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Posted May 29, 2005
no i18n, unicode, EJBs
[A review of the 3RD EDITION 2005.] If you're learning Java from scratch, you might as well start at the latest version 5.0. But Java has grown hugely since 96. The book's size directly reflects that growth. Even so, the authors had to make the decision to explain only what they consider to be the minimal set of core classes. Their choice seems spot on. Spanning such key topics as I/O, Swing, Applets and Threads. To get best use of the advice, you should be familiar with object oriented programming from another language. The chapters are well written, but can be opaque to one who has never programmed before. Plus, there are no problem sets. This lack can be awkward to some readers. What isn't covered? Advanced functionality like Enterprise Java Beans and JMS. And internationalisation is barely mentioned. Mostly to do with using resource bundles. But no discussion about display issues of bidirectional text, for example. Related to this is just a glancing explanation of Unicode. American readers might say, so what? But readers who might have to code for non-European languages will find the book deficient. Yet, to be fair, the book is long enough as it is. While it is easy to describe what was omitted, the authors have made quite reasonable decisions about coverage.
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