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Core Java, Volume I--Fundamentals (8th Edition) Paperback – September 21, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0132354769 ISBN-10: 0132354764 Edition: 8th
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This revised edition of the classicCore Java(tm), Volume I-Fundamentals, is the definitive guide to Java for serious programmers who want to put Java to work on real projects.


Fully updated for the new Java SE 6 platform, this no-nonsense tutorial and reliable reference illuminates the most important language and library features with thoroughly tested real-world examples. The example programs have been carefully crafted to be easy to understand as well as useful in practice, so you can rely on them as an outstanding starting point for your own code.


Volume I is designed to quickly bring you up to speed on what's new in Java SE 6 and to help you make the transition as efficiently as possible, whether you're upgrading from an earlier version of Java or migrating from another language. The authors concentrate on the fundamental concepts of the Java language, along with the basics of user-interface programming. You'll find detailed, insightful coverage of 

  • Java fundamentals
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Interfaces and inner classes
  • Reflection and proxies
  • The event listener model
  • GUI programming with Swing
  • Packaging applications
  • Exception handling
  • Logging and debugging
  • Generic programming
  • The collections framework
  • Concurrency

For detailed coverage of XML processing, networking, databases, internationalization, security, advanced AWT/Swing, and other advanced features, look for the forthcoming eighth edition ofCore Java(tm), Volume II—Advanced Features(ISBN:978-0-13-235479-0).

About the Author

Cay S. Horstmann is also coauthor of Core JavaServer Faces, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 2007). Cay is a professor of computer science at San Jose State University, a Java Champion, and a frequent speaker at computer industry conferences.


Gary Cornell has been writing and teaching programming professionals for more than twenty years and is the cofounder of Apress. He has written numerous best-selling books for programming professionals, was a cofinalist for a Jolt Award, and won the Readers Choice award from Visual Basic Magazine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 8 edition (September 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132354764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132354769
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell L Model on February 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am an extremely experienced Java programmer and Ph. D. computer scientist. I write and teach courses and develop technical assessments, so it's important to me to keep up with language developments. While I've bought a great many Java books over the years, I've been neglecting Core Java for many editions, thinking it would no longer be of any use and being tired of repurchasing books. I'm part way through this one, and I am astounded at how much I am discovering, especially about Java 5 & 6 (even though I thought I knew all about their new features). I'm also enjoying the detailed comparisons with C++, as I used to use and teach that too. No matter how much you know about Java I would strongly recommend this book, if only to read all the well-delineated comments and clarifications that appear frequently. A particularly nice feature is that where portions of the API are summarized there are indications of the version in which the feature was added -- it helped reduce my feelings of chagrin when I read something surprising to find that it had been introduced in v6 or was a part of v5 I hadn't yet explored. Unlike so many other books this one provides meaningful and useful examples. I am eagerly anticipating the second volume.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Boyarsky on October 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Core Java, Volume I - Fundamentals" is meant to teach Java to developers who already know another language. Or as they put it, "serious programmers ... with a solid background in a language other than Java." This is important as the book assumes a knowledge of programming concepts. As such, the authors can explain OO rather than how a loop works. The syntax diagrams and flow diagrams offer concise explanations.

This edition (the eighth of the book) covers Java 6. I liked that each section was updated to reflect changes to the languages. The authors didn't just tack on some chapters about the new features. They integrated features as they made sense. More importantly, they updated existing examples to reflect the way they would be written if they were initially written today. This gives the reader appropriate exposure as to when to use new features. At the same time, the authors point out what was added in Java 1.4 so you can use it with an older version. There was even a screenshot of Windows Vista in the getting started section.

The book is about 800 pages. Some of this is long classes and API extractions. The authors do highlight important code snippets with explanations first, so it is possible to skip these parts. I did like the feature of the API extractions that showed when methods were introduced.

The authors explain Java in practice well including caveats. There are a few carefully labeled sections that are quite advanced. (proxys and new classloaders.) This is definitely not just an intro book! There was a bit of premature optimization. I don't see a need to worry about whether ArrayList is efficient unless it is a problem. At the same time, it is important to know why things work the way they do.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Long on December 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a self-taught Perl programmer. I've been using Perl 5 for about eight years, and in the last couple of years I've been wanting to move to Java. I've tried so many books - Herb Schildt's "Beginning Java" (too easy and boring examples), Deitels' gigantic volume (worthless crap - as are all of Deitel's stuff; I mean, do you really need to waste a chapter teaching would-be Java coders UML?), Cadenhead's "Teach Yourself Java 6 in 21 days" (left too many holes; not enough depth in critical areas, and lots of mistakes), etc. I finally found this book and ordered it. This is the one I should have been using all along.

When you work through this book, you get the sense that you are being taught by a real Java guru, an author who isn't going to leave you hanging. This is a serious text, and as others have noted -- it isn't for a new programmer. Having said that, it is perfect for anyone coming to Java from another language. About the only critical remark I would have is that I think the chapters on error-handling and on collections might have been better placed ahead of the chapters on Swing; as it is, the Swing stuff seems a little bit of a diversion in the middle of the book. But fortunately, this book is so well done that you can easily jump forward a couple of chapters, then back one, etc. Indeed, there are some places where the author simply says stuff like "the rest of this chapter may be more relevant to the tool-builder than to the application programmer; application programmers may want to skip ahead to the next chapter." To me, that represents an honest writer who has years of experience teaching people Java.

A word of advice: if you are the kind of person that learns best from little exercises, strict tutorials, etc., you may not want this book (except as a reference).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By W. Scott Cook on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been an excellent resource in my learning Java programming. I've been programming for over 20 years (yes, I used the original K&R C handbook to learn C), but I am new to Java. Using this book, working through the examples carefully (actually typing each of them into NetBeans and digesting the code piece by piece, modifying them here and there afterward to test ideas and enhance understanding), I can actually say that the topics are sinking in and the presented material (i.e. the Java skills , concepts, and syntax) is becoming second nature.

To give an honest impression: I did not, however, start completely fresh with this book. I first worked through the Java tutorial on Sun's website. I think that helped me grasp topics better when they were presented here in Core Java and I'd recommend doing something along those lines instead of relying strictly on this book (or any one source for that matter). In fact, for me personally, it helps to code and code and code as much as possible. So, the more sources of actual coding opportunities, the better.

That said, I would add that if this book had some companion exercises to go along with the material and the code examples contained within, it would be invaluable (and 5 star worthy). Giving the reader the additional chance to enhance and test his/her understanding of the material by starting with a problem and a blank page would (imo) make this book an incredible resource. I was a disappointed at first that there were only pre-done examples in this book, but that seems to be par for the course as it does not appear that there are current Java exercise books.

Anyway, I do believe I'll be moving on to Volume II and work through it in the same manner as I did in volume I (hoping that volume II is as well done as volume I).
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Core Java, Volume I--Fundamentals (8th Edition)
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