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Beginning Java 2 Paperback – March, 1999

127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

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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Product Details

  • Series: Programmer to Programmer
  • Paperback: 1109 pages
  • Publisher: Peer Information Inc.; 2 edition (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861002238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861002235
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,985,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
There is a lot to like about "Beginning Java 2." It provides excruciatingly detailed coverage of Java, written in a clear, intelligent way. The author does an effective job of tempering the extensively technical content with a friendly writing style that is never flip or insulting to the reader.
I also appreciate the abundance of examples, illustrations, and diagrams, which support the text well and are easy to read. Pertinent code samples are shaded in gray, which enhances readability. Diagrams are clear and and are supported with well-written callouts.
Although the book's title is "Beginning Java 2," it could be daunting to readers with little or no programming background, especially as they progress beyond the first two chapters. Chapter 1 provides an excellent introduction to Java and object-oriented programming concepts. The first part of Chapter 2 provides a good introduction to variables and data types. About the middle of Chapter 2, however, when the author begins discussing additional mathematical concepts, the reader is led into deeper waters and at this point, "absolute" beginners may start to feel overwhelmed. This doesn't mean that they should abandon the book, but they may need to take additional time to absorb the concepts.
Each chapter concludes with a summary of its content and several practice exercises. Although such practice is certainly valuable, I would have liked to see an additional appendix with "answers" to the exercises so that readers could check their work and benefit from the author's expertise. Without such author feedback, the exercises are less effective as learning tools.
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91 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Paul VINE VOICE on March 30, 2002
Format: 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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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Schwarzmann on November 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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).
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a pretty good introduction to Java, especially for beginners. However I would like to point out certain drawbacks of the book:
1)As the previous reviewer pointed out, Horton uses too much of math to illustrate his examples. He'd be better off tackling real-world problems.
2)Lot of coverage is given to Input/output streams, filing, printing etc. Infact these topics span 3 chapters in the book which is a bit excessive.
3) There is absolutely NO mention of network programming. A chapter on network programming would be greatly appreciated instead of the excessive coverage of streams.
4)However there is excellent coverage and explanation of JDBC. Also threads are explained very well.
Overall the book is definitely worth a buy, especially for the beginner/intermediate programmer. Object-oriented concepts are very well-explained. Also it has much better coverage of Swing than books like Thinking in Java. It is definitely better than Just Java which I found to be too superficial and elementary.
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