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going from 1.0 to 1.4

sam thomson

Joined: Aug 14, 2004
Posts: 4
hi,i just started learning java this last week,the book i'm using is teach yourself java in 21 days,and it was written for java 1.0,now that java is upto 1.4 is there anything big i should know thats changed,or better yet some type of list of the changes that have been made,like in the book it only states .bmp images can be imported now but i've seen that other image types are now useable.thanks for any help.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199


Welcome to JavaRanch!

That book wasn't worth the paper it was printed on when it was current; now that it's nearly ten years old, it's even worse than worthless. Java has changed a great deal, and people have learned a lot about how to use it and how to write about it. You will suffer greatly if you fill your head with that garbage.

My advice: throw the book away, the sooner, the better. Go out and get a new one. Our Bunkhouse contains detailed reviews of many excellent beginner's Java books -- just pick one and dive in!

Now, if you can't afford a new book, then why not use free online ones instead? Bruce Eckel's "Thinking in Java" is available online for no cost; and there are many excellent free Java tutorials out there as well, especially the one at Sun's own Java site.

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
sam thomson

Joined: Aug 14, 2004
Posts: 4
thanks for the links.

yeah,i kind of knew going in it wasn't going to be a top of the line book,but in the past the teach/learn in days/months books have anyways been a good starting out point for me,qbasic/c/vb5.i have no hopes of being a pro java person or some such,i just wanna learn the basic commands and what not.
Marilyn de Queiroz

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9059
You'll see lots and lots of differences between 1.0 and 1.4. There were even major differences between 1.0 and 1.1 in the way GUIs (for one example) were handled. My first Java book was "Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days" version 1.1 and that was quite a few years ago. I couldn't recommend trying to learn Java today from any book that was based on Java 1.0.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Julian Kennedy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 02, 2004
Posts: 823
Hi Sam,

I just like to echo Ernest's rather succinct book review of Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days. I recently borrowed a copy (of a more recent edition) from a friend just to get a little taste of Swing, which I hadn't done before. I'm an experienced server-side Java and web developer.

The book contained an unusual amount of errors and inconsistencies in the example code, including bad coding practice, and the narrative frequently used poor English. The tone was often patronising and the pace pedestrian. Even if the book covered version 1.4 I wouldn't recommend it unless the publishers/editors have pulled their socks up and the authors have changed.

Altogether it's a bit of a no-no.

[ August 15, 2004: Message edited by: Julian Kennedy ]
Dan Chisholm
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2002
Posts: 1865

Head First Java is a great place to start.

If you prefer a more traditional textbook, then you might want to try the seventh edition of Core Java. It has been updated for Java 1.5.

The seventh edition should be available in about a week. Prentice Hall claims that it will be available on August 20, 2004.

Dan Chisholm<br />SCJP 1.4<br /> <br /><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Try my mock exam.</a>
Dirk Schreckmann

Joined: Dec 10, 2001
Posts: 7023
(Coming in a bit late with a cookie cutter reply...)

Here is a list of free on-line Java tutorials and books that I have found useful:
  • Sun's Java Tutorial
  • Introduction to Computer Science using Java by Bradley Kjell
  • Introduction to Programming Using Java by David J. Eck
  • Dick Baldwin's Java Programming Tutorials
  • Interactive Programming In Java by Lynn Andrea Stein
  • Bruce Eckel's Thinking In Java
  • JavaRanch's own Campfire Stories
  • Allen B. Downey's How To Think Like A Computer Scientist

  • [How To Ask Good Questions] [JavaRanch FAQ Wiki] [JavaRanch Radio]
    Ray Muirhead
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 11, 2004
    Posts: 44
    I found a link to RoboCode in another post about learning Java and it looks like a great way to learn Java (in combination with some of the above books / tutorials) to me.

    Have fun!
    I agree. Here's the link:
    subject: going from 1.0 to 1.4
    jQuery in Action, 3rd edition