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Core Java vs Big Java

Kevin Stock

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 18

First off, I really enjoyed your (Cay's) book "Big Java" which I read over the summer in preparation for my ap-cs class since I was skipping intro. It helped a lot and I'm now one of the top students in the class.

I was wondering, what are the big differences / what will I learn from core java over big java?

Eusebio Floriano
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 07, 2004
Posts: 237
I have Core Java 2 Vol. II - Advanced Features
In my opinion, the best advantage of this book andthat it explains very clear the core JAVA API and the code examples are very objective unlike books that i�ve seen that use to many unnecessary code like the book "How to program" that dirty the code with a lot of unnecessary Swing/Awt code.


SCJP 1.4 / 5.0 - SCBCD 1.3 - SCWCD 1.4 - IBM 484
Cay Horstmann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 137
Big Java is a college text for a CS1 course. It is an introduction to programming and object-oriented design, written for college students (or bright high school students) without prior programming experience. It is a book for CS majors, so there is a lot of emphasis on software engineering principles.

Core Java is a professional book, written for professional programmers who want to learn about the Java language and library. It goes into a great amount of detail into those parts of the standard library that are likely to be used by application programmers.

I don't think that readers in an "intermediate Java" forum would benefit from Big Java--presumably you all know how to program. But if you worked through Big Java or a similar book in your college or AP course, Core Java would be a natural follow-on.



Author of Java 8 for the Really Impatient
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