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Thinking in Java Paperback – March 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 007-6092003250 ISBN-10: 0136597238 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1098 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR; 1 edition (March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0136597238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136597230
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.8 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,990,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Thinking in Java is a printed version of Bruce Eckel's online materials that provides a useful perspective on mastering Java for those with previous programming experience. The author's take on the essence of Java as a new programming language and the thorough introduction to Java's features make this a worthwhile tutorial.

Thinking in Java begins a little esoterically, with the author's reflections on why Java is new and better. (This book's choice of font for chapter headings is remarkably hard on the eyes.) The author outlines his thoughts on why Java will make you a better programmer, without all the complexity. The book is better when he presents actual language features. There's a tutorial to basic Java types, keywords, and operators. The guide includes extensive source code that is sometimes daunting (as with the author's sample code for all the Java operators in one listing.) As such, this text will be most useful for the experienced developer.

The text then moves on to class design issues, when to use inheritance and composition, and related topics of information hiding and polymorphism. (The treatment of inner classes and scoping will likely seem a bit overdone for most readers.) The chapter on Java collection classes for both Java Developer's Kit (JDK) 1.1 and the new classes, such as sets, lists, and maps, are much better. There's material in this chapter that you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

Chapters on exception handling and programming with type information are also worthwhile, as are the chapters on the new Swing interface classes and network programming. Although it adopts somewhat of a mixed-bag approach, Thinking in Java contains some excellent material for the object-oriented developer who wants to see what all the fuss is about with Java.

From the Back Cover

The definitive introduction to object-oriented programming in the language of the World Wide Web.

Full text, updates and code at BruceEckel

From the fundamentals of Java syntax to its most advanced features (network programming, advanced object-oriented capabilities, multi-threading), Thinking in Java is designed to teach. Bruce Eckel's readable style and small, direct programming examples make even the most arcane concepts clear.


* For beginners and experts alike.
* Teaches Java linguistics, not platform-dependent mechanics.
* Covers the most important aspects of Java 2: Swing and the new collections.
* Thorough coverage of advanced Java topics: network programming, multithreading, virtual machine performance, and connecting to non-Java code.
* 320 working Java programs, 15,000+ lines of code.
* Explains sound object-oriented principles, from inheritance to design patterns.
* From an independent voice, award-winning author Bruce Eckel.
* Source code and continuously updated, electronic version of the book freely available on the World Wide Web.
* Companion CD (with more than 15 hours of integrated audio lectures) available at BruceEckel

What People Are Saying:

“The best book on Java . . . Your depth is amazing.”

“Definitely the thinking person's choice in a Java book.”

“One of the absolutely best programming tutorials I've seen, for any language.”

Winner of Software Development magazine's Productivity Award at SD 99!

Winner of Java Developer's Journal's Editor's Choice Award!

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to any one trying to learn Java.
Amazon Customer
I wish I'd had this book when I first learned Java...I've looked at almost every Java book there is and own about 20.
JavaBarista
The book is well organized with lots of examples highlighting various OOP concepts.
DGubrud@maine.rr.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 116 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book is great! I particularly enjoyed the following chapters:

