Learning Java

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Overview

Version 5.0 of the Java 2 Standard Edition SDK is the most important upgrade since Java first appeared a decade ago. With Java 5.0, you'll not only find substantial changes in the platform, but to the language itself-something that developers of Java took five years to complete. The main goal of Java 5.0 is to make it easier for you to develop safe, powerful code, but none of these improvements makes Java any easier to learn, even if you've programmed with Java for years. And that means our bestselling hands-on ...

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Overview

Version 5.0 of the Java 2 Standard Edition SDK is the most important upgrade since Java first appeared a decade ago. With Java 5.0, you'll not only find substantial changes in the platform, but to the language itself-something that developers of Java took five years to complete. The main goal of Java 5.0 is to make it easier for you to develop safe, powerful code, but none of these improvements makes Java any easier to learn, even if you've programmed with Java for years. And that means our bestselling hands-on tutorial takes on even greater significance.

Learning Java is the most widely sought introduction to the programming language that's changed the way we think about computing. Our updated third edition takes an objective, no-nonsense approach to the new features in Java 5.0, some of which are drastically different from the way things were done in any previous versions. The most essential change is the addition of "generics", a feature that allows developers to write, test, and deploy code once, and then reuse the code again and again for different data types. The beauty of generics is that more problems will be caught during development, and Learning Java will show you exactly how it's done.

Java 5.0 also adds more than 1,000 new classes to the Java library. That means 1,000 new things you can do without having to program it in yourself. That's a huge change. With our book's practical examples, you'll come up to speed quickly on this and other new features such as loops and threads. The new edition also includes an introduction to Eclipse, the open source IDE that is growing in popularity.

Learning Java, 3rd Edition addresses all of the important uses of Java, such as web applications, servlets, and XML that are increasingly driving enterprise applications.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The Gartner Group estimates that well over 90 percent of all midsize to large application development organizations will be using Java technologies through at least the year 2005. They’d be focusing even more heavily on Java, but for one thing: not enough skilled Java developers.

Does this sound like an opportunity? It should.

If you haven’t learned Java yet -- or if you’ve given it a once-over-lightly but haven’t dived deeply enough to even mention it in your résumé -- seclude yourself with a copy of Learning Java, Second Edition. This polished O’Reilly title covers everything you need to start building significant applications with Java 2 Version 1.4.x.

Learning Java, Second Edition is actually in its fourth iteration: the first two were published under the title Exploring Java. Which means there’s been more time to shake out the inevitable errors, and refine the book’s enormous number of code examples.

With each iteration, however, the authors have done far more than fix errors and add new features (though plenty of new features are covered in this edition -- we’ll get to that.) They’ve also revisited the entire book, reflecting new approaches they’ve learned through experience (and abandoning older coverage that no longer seems relevant, such as client-side applet development).

Patrick Niemeyer and Jonathan Knudsen begin with an up-to-date discussion of both the original rationale for Java and how things are actually working out, several years on. You’ll learn how Java fits into the language bestiary; how Java seeks to protect you from shooting yourself in the foot (or allowing others to do it); and how Java has evolved.

Next, Niemeyer and Knudsen help you get your feet wet with some working code. They start with "Hello World" but iterate it three more times, giving you a first taste of a surprisingly wide range of features (from garbage collection and inheritance all the way to threads).

Once all this is under your belt, Niemeyer and Knudsen introduce Sun’s Java interpreter and compiler; and systematically introduce the framework of the Java language and many of its most important facilities (including useful new capabilities such as language assertions and exception chaining.

Next, they present a “crash course” in Java object-oriented development. If you’ve used C++, you’ll be reasonably at home here. (Though, as the authors note, it’s easy to overestimate the similarities with C++ -- they view Smalltalk a closer relative). If your experience tends more to VB, COBOL, or other largely non-object-oriented languages, you’ll find this coverage invaluable. Before moving on to Java’s API classes, Niemeyer and Knudsen demystify multithreading, helping programmers avoid the pitfalls that tend to make threading more complex and error prone than it needs to be.

The remainder of the book focuses on the Java classes you’re likely to encounter most often in day-to-day development. Some, like java.io, have been around for awhile; others, like java.nio (New I/O) are new to 1.4. While NIO was primarily designed to address issues of scalability in large systems, it contains several goodies you’ll want to know about even if you’re building only small applications.

Learning Java, Second Edition also introduces Java’s great new support for regular expressions; the new Preferences API, which simplifies the management of user and system configuration data; and the new Logging API for capturing information about security failures, configuration errors, performance bottlenecks, and application bugs.

The book includes extensive coverage (much of it new) of server-side development and web services. Among the topics covered: the latest version of the Java Servlet API (2.3); SAX, DOM, DTDs, XSL/XSLT, and the new JavaBeans XMLEncoder.

The accompanying CD-ROM contains all source code, plus a complete Java software library. There’s Sun’s Java SDK 1.4, of course, but also NetBeans 3.3.1, a powerful open source IDE for building Java (and other) software; Ant, Apache’s handy Java-based build tool (think “make” without the hassles); the proven Apache Tomcat server engine; and BeanShell, a lightweight Java source interpreter for quick Java-based scripting.

