29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2003
My department is changing from teaching C++ to Java in the intro CS courses. I have been learning Java over the past few years and have amassed quite a large library of Java texts and references. As with other areas of CS, in which I accumulate many texts, I find that I eventually gravitate toward a select few, key, references.
With C++, it was the Lippman text. For Java, I frequently find myself returning to Core Java, Vol 1 after giving up on other texts. I've even used this book as one of the two course texts in a topics course (Design Patterns with Java). My students seem to agree with me in that this book serves as a good in-depth reference for core Java questions.
It's not a tutorial, not a textbook full of exercises and testing material, and not a GUI reference (but does include swing and AWT material). It's just the best general reference I've found. I have two copies - one for home and one at the office.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2003
I was a bit reluctant to buying the book, principally because I had bought many Java books already with very little success. After reading all the reviews for its new edition and the previous edition I was even more confused, specially when you read very positive reviews and a few practically destroying the book, so you really don't know what to expect. Anyways I finally made the decision to buy it and all I can say is that I am pleased I made that decision, I finally got the main concepts of Java and I can code, maybe not as well as a Java programmer, but being a newcomer in the Java world I feel very happy that I was able to overcome the frustration of feeling that I was in the middle of nowhere without understanding what I was supposed to code.
This book is very well written and its examples are of a great help, moreover the explanation of the examples are simply outstanding. Some other books are great and they might be great for other readers, example Thinking in Java, but in my particular case it was hard to get up to speed as quickly as I am doing it with Core Java 2, I am sure that later on I will be using more advanced books, but for now Core Java 2 is doing a great job teaching me the basics. I look forward to buying Volume II, even though I have read some negative comments about it.
As a final point I think I should say that although the book specified that it is aimed at a more advanced audience, it certainly provides the information in a way that beginners can benefit from the book by understanding the concepts quickly without struggling with advanced technical jargon and complex explanations that can take a long time to digest.
Cay Hortsmann did an excellent job with this book, I say Core Java 2 should be a "should have" for anyone that wants to become familiar with Java, for other advanced users it might not be sufficient, but for people struggling with getting a solid understanding of the language this book is definitely the way to go.
Bottom line, I was finally able to like, enjoy and particularly overcome the frustration from reading other titles that were killing me to point that I was totally disliking Java.
! Great Book !
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2005
The first section of this book, which explores the Java language and object orientation in depth is excellent. After that the book goes into Swing, applets (is anyone doing them anymore?), and then into debugging and file I/O. Funny, I would have thought that both of the final chapters would have been pushed forward. Certainly file I/O should go before Swing, right?
Frankly, I think too much time was spent on Swing. The book turned into a reasonably in-depth introduction to Swing and event oriented programming. When it probably should have gone into threading, regular expressions, file I/O and other fundamentals. The quality of the language discussion saved this book for me.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I had a chance to review the book Core Java 2 - Volume 1 - Fundamentals (7th Edition) by Cay S. Horstmann and Gary Cornell (Prentice Hall). This is a very good choice for experienced programmers who want to learn Java and have a good reference book to continue to use over time...
Chapter List: An Introduction to Java; The Java Programming Environment; Fundamental Programming Structures in Java; Objects and Classes; Inheritance; Interfaces and Inner Classes; Graphics Programming; Event Handling; User Interface Components with Swing; Deploying Applets and Applications; Exceptions and Debugging; Streams and Files; Generic Programming; Java Keywords; Retrofitting JDK 5.0 Code; Index
When a book survives into its seventh edition, you know it must be good. Core Java 2 is that. It's a solid, serious treatment of the Java language with plenty of examples and in-depth explanations as to how things work. And while no single book can cover the complete Java API, this book does a good job of documenting each area they cover so that you can refer back to the work as you start to use Java on a regular basis. There are not a lot of good Java learning books that also adequately serve as a reference book. The authors should be commended for this.
Because the authors target "serious" developers, there's less emphasis on Hello World type applications and more focus on the types of routines you might find yourself writing in a business environment. There's also coverage of the newest features in Java 1.5, so you can buy this particular edition with fear of having it be obsolete in a month.
This is a volume that I'll happily keep on my shelf and refer to as I get into some of the newer features of Java...
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I am a somewhat experienced programmer and this book was the text for my graduate-level course on Java. I also purchased some of the optional books, and this book is far and away the best purchase.
