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Just Java 2 4th Edition

129 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0130105349
ISBN-10: 0130105341
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

So, you're starting from zero in an effort to learn the Java programming language. What book will help you most? Just Java 2 should be on your desktop. It's one of a select group of introductory Java books that honestly earns its cover price.

Shying away from complicated aspects of the language that are seldom used in most practical situations, Peter van der Linden focuses his considerable teaching skills upon the parts of the language you really need to understand in order to be a good Java programmer. He covers basic structure and syntax very well, and gives similarly excellent attention to object orientation and the means by which Java implements it. Applets, Beans, input/output streams, basic graphics, Swing, and security all get superb coverage.

In short, this book explains everything you really need to know in order to write useful Java programs. With sharp text and very good example programs, the author shows you how to get things done. In the process, van der Linden--a funny guy--pauses often to show you how to make an origami water-bomber or comment upon software error messages like "runt packet."

The CD-ROM that comes with this book deserves much praise, as well. Packed with honestly useful tools and all of the author's examples, it employs a fine HTML-based interface that other books ought to imitate. --David Wall

Review

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Just Java 2 is the fourth edition of Peter van der Linden's introduction to object-oriented programming and to the art of Java. It's aimed at intermediate programmers for whom Java shall serve as their baptism in object programming. In its category, Just Java is noteworthy, and is marred for this reviewer only by the author's injection of himself into his book.

I'll explain my criticism later in this review. First, let's talk about what's right with van der Linden's book.

Just Java is more than an author's striving for publication; it's semiofficial Sun pedagogy. This is part of Sun's attempt to make learning Java easy and grab more geek mindshare and heartshare. The lessons reflect pretty accurately what a Sun engineer feels is that portion of the truth about the Java language, the Java VM, the AWT, and Swing that the entry programmer must know at a minimum to begin to actually deliver some code. --Jack Woehr, Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books -- Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books

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Product Details

  • Series: Java Series
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Ptr; 4th edition (December 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130105341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130105349
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,177,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lynn on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
It's not often that you find a book that can both teach you a new language and function as a great reference. This book is it. Aside from the JDK help, this is my only reference and for the most part it has served me well.
I started from a C++ background and had no trouble learning from this book. It might be tempting to skim through some of the beginning chapters that seem like something any C++ programmer would know (e.g. Object-Oriented Programming), but I recommend reading them. There are a lot of really good Java tips you don't want to miss, such as how constructors are invoked and how static blocks are loaded in the JVM.
Probably the biggest benefit of this book is that it tells you both the how and the why in many cases. Another positive is that the examples are small and to the point. In general there was a good amount of information per page.
The book's biggest weakness is the chapter on File I/O. This is common functionality that many Java programmers will use, but the presentation is not as easy to follow as the other chapters. Another drawback is the networking chapter, but there seem to be entire books dedicated to this subject.
If you are learning Java from an object oriented background, you will be glad you got this book. It's one of the thinner books on the shelf, believe it or not, but the information is top notch.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book succeeded in getting me started with Java. I'm not a great programmer, so that's saying something.
Other reviewers have complained about the difficulty of picking up OOP concepts from this book. I can understand their point of view, but in van der Linden's defense I think it should be pointed out that OOP is fairly hard to get ahold of the first time you're exposed to it, and I'm not sure other books are much easier.
I studied math in college, and I found that I didn't learn things from the teacher as much as I did by wrestling with the problems on my own. If you want to understand why the main method in your class has to instantiate an object of the class that contains the aforementioned main method in order to access an object member that isn't static, you're going to have to work through it on your own. It's the sort of understanding that a teacher can't really hand you on a silver platter. It's not really hard, but you do have to know what all the words mean. The experience of wrestling with these kinds of concepts is what makes them sink in.
So I would argue that this book is complete, in the sense that it takes you through the OOP concepts you need to learn. But fundamentally you have to confront those concepts by yourself, alone in front of your own computer with your own copy of the JDK. If you try to run through the book without confronting the issues that fly over your head in the early chapters, the rest of the book will be incomprehensible. It's analogous to what happens to you in French class if you don't learn the early grammar and vocabulary.
I enjoyed the style of the book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading the reviews. The impression I had was that this would be an excellent introduction to Java. What I discovered is that this book ASSUMES KNOWLEDGE OF C++. If you dont have some background in C++, then skip this and go for something else!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Firstly,Amazon's own review about this book - "If you want to learn Java FROM ZERO..." is entirely misleading. The author has written this book as if he is talking to his collegues(who obviously know Java) over the coffee table. If you want to learn Java from Zero , are new to programming concepts,OOPS etc. just stay as far as possible from this book and PLEASE dont go by the 4 and 5 stars this books has.THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS and I STRONGLY REQUEST AMAZON to remove their recommentdation about this book for beginners.I have returned this book and am pretty comfortable with the following two books Thinking in Java and Beginning Java2.0 Please trust me and dont waste your time and energy and money on any other books to learn Java.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Rafiuddin Aamer on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you want to learn Java in a hurry, go for this book. But if you have some time at your hands, forget it. I say this because of the following
1- It's a small book on a big language which means brief explanations and very few examples.
2- Even with this size, the author has wasted quite a lot of book space to show his sense of humor (which I didn't find very humorous, sorry Peter).
3- The book is not very well organized.
4- The author claims that you don't need to know C++ to learn Java from this book. I find this claim a bit ambitious. Specially when author himself refers to different aspects of C++ to clarify certain concepts.
In short, if you want to read some jokes, learn how to make a paper airplane which can carry payload (I'm not kidding), know authors views about how software are and should be named, read some inside information on Sun Systems, enjoy digs at Microsoft and learn Java, buy the book now. But if you just want to learn Java in an organized and professional manner, read Wrox Press' book "Beginning Java 2" by Ivor Horton. You won't be disappointed.
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