If you want to master Java, Learning Java, Second Edition will give you a running start -- and powerful momentum. 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: 9780596008734
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2005
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 980
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

(pat@pat.net) became involved with Oak (Java's predecessor) while working at Southwestern Bell Technology Resources. He is an independent consultant and author in the areas of networking and distributed applications. Pat is the author of BeanShell, a popular Java scripting language, as well as various other free goodies on the Net. Most recently, Pat has been developing enterprise architecture for A.G. Edwards. He currently lives in the Central West End area of St. Louis with various creatures.

Jonathan Knudsen is an author at O'Reilly & Associates. His books include The Unofficial Guide to Lego Mindstorms Robots, Java 2D Graphics, and Java Cryptography. He is the Courseware Writer for LearningPatterns.com.

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Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: A Modern Language
  • Chapter 2: A First Application
  • Chapter 3: Tools of the Trade
  • Chapter 4: The Java Language
  • Chapter 5: Objects in Java
  • Chapter 6: Relationships Among Classes
  • Chapter 7: Working with Objects and Classes
  • Chapter 8: Generics
  • Chapter 9: Threads
  • Chapter 10: Working with Text
  • Chapter 11: Core Utilities
  • Chapter 12: Input/Output Facilities
  • Chapter 13: Network Programming
  • Chapter 14: Programming for the Web
  • Chapter 15: Web Applications and Web Services
  • Chapter 16: Swing
  • Chapter 17: Using Swing Components
  • Chapter 18: More Swing Components
  • Chapter 19: Layout Managers
  • Chapter 20: Drawing with the 2D API
  • Chapter 21: Working with Images and Other Media
  • Chapter 22: JavaBeans
  • Chapter 23: Applets
  • Chapter 24: XML
  • Appendix A: The Eclipse IDE
  • Appendix B: BeanShell: Simple Java Scripting
  • Glossary
  • Colophon

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2005

    Outstanding book.

    There are plenty monumental epic efforts in the field of Java teaching which would start from showing you PDP-11 pictures, and go long distance explaining how hard-drives and memory chips used to look & work when the author was in his prime. Around page number 250, you might encounter a first notion of a JFrame (unless you got completely bored and took off to a nearby coffee shop.) Jokes aside, if you want to learn Java, this book is a 'must have' title. Honest (!) and crystal clear explanations (albeit, yep to some limited degree it would help if you knew C, however C-related experience would help with any Java book.) It is obvious, that authors have tremendous direct programming experience. This book will really help you become knowledgeable Java guru. It is fun to read too. I would strongly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2010

    DON'T BUY THIS UNLESS YOU READ GERMAN 11

    my copy was written in Ge,man and I don't know Ger,man BUMMER

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2005

    But we'll explain that in a later chapter

    Starts off on the wrong foot with a multitude of unexplained terms/concepts that 'will be discussed in a later chapter.' One gets the sense that the authors are knowledgeable, but can't quite figure out how to explain the language in a coherent, logical sequence. There's a building, see, and it's a wonderful building. And it has a door that is just a fantastic door. And, oh yeah, there are stairs to get to the door but we'll explain that later. So, anyway, about the windows...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2004

    Explains Java Well, However, there's an aftertaste...

    This textbook does a good job of explaining the rules of Java, and all of the examples work in the Net Beans compiler that is provided on the CD that comes with the book. However, when you try to incorporate any of the java applet class examples into an HTML or XHTML file with the recommended element: [APPLET], which, by the way, is deprecated, you receive a 'Loading Java Applet Failed' message in IE, and an 'Applet ExampleApplet notinited' message in Netscape and FireFox. This happened to me when I used the simplest example applet contained in chapter 2. The introductory section of the textbook does not tell you about the business with how the Java interpreter deals with proxy servers -- don't even go there -- you may hose your browser, and maybe your system if you do. You have to go to a separate Sun website to find out how to use the [object] tag, which the W3.org has deemed to be the favored way in which to include class applets for Java. When you have made effort to find out how to use the [object] tag, it is much more complex than the [applet] tag by orders of magnitude, and there is different XHTML coding with the [object] tag for IE versus Netscape!! Is this book worth you money? Maybe it would be if you owned a fully tricked out 3,000 GHz Sun Workstation with 5,000 terrabytes of RAM, and 10,000,000 terrabytes of storage space. The java applets are real memory hogs, and do not load fast at all. My verdict? Save you money and learn more about XML and XHTML JavaScript and CSS -- these technologies have a plug and play receptiveness and they work right out of the box.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2004

    Stopped reading after second chapter

    After reading previous reviews, I thought this would be a good book for a programmer to learn java. The first chapter of the book is like JAVA propoganda. The second starts giving you programing examples. This is when you learn that JAVA is just C Code that does have an integrated IDE and needs a special runtime to work. Java Script on the other hand is actually useful

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2004

    Learning Java made easy

    Learning Java by Patrick Niemeyer & Jonathan Knudsen is one of the best Java books I¿ve read. Most aspects of Java are covered chapter by chapter in chronological order. This is a good book for beginning programmers trying to learn Java or more experienced programmers learning a second language. Everything you need to write Programs and run your code is included with the book. A complete version of J2SE SDK 1.4 is on the CD in the back of this book. I would certainly recommend Learning Java to beginning as well as intermediate programmers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2003

    This is a great book

    Save your money on the other Java books! I have dog-eared Savitch, Eckel and Deitel and none are fit to hold Pat Niemeyer or Jonathan Knudsen's applets. This book describes 'all' of Java's tiny details in a wonderful progression and in a stylish manner. This is a great book.

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