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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, well-written, and comprehensive
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...
Published on June 9 2004 by James T

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great.
Although this book is certainly thorough (in fact, I find it works better as a reference than as a tutorial), the explanations tend to be too specific to the example codes, which themselves are not very practical. For the most part, you feel as if you are learning Java in a vacuum, with topics frustratingly insulated from one another.
In terms of writing, Ivor...
Published on Feb. 20 2003


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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, well-written, and comprehensive, June 9 2004
By 
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Patience is rewarded here, June 26 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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4.0 out of 5 stars A good beginner text on Java2, Feb. 19 2003
By 
Dean Kutryk (Calgary, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
I've completed about half the book so far and I am still going strong. That's the good thing about this book. I've tried reading a few other Java titles like Orielly's Learning Java or Just Java 2. Although they are good quality books, Hortons title is more appropriate for a novice beginner. The book does seem to concentrate for the most part on the client side, so you'll need to look at some Orielly titles like Java Server Pages and Java Servlet Programming after reading Hortons book for server side Java programming.
The fact is that the Java framework contains many classes of specializations, and the client side GUI libraries like Swing or Awt can take a book in and of themselves. Horton takes time explaining the Java language definition and important areas such as file I/O and exception handling. I think that too many authors presuppose a readers background in Standard C++. Even though Java syntax is similar to Standard C/C++ syntax, the heavy use and design reuse of the framework libraries in Java is all new to systems developers with a prior experience with lightweight libraries. So this is the right book to start off your middleware Java2 solutions adventure primarily due to the beginner pace and handling of concepts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You cant go wrong with this book!, Jan. 28 2003
By 
Nick (Silver Spring, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
In all the years I have been programming and teaching people about computers, I have never come across a book like Ivor Horton's "Beginning Java". If you have a commitment and have the ambitions to succeed this book is for you. Whether you are into creating graphic rich and interactive web pages or creating full featured window applications then you'll love this book. With this book you can learn Java plus the techniques you need for success with your own projects. With Ivor's powerful words and overwhelming examples you can learn Java 2 in no time at all. This book may seem daunting at first, but once you get into it you'll be amazed at how fast you'll get done. With over a thousand pages of raw, hard core java, good ol' Ivor gets the job done and will make it seem like a breeze. There is no need to continue your search for "the right book" because the search stops here. And if you really want to "go to town" then you can also get five other of his enlightening books. They are "Beginning Java Networking", "Beginning JSP Web Development", "Beginning Java Databases", "Professional Java Programming", "Professional Java Server Programming J2ee Ed". Buy all of these and you will be able to enhance your knowledge and advance your career in no time. The price may be large but the knowledge you will receive is beyond wealth. There is no way you can go wrong with this book so give it a shot and see what happens. You never know, maybe you'll be the next Ivor Horton.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hey all you Java beginners, read this review before u buy..., Nov. 29 2002
By 
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
Warning to all you Java beginners: Don't expect to read this book and immediately graduate to an "intermediate" Java programmer - ESPECIALLY if you're new to programming and/or object-oriented programming.
This book gives you a fairly good introduction to the basics of Java; Ivor Horton is a bit "dry" but does the job. If you don't have experience with object oriented design (like C++), you'll NEED to also purchase, "Beginning Java Objects" by Jacquie Barker. And when I say "NEED", I mean NEED!! Jacquie's book is absolutely ESSENTIAL for any person new to objects.
It is impossible to fit all the beginning Java topics into one book (even if it is 1200+ pages) and Ivor doesn't try too. He goes over threading and Swing but you'll need to seperate books for these topics.
Another warning for Java newbies: Beginning Java topics can be quite boring, I'm sure many will want to jump straight to the cool stuff like Swing, JSP/Servlets, J2ME...but you MUST understand objects, java terminology, and other basic principles FIRST. You may want to check out books like "Java Cookbook", "Design Patterns Java Workbook", "Design Patterns Explained", "Objected Oriented Thought Process" and especially "Beginning Java Objects" to complement Ivor's book.
