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Java The Complete Reference, 8th Edition 8th Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0070435926
ISBN-10: 0071606300
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Herbert Schildt is a world leading programming author.  He is an authority on the C, C++, Java, and C# programming languages, and a master Windows programmer. His programming books have sold more than three million copies worldwide and have been translated into all major foreign languages. He is the author of numerous best sellers including C: The Complete Reference, Java 2: The Complete Reference, Java 2: A Beginner's Guide, C#: A Beginner's Guide, and many more.  Schildt holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Illinois.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Reference
  • Paperback: 1152 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 8 edition (July 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071606300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070435926
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T Anderson VINE VOICE on October 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great place to start learning Java. I think the book is good for beginners to start learning Java, as well as great reference for those experienced with Java.

The book does not use an IDE to create, compile, and run the programs. It uses javac and java commands to compile and run. I used both the SDK command lines and the IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition to compile and run the programs. Both worked fine, but I also have an interest in learning to use IntelliJ IDEA.

The book covers the Java language, the Java Library, Software Development with Java Beans, Swing, Servlets, and ends with building 2 sample applications.

The book covers Data Types and Operators, Control Statements, Classes, Objects, Methods, Packages, Interfaces, Exception Handling, Inheritance, I/O, Multithreading, Enumerations, Autoboxing, Static Import, Annotations, Generics, Applets, Events, AWT and Swing, Java's Documentation Comments, Varargs, Networking, Collections, Concurrent API, JavaBeans, and servlets.

All the code is available for download and is very well organize and usable. It is separated by chapter.

My favorite part of the book was that it spent a lot of time on UI topics. There were several good chapters on AWT and Swing. I also like the author's writing style. The book is a nice read as well as a good reference.

My main complaint about this book is that it includes almost all of the Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition. Anyone beginning Java would obviously start with Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition, but if I was to do it again, I would not bother with Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition. The only advantage the Java, A Beginner's Guide, 5th Edition book offers is that it is more of a tutorial oriented book.
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Despite its title, this book makes for a very poor Java reference. It is pretty comprehensive, but constantly alludes to features not fully explained until later. It's not very well organized, and features can be found in sections they don't belong in. Reads more like a 'Java for Dummies' than an actual reference. While there is a lot of useful information, it is difficult to find because it's sparsely mixed within miles of repetitive explanations of common sense, lengthy examples, and useless word fluff. I can't believe this is actually from Oracle. I expected something much more concise and technical.

This is a good book for learning Java and I would recommend it for beginners. However, if you are like me and are looking for an actual reference, look elsewhere.
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Provides a decent reference book that I wish to have as an occasional Java Programmer. And it is not just a "reference manual" but also explains things in an understandable way.
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The Good:
I use this book as a reference for very clear examples on how to do something. If the book does cover a topic, you can be sure that the explanations are concrete and very easy to understand. The book absolutely shines for its intended purpose. It makes a great supplemental book for most folks learning Java as an additional resource.

There is an absolutely fabulous example of a Swing application at the end of the book. It shows how to implement the Observer pattern, manage button states and threading within a Swing application. You can also get a general idea of how to architect a moderately complex Swing application from this example.

The table of contents is very well organized. For those without an electronic copy, this is of great value.

The Bad:
I do not solely recommend this book for someone completely new to Java. It misses on some key areas. For example, the chapter on Inheritance does not cover using @Override when overriding methods. Yet, in the same chapter it discusses how you can accidentally Overload a method without even mentioning this annotation. @Override is briefly mentioned later as a type of annotation but it does not explain good practices, how to use it, etc. Examples that use overriding themselves, do not use @Override! The concept of downcasting is not covered specifically. It's not until the chapter on I/O that isinstance is covered and its very briefly explained.

While I pointed out a great Swing example above, the book completely excludes any reference to SwingWorker. This is a great feature that was added in Java 6 for threading Swing applications.

There are no details on how to write hashCode methods for data objects.
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Herbert Schildt is the best programming author out there in my opinion. I have been buying his "complete reference" books for over 20 years. Herbert's writing style has high information density and his method of explaining things really clicks with me. His programming examples are the best I have ever seen. They are only as long as they need to be illustrate the point. There is no irrelevant code to wade through. The complete reference is a tall order but he has covered every topic I have needed to reference so far. If I could only own one java programming book this would be it.
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