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Ivor's Book

Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Sorry I haven't been around for the last couple of days... I reviewed Ivor's prior edition for JavaRanch and gave it 9 horseshoes. Wrox liked my review so much that part of it was used on the inside cover of the new version. Wrox sent me a copy as thanks. I haven't read the whole thing (the book is huge) but I have skimmed through it paying particular attention to the new sections. Ivor has done a fantastic job with the new release. I like it even better than the 1.3 edition. I have been using it in an "Introduction to Java" class that I teach and I am very happy with it as a textbook.


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Doug Wang
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Joined: Oct 05, 2001
Posts: 445
Thomas,
Could you please talk about your impression on the new sections of this release, especially on the new features introduced via JDK1.4?
Thanks.


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep
Rick Reumann
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Joined: Apr 03, 2001
Posts: 281
I'm curious also about this 1.4 Edition. Actually Ivor's 1.2 Book was the one I first started with and at the time I knew nothing about computer programming (besideds HTML and some BASIC I had back in the 80s). His 1.2 book was the only one that made sense without having to have had a background in C++. Thanks Ivor! I'm thinking about getting this book just as another Java reference, but I'd be curious what's covered in this book that wasn't in the 1.2 version. (I'm assuming it covers new stuff in the 1.4 API, but is the focus at all different in this book, etc.).
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Here's the TOC for the new book:
Chapter 1: Introducing Java
Chapter 2: Programs, Data, Variables and Calculation
Chapter 3: Loops and Logic
Chapter 4: Arrays and Strings
Chapter 5: Defining Classes
Chapter 6: Extending Classes and Inheritance
Chapter 7: Exceptions
Chapter 8: Understanding Streams
Chapter 9: Accessing Files and Directories
Chapter 10: Reading Files
Chapter 11: Serializing Objects
Chapter 12: Collection Classes
Chapter 13: A Collection of Useful Classes (update)
Chapter 14: Threads
Chapter 15: Creating Windows
Chapter 16: Handling Events
Chapter 17: Drawing in a Window
Chapter 18: Extending the GUI
Chapter 19: Filing and Printing Documents (additional material)
Chapter 20: Introducing XML
Chapter 21: Java and XML
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
The focus of the book is still the same... to provide the developer with a solid introduction to Java. Ivor dropped the section on JDBC and added a lot of stuff on XML. I haven't done a page-by-page comparison so I can't tell you how much has changed but the book does cover most of the Merlin additions.
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Hi Rick,
I hate to discourage sales but if you have the 1.2 edition you probably don't need to 1.4 edition (unless you are collecting them as a set ).
The first half on the Java language is essentially the same - some improvements and corrections based on feedback plus regular expressions as a new topic. The I/O chapters have been revamped to use new I/O and this increases the number of pages on I/O quite a lot. The GUI stuff and Sketcher is essentially the same - just updated and extended a little here and there, plus revised printing. There are two new chapter on XML covering reading and writing XML documents. Sketcher is extended to optionally export sketches as XML documents and import them.


Ivor Horton<br />Author of the Beginning Java Series including the new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1861005695/ref=ase_electricporkchop" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Beginning Java 2 SDK 1.4 Edition</a>
Daniel Christiansen
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 28, 2002
Posts: 1
I'm currently around 80% through Ivor's JDK 1.3 Edition. I've enjoyed the book tremendously, and feel I've gotten a good grounding in the Java language -- enough to be able to delve more deeply into specific topics as needed later.
One question I've had -- nearly from the beginning of the book -- is whether bitwise operations are widely used. I've seen them used a few times in my relatively short time in the Java world, but I wonder how many developers actually need to use bitwise operations in their work.
Many thanks to Ivor for a wonderful book. I'm sure the JDK 1.4 edition will carry on the tradition of being a great boon to students of Java.
Ivor Horton
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Hi Daniel,
Bitwise operations are not widely used in Java - unless you get into particular kinds of applications that involve using single bits as flags or accessing multiple data items packed into a single 32-bit word. The latter arises quite often with image data since color values are often a combination of 8-bit RGB values in a single word.
Corey McGlone
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Joined: Dec 20, 2001
Posts: 3271
Originally posted by Daniel Christiansen:
One question I've had -- nearly from the beginning of the book -- is whether bitwise operations are widely used. I've seen them used a few times in my relatively short time in the Java world, but I wonder how many developers actually need to use bitwise operations in their work.

