I would like to know your comments regarding the following for learning java, and which one should be preferred according to your experience.
VTC ( video tutorials) Java in a Nutshell Head First Java Thinking in Java Keystones ( video tutorials) The Complete Reference for Java
I have already searched the forum for some reccomendations. However, I wanted to have some feedback about the above ones. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. [ February 16, 2006: Message edited by: Aum Tao ]
From the above list, I am familiar with Head First Java and Thinking in Java, both of which are excellent books. If you are a true beginner, then you will probably find Head First to be more accessible.
Also note that the current edition of Head First is already updated for Java 5.0. An updated edition of Thinking in Java is expected this month, but I don't think it's out yet.
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer sscce.org
I would read as widely as possible. For a start, the free online tutorial at Sun, then probably move on to Head First Java (2nd Ed), and with that foundation, read whatever online articles (Javaworld, Java Tech Tips newsletters) that are available. Would be good if you could read Effective Java & Robust Java.
Java in a Nutshell won't be very helpful for learning. it is more of a reference. