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Head First Java

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Overview

We know what you're thinking -- why is there a duck in the memory management section? Can a girl in a bathtub illustrate the fine points of polymorphism? Is this for real? Prepare to have your mind opened! Head First Java combines puzzles, strong visuals, mysteries, and soul-searching interviews with famous Java objects to engage you in many different ways. It's fast, it's fun, and it's effective. The more different ways you process the material, the more you'll remember, and the better you'll be able to put what...
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Head First Java

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Overview

We know what you're thinking -- why is there a duck in the memory management section? Can a girl in a bathtub illustrate the fine points of polymorphism? Is this for real? Prepare to have your mind opened! Head First Java combines puzzles, strong visuals, mysteries, and soul-searching interviews with famous Java objects to engage you in many different ways. It's fast, it's fun, and it's effective. The more different ways you process the material, the more you'll remember, and the better you'll be able to put what you learn to use. Despite its playful appearance, Head First Java is serious stuff -- a complete introduction to object-oriented (OO) programming and Java. You'll learn everything from fundamentals to advanced topics, including threads, network sockets, and distributed programming with RMI. More importantly, you'll learn how to think like an object-oriented developer. And you won't just be reading and solving puzzles. You'll be writing real Java, and lots of it, including the "sink a dot com" game, a trivia quiz, a networked musical chat system, and a universal service browser. If you want to be bored, go buy some other book. Please. (We'd tell you which book, but we'd probably be sued.) But if you want to learn Java, get a high-paying job (right), and improve your social life at the same time, you need Head First Java.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Head First Java is a beginning Java primer like you’ve never seen before (and believe us, we’ve seen plenty). This book makes Java fun. No, that doesn’t do it justice. Imagine learning Java from Robin Williams. (The comedian, we mean. If you can imagine him as a truly great Java programmer.)

Synapses firing, new ideas, new connections, attitude all over the place: That’s Head First Java. (Where else can you watch Java objects expose their inner secrets on Java Tabloid TV? Or learn why Lucy really keeps her variables private?)

Hilarious captioned photos. Text that’s actually funny (and we don’t mean the kind of “alleged” funny you’ve seen in computer books before -- the kind that makes you cringe). Games. Puzzles. Mysteries. “Be the compiler” exercises. Great analogies.

And all these goodies weren’t bolted on at the end to enliven a deadly narrative or fit a format. They’re here to make the ideas come alive. And it works.

If you prefer to be lectured, if you prefer a rigid format where you know exactly what to expect every time you turn the page…look elsewhere. Head First Java has a surprise waiting on pretty much every spread. Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates, and the gang at O’Reilly figure that people learn best when they’re fully engaged. When they’re being tickled. When they’re on the floor laughing. (And the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology backs them up.)

In Chapter 1, you’ll build your first app -- not Hello World, but your own personal Phrase-O-Matic. Then, it’s straight outta main() -- or, as the authors put it, “We’re leaving this dusty old procedural town for good.” You’ll learn why objects are better through an imaginary competition between Larry, the procedural programmer and Brad, the OO guy (winner gets the cool Aeron chair).

Next, it’s on to primitive and reference variables. Think of ‘em as cups. Think of 64 and Double 64 primitives as Starbucks Grande cups. Java cares about type and won’t let you put a Giraffe into a Rabbit variable: “What happens when someone tries to ask the so-called Rabbit to hop()? You’ll get to know life -- and death -- on the garbage collectible heap. There’s a full chapter on object behavior and on encapsulation (“do it or risk humiliation and ridicule”).

One big idea at a time, you make it through every Java fundamental. Solving problems with the Java Library APIs. Inheritance. Object-oriented design. Serious polymorphism, and interfaces: “the caffeine in Java.” Constructors. Memory management. Garbage collection. Java math (static methods and variables, math methods, wrappers, and number formatting). Exception handling. GUIs, event handling, layout managers, and Swing components. Object serialization. File I/O. Networking and threads. Even getting your code ready for release (e.g., code organization, packages, executable JARs, and Java Web Start (which launches your application for the first time as a web browser and then runs it on a stand-alone basis).

Throughout Head First Java, you’ll also find answers to the “dumb questions” other books don’t deign to answer. Oh, and plenty of “Ready-bake code.” You’ll never forget this Java book -- or what you learn from it. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600330001
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Sierra has been interested in learning theory since her days as a game developer (Virgin, MGM, Amblin'). More recently, she's been a master trainer for Sun Microsystems, teaching Sun's Java instructors how to teach the latest technologies to customers, and a lead developer of several Sun certification exams. Along with her partner Bert Bates, Kathy created the Head First series. She's also the original founder of the Software Development/Jolt Productivity Award-winning javaranch.com, the largest (and friendliest) all-volunteer Java community.

Bert Bates is a 20-year software developer, a Java instructor, and a co-developer of Sun's upcoming EJB exam (Sun Certified Business Component Developer). His background features a long stint in artificial intelligence, with clients like the Weather Channel, A&E Network, Rockwell, and Timken.

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Table of Contents

Intro
1 Breaking the Surface: a quick dip 1
2 A Trip to Objectville: yes, there will be objects 25
3 Know Your Variables: primitwes and references 47
4 How Objects Behave: object state affects method behavior 69
5 Extra-Strength Methods: flow control, operations, and more 93
6 Using the Java Library: so you don't have to write it all yourself 121
7 Better Living in Objectville: planning for the future 161
8 Serious Polymorphism: exploiting abstract classes and interfaces 193
9 Life and Death of an Object: constructors and memory management 231
10 Numbers Matter: math, formatting, wrappers, and statics 269
11 Risky Behavior: exception handling 297
12 A Very Graphic Story: intro to GUI, event handling and inner classes 335
13 Work on Your Swing: layout managers and components 381
14 Saving Objects: serialization and I/O 411
15 Make a Connection: networking sockets and multithreading 451
16 Release Your Code: packaging and deployment 509
17 Distributed Computing: RMI with a dash of servlets, EJB, and Fini 535
App. A Final code kitchen 557
App. B Top Ten Things that didn't make it into the rest of the book 587
Index 607
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    This book makes me look like a genius

    My classmates & professors think I'm a genius. If only they knew what I used to get this way, they would be amazed. I will have to admit the book's style makes it a love it or hate it situation. You'll either think this book is hysterical or totally annoying. I loved it, and found I really understood the material well enough to use it after reading. The other great thing was I understood the material well enough to remember it later, I "owned it". That doesn't happen very often for me. Somehow this book takes some really tough concepts, like generic collections, threads, or serialization, and makes them easy. After reading a hundred pages in other really, really dry boring books and not really getting it, I read a small simple chapter in "Head First" and I got it down cold.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    Great read for new Java programmers

    I had to read this book for my class. Here I was thinking that this would be another boring book of how to code...wrong! This is a very entertaining and educational book. There are many examples and illustrations, and even some fun mind teasers at the end of every chapter! I feel that I gained a lot of information from this book, where previous to reading I was in the dark on how to program Java. I recommend it to the newbies. It is a great read. You just flow from chapter to chapter. It is NOT tedious and boring to read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Good starting point

    If you're trying to learn Java for the first time, this is a great book. If you're an advanced programmer, not so much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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