Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition Paperback – Jul 13 2011
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About the Author
Herbert Schildt is a world leading programming author. He is an authority on the C, C++, Java, and C# programming languages, and a master Windows programmer. His programming books have sold more than three million copies worldwide and have been translated into all major foreign languages. He is the author of numerous best sellers including C: The Complete Reference, Java 2: The Complete Reference, Java 2: A Beginner's Guide, C#: A Beginner's Guide, and many more. Schildt holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois.
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The book does not use an IDE to create, compile, and run the programs. It uses javac and java commands to compile and run. I used both the SDK command lines and the IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition to compile and run the programs. Both worked fine, but I also have an interest in learning to use IntelliJ IDEA.
The book covers the Java language, the Java Library, Software Development with Java Beans, Swing, Servlets, and ends with building 2 sample applications.
The book covers Data Types and Operators, Control Statements, Classes, Objects, Methods, Packages, Interfaces, Exception Handling, Inheritance, I/O, Multithreading, Enumerations, Autoboxing, Static Import, Annotations, Generics, Applets, Events, AWT and Swing, Java's Documentation Comments, Varargs, Networking, Collections, Concurrent API, JavaBeans, and servlets.
All the code is available for download and is very well organize and usable. It is separated by chapter.
My favorite part of the book was that it spent a lot of time on UI topics. There were several good chapters on AWT and Swing. I also like the author's writing style. The book is a nice read as well as a good reference.
My main complaint about this book is that it includes almost all of the Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition. Anyone beginning Java would obviously start with Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition, but if I was to do it again, I would not bother with Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition. The only advantage the Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition book offers is that it is more of a tutorial oriented book. It has little extras like self-tests and hands on exercises.
My main complaint leads to my second complaint. I would have liked to see more on Servlets. There is a chapter that introduces them and then they are used in the sample applications, but I would have liked to see a lot more on them. I know the book is already huge, but if the Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition was not included in it, there would have been plenty of room for more on Servlets.
I have a C# background so the concepts and syntax were not that hard to pick up. What I needed was an overview of the libraries that are available with Java. I felt I got what I needed to jump start my Java learning path. I will be keeping this book handy to use as a reference in the future.
All in all I find this a great book for the beginner and the experienced Java programmer.
This is a good book for learning Java and I would recommend it for beginners. However, if you are like me and are looking for an actual reference, look elsewhere.
I use this book as a reference for very clear examples on how to do something. If the book does cover a topic, you can be sure that the explanations are concrete and very easy to understand. The book absolutely shines for its intended purpose. It makes a great supplemental book for most folks learning Java as an additional resource.
There is an absolutely fabulous example of a Swing application at the end of the book. It shows how to implement the Observer pattern, manage button states and threading within a Swing application. You can also get a general idea of how to architect a moderately complex Swing application from this example.
The table of contents is very well organized. For those without an electronic copy, this is of great value.
I do not solely recommend this book for someone completely new to Java. It misses on some key areas. For example, the chapter on Inheritance does not cover using @Override when overriding methods. Yet, in the same chapter it discusses how you can accidentally Overload a method without even mentioning this annotation. @Override is briefly mentioned later as a type of annotation but it does not explain good practices, how to use it, etc. Examples that use overriding themselves, do not use @Override! The concept of downcasting is not covered specifically. It's not until the chapter on I/O that isinstance is covered and its very briefly explained.
While I pointed out a great Swing example above, the book completely excludes any reference to SwingWorker. This is a great feature that was added in Java 6 for threading Swing applications.
There are no details on how to write hashCode methods for data objects. Again, I believe this points back to the weak coverage of Overriding methods. If your read this book end-to-end, you will have no idea what this entails when you start to manage collections of objects. Even a more antiquated book such as Ivor Horton's "Learning Java" covers this topic with great detail.
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