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Which is better ? Khalid or RHE

Sandeep Arora

Joined: Nov 15, 2000
Posts: 13
Dear All,
I am preparing for SCJP2 from Jaworski. I must confess that the book is not what I was looking for.
Now I'm in a fix about buying the second book. Should it be Khalid or RHE.
Although I've found most of the ranchers preferring Khalid to RHE, but this week RHE's new edition is hitting the shelf.
Does Khalid suffice for the new pattern or is it worth going for RHE?
Please advice as I want to purchase only one of the two.
[This message has been edited by Sandeep Arora (edited January 13, 2001).]
Sean Casey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2000
Posts: 625
I struggled with the same situation. I didn't know which book to choose. In the end I purchased both books. They are both very good books. Khalid's book is very thorough, and the sample questions are very difficult, while RHE is a bit more readable, and the questions aren't quite as tough. For me, using both books really hammmers home the topics. I really can't say if one is better than the other, and I don't want to intimate that in what I've already written. I also use Bill Brogden's Exam Cram, and with that trio, I'm really understanding the topics, and I'm having an easy time with mock exams, though it is a lot of work.
Jaya Murugan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2000
Posts: 34
IMO first priority is for Khalid.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

It's hard to say if one book is "better" than the other, in particular while comparing Khalid to RHE. We seem to have had very different objectives in mind.
Khalid's book is indeed thorough. It focusses more on the idea of the "human compiler," on developing a skill set that is clear on the fundamentals and deep in its understanding of various subtleties. The book includes a lot of not-so-obvious pitfalls. Those same concerns are amplified by many participants here, e.g., here's a triple subclass, why is 'i' this much is you make this call, how much if you make that call, etc., etc. So it's not surprising that many JavaRanchers find Khalid "better" -- it coaches them the way they want to be coached. Cool.
RHE doesn't have this same approach in mind. We expect the student to expand on the book, work with the language, and to some degree find these "surprises" on their own. We may suggest problems and expect the reader to figure out how to prove the assertion as an exercise. It certainly was never our intention to help anyone ace the exam -- the three of us are teachers at heart, and we wanted to write a book that aided learning the language well enough to certify, and then go beyond. Certification is a means, not an end, and we hope our perspective on that shines through.
Believe it or not, the intent of our approach in part was to keep the book thin! That didn't quite work out, which is too bad. Nonetheless we're all pleased when someone finds the prose readable, even elegant. That's what we wanted.
If getting 100% on the exam is your objective, Khalid is probably the better choice. I for one am very pleased to hear Sean's opinion on RHE -- we wanted to be readable and usable beyond the exam, and I'm glad it shows.
One thing I am NOT happy about: if you have both books, follow the outlines of the chapters side by side. You'll find Khalid follows our outline almost point for point. Imitation could be the sincerest form of flattery, and we could say, "hey, it looks like Khalid set out to write a better RHE," and that's fine. Sorta.
It's not plagiarism, but it is lazy, and a bald marketing tactic. I've got a bigger problem with Addison-Wesley than I do with the authors -- A-W knew the competition, and the least they could do was put on the appearance of doing all their own work.
Michael Ernest, co-author of:
The Complete Java 2 Certification Study Guide
[This message has been edited by Michael Ernest (edited January 13, 2001).]

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
alex zhanov

Joined: Jan 13, 2001
Posts: 7
It's hard to follow the post from one of the book authors, but I will give my "practical" opinion. I passed the test last night. Score is not in the nineties, but the job is done. What worried me when I was prepearing are those tough questions, that were posted from different sources and Khalid etc.. book as well. It's a good source of Java trivia but if your goal is to get certified, and believe me once you get it you will feel that you worked for that, then it's something you can do without. Real test did not have any of those mind numbing questions. I used RHE, Cram and mock tests.
sunilkumar ssuparasmul
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 13, 2000
Posts: 142
HEllo all.
I prfer KHALIS s book bcos topics are discussed so clearlu in it. after that i did not want any other book although i havent seen RHE.ONE MORE THING WHERE DO U FIND BILL Brogden's Exam Cram.
Thanks in advance,

"Winners don't do different things<br /> They do things differently"
Jane Griscti
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 30, 2000
Posts: 3141
Hi Sandeep,
I used Jamie Jaworski's book and think I understand why you feel it is not "what you were looking for" The book is a very useful guide; which is it's stated purpose. It highlights what you need to know if you want to pass the certification. If you approach it with this attitude it can be very helpful.
Read the topic material and then refer to the API, JLS and Sun tutorial material to amplify the information. Write example code to help drive the point home.
Please don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to discourage you from purchasing either Khalid's or the RHE book; from postings I've seen on the ranch both are widely used and very helpful. Bottom line, no one book will make you a Java expert ...
Hope that helps.
[This message has been edited by Jane Griscti (edited January 14, 2001).]

Jane Griscti
SCJP, Co-author Mike Meyers' Java 2 Certification Passport
Sandeep Arora

Joined: Nov 15, 2000
Posts: 13
Thanks for your elaborate mail. Actually, my immediate goal is SCJP2. I think I'll go for Khalid.
Sean, Jaya, Alex, Sunil and Jane - You guys are great help. Many thanks to you all for your suggestions.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Which is better ? Khalid or RHE
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