I seldom see bit operations used in Java. The types of applications that Java is generally used for simply don't require them and, even if they are used, they look out of place, reducing readability.
In my experience, bit operations are more useful in the realm of embedded systems. Of course, if you get into that realm, you're more likely to find people using C,C++, or some assembly language than Java.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with understanding some nice bit operations.
Corey


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arun sahni
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Joined: Jan 16, 2002
Posts: 91
Ivor
I have seen in your book of Begining JAVA 2 you covered JDBC. But this is omited in this addition. Any specific reason for it?


Arun Sahni<br />SCJP2,SWCD,<br />BEA Certified Specialist: Server <br />JCert Enterprise Developer for BEA.
Dan Lund
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 17, 2001
Posts: 26
I wondered is this book going to be any easier than your 1.3 book? Cause I found your book very hard for beginners(in programming general). What will be different in this book than in the 1.3 book?
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Arun,
JDBC chapters were removed from the 1.4 edition (along with the chapters on Images & Animation and Sound) to make room for the new stuff on XML, new I/O and Regular Expressions. It is still 1150 pages....
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Dan,
No, it isn't any easier that 1.3.
If you are completely new to programming you would be better off with a book that is a little slower paced and covers the fundamental concepts of how computer programs work. You might like to try John Smiley's book. There's a promotion coming up on Javaranch on this.
Bruce Jin
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Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 666
I wonder how many major features are added to JDK 1.4 and how many of them are covered in this new book. From the discussions here I feel that the new book only covers XML part of the JDK 1.4 additions.
I have Beginning Java 2 SDK 1.3 and I think it is the best Java book. I hope Horton will write an Advanced Java 2 book to cover JNI, i18, Socket, JavaBean, RMI, Reflection, (and XML, JBDC) etc.
Thanks Ivor!


BJ - SCJP and SCWCD
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Arathi Rajashekar
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Joined: Nov 20, 2001
Posts: 112
Hi IVor,
I have read your java 1.2 book. Its great book which covers everything. Now in java1.4 you have included xml. Can you tell us what actually the chapters on xml contain. Have explained any simple projects on that.
Thanks
Arathi


Arathi<br />Sun Certified Java Programmer
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Bruce,
The 1.4 topics that I included were the ones that in my judgement a beginner would need to know about. Basically these are new I/O for files, reading and writing XML, regular expressions. There are also a lot of smaller incremental changes scattered around the book to things that were already in 1.3. There are many more additions in 1.4 that would be of interest to the experienced Java programmer. These are described at http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4/docs/relnotes/features.html
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Arathi,
The XML chapters total about 100 pages. They start with the assumption that the reader may not know much about XML so there's a short intro to the basics of XML and DTDs, and a discussion on SAX and DOM. There are a number of relatively simple examples showing how you can parse an XML document using the default parser or intalling a different parser.
The discussion on using DOM uses Sketcher as a platform for showing how you can create an XML document in Java - it uses a DTD for sketches that is also developed in the context of the discussion on DTDs. The Sketcher program is extended to use DOM to export and import sketches as XML.
Sarah Mooney
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 3
I am in a Beginning Java class this semester. We are using this book and I find it fairly easy to understand. I don't have any real backround in programming but am learning on the job so to speak. this book has been very helpful (along with this website ).
henry wu
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 01, 2000
Posts: 23
Ivor,
I have your 1.3 version book and it's awesome! I probably won't get the 1.4 version but just wanted to commend your writing!
Henry
Sam Islam
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 12, 2002
Posts: 10
Hi Ivor,
I have a question regarding the chapter on XML and DTDs. Isn't industry moving away from DTDs and using schemas now, which can be parsed along with the XML document? Wouldn't it have been appropriate to include the schema in the latest version of the book?
Sam
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Hi Sam,
Yes you are right in that Schemas are the direction and they overcome most of the problems of DTDs. However, the XML Schema was only approved as a W3C recommendation in May last year so the JAXP implementation in SDK 1.4 has no provision for processing XML schemas as yet. I'm sure it will be there eventually.
1.4 does include capability for XSLT but I felt this was beyond what I should be putting in an introductory book on Java. I would also have needed to throw something else out of the book to make room for XSLT - and I really couldn't find anything that I felt could be omitted. Maybe smaller type and a magnifying glass is the answer
[ March 28, 2002: Message edited by: Ivor Horton ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Ivor Horton:
Maybe smaller type and a magnifying glass is the answer
Or a multi-volume set!
Muhammad Asif
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Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 202
Hi,
I have a question that may be unrelated to this topic.
The question is that In JDK 1.4 we have indeterminate progress bars. Can we use that class with the version JDK 1.3 or 1.2.
I mean if I can import that class into a seperate package and use it or do i need other packages with it.
Thanx
Asif