Sun publishes this book, so it contains the definitive information. In fact, it goes into great detail without being boring or elementary. The sample programs are quick and to the point. I admire that the discussion of the programming language admits the language's flaws as well as its benefits. The book also talks about how the language is really used, vs. how it was designed.
A particular feature of the book are sections where they explain how Java is different from C++. This is very useful for a C++ programmer.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I've been updating my copy of this book since the second edition, and it is still the best book around for explaining the Java programming language to beginners in a classroom environment where there is an instructor to fill in the details. The book also succeeds at updating veterans on new features of the language and is a very excellent reference. Chapter two is great for customizing your programming environment, since there are always new versions of Windows and Solaris being released. Chapters three through six introduce the fundamentals of Java, including object oriented concepts. It would be best if the reader had some previous exposure to object-oriented programming, as teaching the theory of OOP is not really the focus of the book. Chapters seven through nine deal exclusively with Swing and graphics. The explanation of the Java graphical event model is particularly good and unmatched in any other book I have run across. The final chapters of the book deal with making sense of the "streams zoo" in Java and the newer feature of generic programming. Streams, used for file handling in Java, is very well presented here. This is good, since I/O in Java is probably unlike anything you will have previously encountered. There is also a dedicated chapter on applets which is a somewhat dated subject, but still necessary for a complete treatment of the language considering its roots. After you read and understand the code in this book you would do well to pick up a copy of "Java Swing" for an in-depth treatment of building user interfaces, as well as "Java I/O" by Knudsen for deep coverage of Java streams. Finally, pick up volume two of "Core Java" and continue your education in the more advanced features of the Java language. If you are a complete novice to the Java language, you would be well advised to buy "Head First Java", which works well whether you are learning in a classroom or if you are teaching yourself the language. Even if you are a novice, you are going to want to have a copy of "Core Java" around for reference.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2004
Be aware, this is not a step-by-step kind of introduction book.
This is more designed towards programmers with experience(could be coming from C++, Smalltalk, C etc).
Gives a clean perspective on the basics of the language. Distinguishes Java from other OO programming languages with respect to inheritance etc.
This book has helped many great developers to get good at the fundamentals of the language. It is a good stepping stone to move into bigger aspects. Has elaborate intros and examples on Swing aswell.
Highly recommended for starters on the language. A reference that you can keep at your desk.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2003
...what the prior two reviews said and...
Ignore the previous comment to buy the 5th edition. JDK 1.4 adds many time saving classes(RegEx's, Enhanced formatting in Swing). This alone will save you many hours with the tedious aspects of Swing. Also, I personally like a book that takes up less space and is lighter.
I also like that the book doesn't tediously walk you through the sample code after listing it. New concepts are presented with code snippets, then the sample code is laid out. I learn best by figuring out puzzles for myself, and not being walked regurgitatingly through it again.
Chapter layout is good, _EXCEPT_, Exceptions should should be stressed very early in the book, not next to last. Having a good exception understanding is paramount in a object message handling system. Sadly, probably most people don't get this far in the book.
Highly Recommended along with Core JFC (if your doing a lot of Swing).
If you're new to Java, this book is up there with the top.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2003
I use this book (and its Volume II) for a course I teach at the University of Delaware. It's wonderul. It's definatly written with the experienced programmer with lots of experience but none in Java in mind. You can really pick Java up quickly with this book and it makes a good reference material as well. If you already know how to program and want to learn Java and experience the powerful features of the language and the APIs and class libraries that come with the Java 2 SDK, then this is the book for you.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2003
This book rules!
It is lean, terse (but all the more readable for the economy of words that are directed (and funny at times) rather than self-aggrandising verbosity) but is is focused right at that which you need to know. These guys just dish it up: it's like ok, here's what you need to know, and here's how it works...and have a fully functional program to see it in practice and in context.
This is without question a highly usable and worthy book. It might be a little too fast for the complete novice, but anybody with some programming should be okay. These guys will guide you and feed you bite sized peices that are relevant and succinct.
If you like bloat and prattle...don't buy this book. You need a story book. This is for see the hill- take the hill kind of people who don't have time to wade through pages of drivel. But of course, you still have to earn it: you needs some brains!
Covers the basics and should put you in good stead for the the next onslaught: Core Java 2 - Advanced!