- inner classes (this chapter kicks serious butts; far better than even Core Java 4th edition's chapter on them)
- the Class class and its usage (same stands for reflection)
- discussing the Collection classes just kicks ass - Just Java 1.2, the only book Ive read that contains SOME info on these classes is far less comprehensive. Bruce kicks ass!
- I also loved the chapter on threads - this book is the only one (I've read several Java2 books) to discuss WHY suspend/resume/ stop are deprecated in Java2 (actually, the reason for deprecating stop() is a bit misleading - the author should have stressed that it's exiting run() from _inside_ an atomic operation that causes the problem here). Just Java 1.2 doesn't even try to discuss the problem of these three methods.
- I really liked it that Bruce Eckel always prefers experimenting to repeating what the Language Specification says
- the remarks scattered in the book are particularly cool. Even Core Java 4th ed lacks the number and depth of remarks, not to speak of other books (Just Java 1.2 is even worse in this respect) <hr>
The bad points of the book:
- the Swing chapter sucks... it needs REAL update. There are no other JFC libs, either - there is no Java2D, accessibility, drag-and-drop etc.
- the discussion of sing the clipboard is far worse than that of Core Java 3rd ed. vol.2.
- the same stands for 1.1/1.2 security - both Core Java 3rd ed. vol.2. (1.1) and Just Java 1.2 (1.2) are better in this respect
- the same stands for i18n
- the introduction to CORBA was particularly weak (not that other Java-books are good in this respect)
- the author pays too much attention to the 1.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you're new to Java or Objected Oriented Programming buy the Teach Yourself in 21 Days book first. If you want a deeper understanding than any other Java book I've seen buy this one. Most Java books spend way too much time on Applets which is very little what Java is used for now. Java is a full application development language and this book is one of the few that actually gets past the Java Applet stuff. Companies such as Novell and Oracle are now writing their applications (not cute web applets) using Java. Very few books teach Java as a language but rather only teach how to make cute web applets. If you really want to learn Java you need this book. Plus he offers electronic versions in PDF, RTF, HTML, and Word formats. What more can you ask? I read this book cover to cover (much of it twice) and found it to be excellent. Again however you need a basic understanding of OOP first. (C++ and Java syntax are not enough, this book really goes into the OOP stuff pretty detailed and it would do you well to get the basics down first. This book is rather in depth and I thank the writer for a very well written book.)
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By kievite on May 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
"Thinking in Java" (or TIJ for short) is a thick 1100 page volume with an original, distinctive cover. It is unique that not only all examples from the book, but the full text of the book is available from the author's website.
I like the idea of cover -- the idea of programming as a kind of craft. Polished wood on the cover looks natural. It's inspired by the "American Art & Crafts Movement" that emphasized the importance of the individual craftsman in the use of modern tools.
The main idea of the book is right -- the programming language should be learned through experimentation with available implementation. Examples are well structured to expose the properties of the language, especially OO features. Such an approach is well suited for teaching. At the same time when examples are designed for experimentation, they fail to reveal typical idioms used in practical programming and this is a drawback of such an approach. To compensate for weaknesses of current examples the author probably can eliminate some water from them and add some examples illustrating idioms and/or provide comments for the examples included with JDK.
TIJ can be considered as one of the first second-generation Java books with a somewhat sober approach to the language. The author does not consider Java as a replacement for C/C++ as it's actually competes with VB and PowerBuilder. The book still contains hype about OO, but on a tolerable level. Some references to design patterns movement have a flavor of proselytizing, but people critical to the patterns movement can easily ignore them. At the same time, the language constructs are explained well, especially OO-related features. Generally the book is focused on high-level staff.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book goes way beyond the "tips and tricks" explained in so many other Java books. It explains in exhaustive detail how and why one should use the object oriented features of the language to produce professional-grade code. It explains many finer points of scope resolution, syntax, and class design which I have never seen covered anywhere else.
It does not attempt to cover every nook and cranny of the standard libraries, and chooses instead to use the most important ones to illustrate how things work in Java, and to demonstrate instances of good object-oriented design and coding practices. The whole idea is that, once you understand the underlying principles of the language, you'll be capable of using the free Java API documentation without needing everything to be explained to you any further.
I have only two minor quibbles. One is that the examples he provides often strike me as overly simplistic. I understand the need to keep code samples short and sweet, but I find it harder to remember the significance or the relevance of a coding construct when it is just used to push around "dummy" data members for the sake of demonstration. Longer, more realistic code samples would have helped me assimilate and retain the material better.
The other quibble is that I find the wording of some sentences to be a little vague. I sometimes find myself reading the same sentence several times before I feel that its meaning is clear to me. But this doesn't happen often.
Some other reviewers have panned this book. Maybe they were expecting that learning Java was going to be easy. It is not and it never will be. If you feel that you have some understanding of how to hack in Java, C or C++, and now you want to become a skilled object-oriented Java software engineer (and you're willing to put in the time and effort required to achieve this), you will find this book to be worth many times its cover price.
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