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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, once again
Although I acquired many Java books when I was first learning the language, Just Java and Sun's Java web-pages have become the only two resources I use on a daily basis. I expect that this new edition will quickly become as thumbed as my previous edition.
PvdL's biggest strength as a technical author is his background as a long-time programmer. He understands what an...
Published on July 16 2004 by Andrew Welsh

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, it covers lots of things
In general, this is a good book. Other people who commented have said that it's not a beginners book. Of course not. If you need to be tought the if/the/else and while/for instructions, there are other books for that. Now back to this book: Mr. Van Der Linden trashes other programming languages, specially C++, very often. He could have compared other languages to Java in...
Published on April 20 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, once again, July 16 2004
By 
Andrew Welsh (Hamburg, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
Although I acquired many Java books when I was first learning the language, Just Java and Sun's Java web-pages have become the only two resources I use on a daily basis. I expect that this new edition will quickly become as thumbed as my previous edition.
PvdL's biggest strength as a technical author is his background as a long-time programmer. He understands what an experienced programmer will look for in a general language reference book, and seeks to provide the information in a concise and witty form.
As an example of the clarity of the writing, I should note his explanation of autoboxing and Unboxing (new in Java2 1.5). This is already part of the .Net languages, but while the various .Net books I've read take long sections to try and explain the concept, Just Java 6 managed to explain it in little more than 1 page *and finally help me understand it fully*!
While this book certainly isn't for people who have never programmed before, it's a great resource for anyone who's coming to Java from another language. It's also not an in-depth treatment of every possible Java library - if you want a book that tells you about everything Swing does, for example, you should look elsewhere. What it does instead is to explain the basics of the libraries, give you a good grounding in their use, and then point you towards sources of other information should you need them.
An excellent update of an essential book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, it covers lots of things, April 20 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
In general, this is a good book. Other people who commented have said that it's not a beginners book. Of course not. If you need to be tought the if/the/else and while/for instructions, there are other books for that. Now back to this book: Mr. Van Der Linden trashes other programming languages, specially C++, very often. He could have compared other languages to Java in a professional and technical manner but he prefered to trash them instead. Eg, he finds Java a better language than C++ because Java does not have an explicit destructor. I still don't understand his point of Java being a better language because of that. He also uses terminologies that are sometimes incorrect in the context of the discussion. Other than that, this book is one of the better Java books and covers a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Java - Head First, April 13 2004
By 
Michael V. Torchio (Dedham, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
This book makes Learning java fun. After 2 college courses in Java, this book made the little and slightly confusing aspects of Java completely understandable with little effort. I think it would be helpful to have a little programming background first, though. The best Java book on the market for almost anyone attempting to learn the basics of Java. I highly recommend it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just Java 2, 5th Ed, Oct. 27 2003
By 
DoNotForget "bk11220" (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
This book is not for beginners. The author does not begin talking about any programming until chap4. Furthermore, he keeps trashing Microsoft and other programming languages C, C++ and C#. If you wanna get a quickstart in programming Java, you will have to endure a lot of waiting. Otherwise, I think this book is interesting and comprehensive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any serious Java developer, June 9 2003
By 
W A BRANDI (rondebosch, cape town South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
Definately not for newbies, this book is packed with _USEFUL_ information for the intermediate to advanced Java developer. A big plus for me was that the author has a great sense of humour in discussing somewhat theoretical (and more often than not boring) as well as practical problems. Simply adds to the experience :)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected., March 27 2003
By 
Marc Maffei "mmfs" (Sonora, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
First: I still think it is a good book. BUT I wouldn't recommend it for the absolute beginner nor for that matter for the expert.
Second: his humor is only evident at the end of the chapters, leaving you to try and muddle thru the rest of the VERY dry chapter. =(
Third: I agree with a previous reviewer, PvDL has lost some of his enthusiasm for Java and possibly for writing.
OH and fourth: if you're an experienced Java coder, this is probably NOT a book you need.
So really that leaves the experienced programmer that is migrating to Java, or the experienced student that wishes to have a better idea of java than that which he can get from an introductionary book. =/
3 stars. Definitely NOT his best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great For Intermediate Level But Not For Beginners, Feb. 10 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
OK, for starters I am not a professional programmer. I do know the rudiments of a few programming languages (VB, C++, Java, Tcl, Linux Shell Script, JavaScript, etc.) and enjoy writing automated test scripts at work. I also like the process of learning new languages and writing short programs with them in my spare time.
"Just Java 2" is a great read and one of my favorite programming books (and I have stacks of them, some good, some bad, many so-so).
However, if you are completely new to programming "Just Java 2" is (probably) not the book for you. Instead, get a beginner level book (or two) on learning Java and programming basics and work your way through them.
Then, when you know the basics, sit down with "Just Java 2" in a bookstore and re-read Peter Van Der Linden's explanations of a few of the subjects that your beginner-level Java programming books tried to teach you ...especially subjects that you "kind of know" but wish you understood better. Chances are that this book's short yet lucid explanations will periodically set off little light bulbs of sudden understanding over your head and bring new clarity to your grasp of the Java language. It did for me.
