they will allow less heat to escape. You are panicking at this point! Swapping out the windows will take as long, if not longer, than it has taken to build the house in the first place, not to mention the cost of replacing stars that will be damaged in the renovation process. When you tell your customer this, he goes ballistic! Another reason that he selected blue stars as the construction material was because of their recognized flexibility and ease of accommodating design changes; but, because of the ineffective way in which you assemble! d these stars, you are going to have to literally rip them apart and replace a great many of them.

This is, sad to say, the way many programmers wind up building an OO application when they don't have appropriate training in how to approach the project from the perspective of objects. Worse yet, the vast majority of would-be OO programmers are blissfully ignorant of the need to understand objects in order to program in an OO language. So, they take off programming with a language like Java and wind up with a far from ideal result: a program which lacks flexibility when an inevitable 'mid course correction' occurs in terms of a change in the requirements specification, as when new functionality needs to be introduced after an application has been deployed.

Customer Reviews
Start Here!, May 22, 2001
Reviewer: iagainsti from Burbank, Ca.

Being new to programming, and wanting to get off to a good start, I agonized over which book to begin with. Should I start with Deitel's "Java: How to Program?" Or how about Horton's "Beginning Java 2"? Or maybe Schildt's entry level java text? It was all so confusing! Then I happened upon this excellent book, and I knew immediately that this was the one. Let's face it, in today's programming world the OO paradigm is where it's at. Unfortunately, however, many introductory books focus on code first and object oriented thinking second. This is completely wrong!

As children, we learn the concepts of words first, and then later, in school, we learn how to properly organize those concepts into prose. Should it be any different in learning a programming language? I think not. The fact is that one must have a solid understanding of the object oriented paradigm before one can really be an effective programmer, and this book provides the reader with just such an understanding. It is very readable--fascinating, even--and will allow one to better understand what the many fine "introductory" java books such as those mentioned above are really taking about.

Excellent Text for beginners, April 29, 2002
Reviewer: Vaibhav Gowadia from Columbia, SC

As the title of the book suggests, this book is more about Object Oriented Modeling rather than being a Java only book. This book is intended to be a university textbook. Thus, it has few exercise questions at end of each chapter. All examples in the book revolve around a Student Registration System application developed in java. The organization of chapters is in three sections. First section focuses on basic OO concepts. The second section gives introduction of UML and some Java concepts like Garbage Collection and Exception Handling. Having laid down all the basic stuff i.e. OO concepts and model, the third section of the book is mainly about implementation. It describes GUI Layout fundamentals, Frames, Panels and Listener classes.

The book is easy to follow and useful for beginners. I will recommend this book to everyone who wants to start learning OO programming. Basic OO concepts are presented in the book in nice way. I have not read any other book doing it in such a simple way. Other books tend to get more abstract or complicated. This book presents a nice mix of code and OO Modeling.

Definitely a beginners book, May 19, 2002
Reviewer: lsacco from San Diego, CA United States

I bought on recommendation only to find the first five chapters review. The UML coverage is decent, but I disagree with the approach somewhat, using noun/verb analysis and functional decomposition. I don't believe this is the best approach for developing OO solutions. A book I highly recommend for getting your arms around OO we a design patterns spin is "Design Patterns Explained." Takes the Gof4 book and breaks it down to easy to understand conceptual examples.

Excellent book for explaining the O-O paradigm, April 30, 2002
Reviewer: W Brandes from Baltimore, MD USA

This book enabled me to understand O-O concepts, e.g., "static" and polymorphism, that I just could not figure out despite having taken a Java programming class, and having read a number of other Java books and on-line tutorials. I was seriously stuck in my ability to progress with the language until I read this book. Now I'm going for the SCJP certification. By far the best book I've found for explaining the O-O paradigm in a way that makes sense to me.

Also, I really appreciated the clear and non-confusing code examples. I find many programming books include unecessarily complex code examples, or throw in new concepts in a code example without explaining them first, or letting you know they are coming. This causes confusion and frustration, and interferes with learning. It was refreshing that this book did none of that. I'm greatly looking forward to Ms Barker's next book.

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