I bought it as a helper to my Java classes. I find its full of info and its got tons of examples. But i find it a bit to dry for my tastes. It gives example after example about every little variation where lots of times ive found i understood the concept better from a different book(usually with a shorter and more to the point example). I do read a bit of it everyday, but i also use other books to help me out as well. I like Ivor Horton's "Beginning Java 1.3" a bit better. And Just Java 1.2 is a very good book. Its not nearly as complete as the other two, but sometimes discussing a subject without getting knee deep the first time around helps(me at least) to let the point sink in without getting confused.
I like the book (I assigned this book for my classes) in the areas I was teaching (ie: about half were never going to programming again, half would go on some advanced CSish degree). But the main focus of the class was not java. If I were to teach a beginning java I would use Just Java. The D-D was great in that there were a lot of exercises and I could always get someone excited about one of them. But it's not the kind of book you would read on a cold winter's evening in front of a roaring fire (well in less you wanted to sleep)
I have looked at the D&D Java book, but haven't ever purchased it. I think owning any *one* of the Deitels' books is great, since I think that they are able to explain complicated information in an easy-to-understand manner. I own 2 of their books presently, C- How to Program, and C++ - How to Program. These were required books for a couple of my courses. My only gripe with their books arises from the fact that the C++ book is largely a regurgitation of the C book, esp. in the earlier chapters. Many of the exercises also are duplicated between the books. I felt a little bit cheated after I bought the C++ book since it was so similar to the C book (with the exception of some of the more specific OOP details.) So if you don't have any of the other D&D books, the Java edition would probably be a pretty good purchase. Otherwise, I like Just Java (as mentioned previously) and also the 2-volume Core Java set.
Marilyn de Queiroz
Joined: Jul 22, 2000
The second edition of Java How to Program (D&D) was a lot like their C++ book. The third edition has lots of new stuff in it though and is much more specific to Java.
[This message has been edited by Marilyn deQueiroz (edited April 14, 2001).]