I think this is a great intermediate level Java text and a clearly understandable introduction to more advanced subjects like the JDBC, Servlets and Java Beans.
As for other Java books, we all have our own learning styles and likes/dislikes but here's some of what I've found in my quest to teach myself Java.
1) I have personally found many of the O'Reilly books (on a range of subjects, not only Java) to be unsatisfyingly terse.
2) Ivor Horton's "Beginning Java 2" provides a lot of detail but in a long-winded, scattershot, myopic, stream-of-consciousness style that make it difficult to separate key kernels of knowledge from what amounts to background noise. In other words, the cloudy writing, apparent lack of coherent editing and poor formatting (e.g many unlabelled tables) tended to confuse me as much as educate me and turned attempts to later go back and locate and quickly reread key topics into long "Where's Waldo"-like wadings through "deep text".
3) Dietel & Dietel's "Java: How To Program" at the outset offers the Java novice clear and explicit line by line explanations of sample Java programs. However, about half way through the book that style really bogs way down in wordy detail and becomes tiresome as topics become more advanced. Still, it's not a bad book for an absolute beginner.
Anyway, that's my two cents.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still good but has PvdL lost some of his edge?, Jan. 5 2003
By 
Bob Nelson (Frisco, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
Maybe I'm guilty of holding van der Linden to a higher standard than most authors. After all, I consider "Deep C Secrets" to be one of the five best programming books of all time. Furthemore, since I have the first edition of "Just Java" and enjoyed it completely, I was hoping for more in the 5th edition.
In my opinion, some of the "fire has gone out of his belly" in this edition. In the earlier volume, PvdL was an unabased Java advocate and his out-and-out thrill for the language contributed to the passionate style throughout that made reading the technical material a joy. Perhaps because Java didn't live up to expectations on the client side, he's taken a far more subdued tone. The technical detail is still there (and the humor at end of each chapter is still delightful). But this 5th edition leaves the impression that van der Linden was less than enthused about writing another edition.
Also troubling is the Windows-centricity in this edition. Virtually all of the screenshots are shown using Java on Windows and much of the text presumes that is the environment the user has (unlike the earlier edition). Maybe van der Linden is getting pressured by his publisher to tone it down a bit and become more Windows-oriented...from "Sun Microsystems Press". (?) Still, it doesn't seem like the Peter van der Linden of a few years ago actually penned this version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book purchase I've made in a long time, Dec 13 2002
By 
David K. Land (San Diego, ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
As many of the other reviewers have already stated, the author does make the assumption that you're familiar with programming and OOP. Having said that, this is one of the finest programming books that I've ever purchased. In fact, I like the idea that he doesn't try to cater to absolute beginners. It clears the path for him to talk about all the good stuff like swing, XML, JDBC, Beans, and so many more of today's most relevant topics. This book covers just about all the import aspects of the Java language as well as all the important things that people are doing with Java. Aside from the content, the book really is a joy to read. It's smooth and easy to understand. The important points of the topics are emphasized and the not-so-important points are covered but not stressed. All in all, you end up feeling like you have a really good idea of how Java works and what people are using it for today. I really can't recommend this book enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book with breadth, but not for complete newbies, Dec 7 2002
This review is from: Just Java 2 (Paperback)
This is the third edition of Just Java that I've bought (this review is on the 5th ed), and I've found that the author has always been able to introduce new topics to me in a clear and humourous manner. This book isn't for complete newbies though; it seems targeted for those who already have programming experience and just want to get into Java. Myself, I had already had a university education in comp sci (with C and C++) when I picked up his 2nd edition in 1997 and started learning Java. Since then, these books have taught me basic Java semantics, RMI, AWT, applets, I/O, etc.
The best characteristic of this book is that it provides fantastic introductions to a wide range of topics; that is, it has great breadth but is otherwise lacking in depth on each topic. That's fine for me, and probably for most experienced programmers, because typically when learning a new topic, I just want a quick start (including what packages to use, how to get it working, and seeing initial results), and if I need a deeper understanding, I'll look online or buy a more focused book. This is how I've learned almost all my Java. Indeed, I recently bought the 5th edition to start learning about server-side technologies like JSP, servlets, and JDBC. It hasn't disappointed me.
One chapter I found outstanding is the one on I/O. The number of Java I/O classes is huge as all Java programmers know because the I/O library sacrifices ease-of-use for extreme generality. The author's explanation of when to use which classes is incredibly clear and is perhaps the best of any Java book I've read at giving you the big picture of the I/O library.
I really like this author's writing. His explanations are crystal clear. Example: his step-by-step explanation for setting up the Tomcat JSP/Servlet server was excellent (although some key points have been changed by the Tomcat folks since this book was published). This level of clarity probably comes from the fact that the author is a programmer himself, whereas most of the other intro Java books out there (especially those in the Core... series) are written by university professors or professional lecturers who try to keep everything extremely general. Such generality is not always helpful. In earlier books, the author seemed to intermingle his dry humour throughout the book, but thankfully he seems to have placed such humour only in isolated areas, such as the anecdotes at the end of each chapter.
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Just Java 2
Just Java 2 by Peter van der Linden (Paperback - Dec 21 2001)
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