SCJP, SCBCD, SCWCD 1.4, IBM-OOAD, SCEA, TCP, TCSS, TCIS, ATCP
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Hi Asif,
Generally forward compatibility between SDK releases is reasonably assured, but not backwards compatibility. I don't think it would be a good idea to drag bits of the class library from 1.4 back into a previous release. It would be better to move your code to 1.4. If you do need to stay with an earlier release, it would probably be easier to implement your own version of the component. Since you know the interface for the 1.4 version, you should be able to arrange for yours to have the same interface so if you did move the code to 1.4 it could pick up the standard component from there.
Doug Wang
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Joined: Oct 05, 2001
Posts: 445
Originally posted by Ivor Horton:
The XML chapters total about 100 pages.

So the XML part covers one tenth of your book, may be the largest part. I am delighted to hear that.
Matt Horton
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Joined: Feb 06, 2002
Posts: 107
how about sending a book to your long lost uhhhhh... cousin.
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Nice to hear from you again Matt! I need all the family support I can get. Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer a good to to family... (You don't even have to have the same name )
Matt Horton
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Joined: Feb 06, 2002
Posts: 107
lol
Rob Ross
Bartender

Joined: Jan 07, 2002
Posts: 2205
I have the 1.2 version of the book, so I wouldn't mind updating to 1.4!
What are the rules exactly for eligibility?


Rob
SCJP 1.4
Soumendu Munshi
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 15, 2001
Posts: 11
I enjoyed reading Beginning Java 2 JDK 1.3. I have specific questions regarding-
1. Did you provide any kind of tips/technique, easy way to remember ever expanding JDK.
2. Is there any web site where we can view sections which you added after JDK 1.3 especially about XML and I/O classes which we use often.
Thanks,
Soum.
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Hi Rob,
Your question comes up quite often but unfortunately Wrox Press have not been able to come up with a way to upgrade. If you have any ideas on how this might work you might care to send it to them via http://www.wrox.com.
Ivor Horton
Author
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 67
Hi Soum,
I think the only way to remember the class libraries is by usage. I suspect no-one can remember the details all the classes - I certainly can't. There are more than 1600 classes and interfaces now. It is therefore essential to have the SDK documentation installed. I find it handy to put a shortcut on the taskbar to the index.html page for the documentation. Then it is instantly accessible when required.
On the new chapters in the latest edition - I'm afraid that is not downloadable from anywhere. I guess the basic reason is that it would be hard to get folks to pay for the book if they could download it for free
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I think every Java developer needs a link on their desktop to the SDK documentation.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Ivor Horton:
On the new chapters in the latest edition - I'm afraid that is not downloadable from anywhere. I guess the basic reason is that it would be hard to get folks to pay for the book if they could download it for free

"Thinking in Java" is available free but I think the author of that book makes his money from seminars that interest in the book generates.
Bruce Jin
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Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 666
Since I have Horton's previous book, I may only need to download the XML chapter source from wrox and play with it!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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