Beginning Java 2 is one of the two best introductory Java 2 books available. (The other is Peter van der Linden's Just Java 1.2.) Assuming nothing more than curiosity and tenacity, this book explains how to create programs with the Java programming language. And not just simple, academic programs either--the applets and applications that Ivor Horton describes in later chapters take advantage of the latest features of Java 2.
After a brief introduction to the characteristics of Java, Beginning Java 2 digs into variables, data types, operators, control structures, and basic Java syntax--the stuff you absolutely have to understand in order to get anything done. Horton then explains streams, files, and threads before getting into the graphical stuff, where he details how to build attractive, functional user interfaces with the Swing components (with solid coverage of the Java 2 event model). Later chapters address Java2D graphics and database connectivity. The author treats object orientation as integral to the rest of Java programming, which is appropriate to the language.
Readers get to see how concepts work, as regular Try It Out sections include illustrative code listings and the resulting output. The author and publisher deserve kudos for printing the complete source code of example programs rather than just key excerpts. These example programs also appear on the publisher's Web site. --David Wall
From the Publisher
One of the reviewers, Ron Phillips, commenting on Chapter 15 Extending the GUI, said, "... lots of really good information ... This chapter alone ... makes Beginning Java worth the price ..."
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