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34 Reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, not the best for a beginner...
I bought this book because I liked Mr. Horton's style of writing and the fact that the book maintained its consistency because it didn't have 50 writers working on the same book!
Now for the bad part. If your looking for a good book to quickly get you up to speed in Java, this won't be it. Mr. Horton seems to give way too much information for a beginner's book (yes...
Published on June 25 2002 by C. Taylor

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars obsolete items
The first chapter I read from this book was on threading. It mentioned about stop() method. hm... this method has been deprecated in version 1.4 So I wonder, did they just change the cover of the 1.2 book and make it 1.4? Or, they actually revise the content to reflect this is the new Java version 1.4.
I think it was written before 1.4 release came out. I haven't...
Published on May 31 2003 by max power


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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, not the best for a beginner..., June 25 2002
By 
C. Taylor (California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
I bought this book because I liked Mr. Horton's style of writing and the fact that the book maintained its consistency because it didn't have 50 writers working on the same book!
Now for the bad part. If your looking for a good book to quickly get you up to speed in Java, this won't be it. Mr. Horton seems to give way too much information for a beginner's book (yes this can be a bad thing). He explains a new concept (such as what an inner class is), and then gives you so much detail over so many pages that you've forgotten what the point of the chapter was in the first place. I like nitty gritty details as much as the next programmer, but let me get a firm handle on the basics before beating me over the head with every little nuance and idiosyncracy of every part of the language. This made the chapters seem longer than many of them really were and I didn't feel like I was making much headway (which isn't good for a book with 1000 + pages)!
Also, many of the examples seem better suited to pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science than learning Java. For example, when he was explaining what Java Classes are, he used enough math in there that it took me longer to figure what his code did than how to use Java Classes!
I would recommend The Java(TM) Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics from Sun if you want to get up to speed quickly and start programming right away with Java. Then I would fall back on Bruce Eckel's book, Thinking in Java and Ivor's Java 2 to gain a broader and deeper knowledge of the language and how to use it more effectively.
So don't get me wrong, this is not a bad book, just not the one I would choose to start learning Java with. This book would have been better titled as "Java 2, The Almost Complete Reference" or "Professional Java Development".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, well-written, and comprehensive, June 9 2004
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This review is from: Beginning Java 2 (Paperback)
While the voluminous nature of Horton's introduction may scare away a Java beginner, they should know that there is no better introduction to the language and the library. Horton uses visual aids whenever it brings added clarity to a situation, and spends just the right amount of time in each chapter on preliminary text-book style writing before throwing any Try-it-out programs at you. Like all Wrox books, if you don't understand how the code works, there's a short explanation of the syntax and classes involved following each example.
The book teaches Java from the ground-up - starting with object orientation and basic language syntax. These first few chapters are solid explanatory.
Next, the chapters on classes, inheritance, and exception handling describe the more advanced language concepts with just as much clarity as the more elementary information.
The core library features are given attention and a large portion of the book is devoted to GUIs and drawing. I have never seen a more in depth and yet understandable guide that doesn't assume prior knowledge of the concepts. Additionally, Horton only uses the newest and most robust methods of doing things when there's a choice; for example, he opts to use the New I/O API rather than the old file input and output streams, but still gives you an explanation and example of how the basic streams work before bringing in the new material.
I cannot recommend this book more for someone who wants to learn Java. The only requirement is some free time and devotion. Even if you don't intend to read the entire thing, the first 10 chapters alone are worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on Java - recommended, May 30 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
I bought this book as an introduction to Java programming. I found that it offered both general Java programming concepts and Java programming code in just the right measure to make learning the Java language easy (or as easy as learning a new language can be). I strongly recommend this book for beginners.
The examples are clear, relevant and concise. Each example is followed by an explanation of the preceding code segments to ensure that the reader understands all of the example. Where it is necessary to mention a topic before it's time, the author specifically states that the topic will be covered in detail later in the book (with a reference to the chapter). This works well, as it is easier to defer some material until you have a better understanding of the basics.
Since each chapter builds on material learned in previous chapters, I would strongly advise anyone using this book to take the chapters in sequence. It is very tempting to jump to the parts of the book that interests you most, but to do that would make your task of understanding those 'interesting' parts more difficult.