I gave this book 4 stars because "beginning" books should take you by the hand and babystep you through the process (in my opinion), this book doesn't quite do this (Jacquie's book does). You may feel more comfortable with one of these "dummies" or "teach yourself in 21 days" or "Java Bible" instead (though I haven't read any of these). But stay away from the "Core series" or "O'Reilly" books if you don't want something too hard.
To learn Java you're gonna need to drop some $$ on a bunch of books and you'll need to spend some SERIOUS time practicing, but as Ivor Horton says, "Nothing worthwile is achieved without effort. You'll need to put in the work and have the ambition to succeed when the going gets tough."
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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 the best java tutorial for greenhorn can be ever found!, May 9 2002
By 
Arethusa (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
as a cs majored student i have read quite a few java tutorial, this one is the best i've found. the author assumes no previous programming experiens, everything step by step; he not only teaches what java is and HOW TO USE IT, but also teaches you good programming style from very beginning. It shows a great consideration to the simplicity as well as performance of your java codes, and explains why you should do this way in a scientific yet very clear and easy to understand manner. i simply love the author's writing style. the book is well structured, mastering an OOP language such as java is never really a piece of cake for most people, but this book does its best to minimize your pain all along the road. you can be sure you are getting knowledge, confidence, skill and fun with this book. and, all the examples given in the book are just complete applications or applets. they are just ready for you to try them out.
Our professor put deitel and deitel's " java: how to program " in his literature list, but after using it for a while, i no longer thought it a good idea for a beginner. the examples given in this book seem not to reveal how to program and what is oop but rather to conceal them, besides, it's really not a fancy idea to begin with swing . but in this Ivor's book, he starts with plain console application, so you can concentrate on what you should concentrate as a beginner. then i also tried " thinking in java", i have to admit it is a nice book, but too conceptual, and most codes in this book are not complete, you might have to bother to add some code if you want to try them out. if you were still not familiar with I/O control, it could be a problem for you. and, the knowledge such as memory allocation...etc are not merged in the java teaching as well as Ivor's book. there are also other java books i have read, but i cannot even recall them. and seems i dont need more with this Ivor's great work on java learning. of course one would need other tutorial when go further into some specific field, however, i venture to say this is the best book for a greenhorn so far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book to learn Java, March 30 2002
By 
Thomas Paul (Plainview, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
Ivor Horton has once again produced an exceptional beginner's book for Java. I have reviewed many beginner books on Java in the search for a textbook for an "Introduction to Java" class that I teach at Hofstra University. Few of these books have met the goal of providing a solid base of knowledge upon which a programmer can build. Ivor Horton's "Beginning Java" is one of those few. This book is an excellent introduction to Java for anyone who has a basic understanding of programming and is willing to apply some effort to learn the language. Horton proceeds at a rapid pace to cover virtually every important topic in Java outside of the Enterprise Edition. Starting with the basics of the Java language Horton explains the Java syntax in great detail. He then goes on to cover exceptions, streams, utility classes, threads, GUI (with a concentration on Swing), and file processing. In addition, Horton covers all the important new features of the 1.4 release including more than 100 pages on XML. Each chapter builds upon the previous chapter using extensive, well designed and clearly explained examples. Although the book covers a wide range of topics, it does not treat any of them lightly. Many introductory books fall short in the very important topic of object oriented technique. Horton does an excellent job of both explaining OO and then using it in his many examples. Unlike other books that you may read and discard, this is a book that will continue to provide help far into your Java career.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not for people who know other languages, Jan. 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Java 2: SDK 1.4 Edition (Paperback)
I completely concur with other reviewers assessment that this book is for folks who are new to programming. For the novice, this book goes into a lot of detail and does a lot of carefull, and (helpfully) repetitious, description. I would definitely recommend this book for the novice.
But if you know another language already (especially an object oriented one), you'll go nuts wading through the detail and repetition. Having made this realization, I switched to Bruce Eckel's _Thinking In Java_ (3rd ed.) and am delighted with it. You can easily execute his sample code along with your reading and modify as needed to experiement. His explanations of the language are to the point and clear for people who are already familiar with OO programming. If you are not familiar with OO, it's still good because he does go over the concepts. His approach gets you into Java really quickly and and at a meaningful level of detail.
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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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