While it is impossible for any author to write a book that satisfies everyone, I think that Ivor Horton has done an excellent job for the scope of this book. He has taken a no nonsense approach to teaching the language, and it pays off for those with sufficient motivation to learn. If you are looking for a laugh-a-minute approach to Java programming, complete with fun examples and pictures, then this is not the book for you. It is not the only book you will need, as it does not (cannot) cover all Java-related topics, but it is a very thorough start.
I certainly learned a lot from this book, and now keep it close at hand for reference.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Encompassing Book, Feb. 13 2004
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
I have a previous edition of this book and thought it was a very good guide to learning Java. Is it great? No, but it seems to be the best all encompassing book to learn the fundamentals of the Java libraries. It's one of the best books to teach a Java class with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Start here., Jan. 25 2004
By 
J. Drost (Michigan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
New to Java? Learning it for work? Class? Entertainment? Unless you're new to programming (in which case I recommend Java for Dummies), start with this book. Covers all major programming aspects to get a basic core understanding of java. Since you learned to walk before you learned to run...a good foundation is always essential.
My only gripe with the book is that covers nearly everything at the root of the SDK except for LOGGING. I'm unsure why Wrox / Horton left this important section out...logging is part of the SDK as of release 1.4.X, and crucial to monitor all types of appliations (middle-ware, servlets, javaserver pages).
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1.0 out of 5 stars beginning ?, Dec 26 2003
This review is from: Beginning Java 2 (Paperback)
I must have a library full of WROX books and by far this is the worst book i have read. The author is dry and confusing to say the least. He uses inapproriate examples which may confuse most beginners and his method of teaching is AWFUL ! WROX made a big mistake allowing this author to write this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good book to learn Java with, July 28 2003
By 
"proxxy99" (landover hills, md United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beginning Java 2 (Paperback)
In college, I predominantly focused on C++, but the java technology was appealing to me and I decided on this book. Though it contains a good number of pages, the author writes plainly, thus making java easy to comprehend. It starts from the basics (assuming you know nothing) and builds up. The author also explains in sufficient detail. If you are already familiar with an OO language like C++, you'll move through its pages alot faster. Because of its thickness, it covers sufficient topics to get you to the level of a proficient java programmer (e.g. from data types through to threads, exceptions, classes and packages, streams, GUI programming, Java and XML etc). For Java programmer certifcation readers who actually want to learn and not cram before taking the test, its definitely recommended. A good pick even for college freshmen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book, July 4 2003
By 
T. Singh (Assen, Drenthe Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
It was overly rated but still is a good book to start with. I'd recommend the Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in Java".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Patience is rewarded here, June 27 2003
By 
Riccardo Audano (Chiavari, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
This is a great intro book for Java. Ivor is a very, and I mean VERY good teacher, having the two most important qualities needed to teach effectively: clarity & patience. You will not find confusing and hasty or "terse" (another word for cryptic)explanations here, but this comes to the price that sometimes
this text will be even "too clear" so you must be the type that
can appreciate a calm, relaxed pace and is not a fan of a "fast & furious" style. My personal opinion is that a little patience
is not a big price to pay to get a solid foundation ... but that is just my idea..
You should also note that this book will teach you the foundations of the language in detail and will touch on some of the APIs (xml, graphics) but it is not going to cover technologies like Servlets, JSP, EJB and with good reason since doing that would be insane in an intro book. Don't worry though, with Classes & Inheritance, Threads , Streams, Collections, Graphics and XML you will have more than enough to digest. To sum it up, do you prefer to learn Java by a young, rampant, hasty, cocky young teacher or from a older, wiser one? Your choice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Beginner's book, June 24 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
I've been teaching Java at the school of continuing education at our local university for 2 years now. Every term I go through the ritual of trying to find a text book for my class that would be more helpful to my students based on the reaction I get the previous term from them. This book is by far the clearest and most engaging beginner's Java book.
There are other books that are more complete and more thoughts provoking like "Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckle (3rd Edition)". But for a beginner this is the clearest text I've found so far.
I should say that my students are mostly C programmers with extensive experience in software development, so they are not Beginner Programmers, just beginner Java developers.
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Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition
Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition by Wrox Author Team (Paperback - March 1 2002)
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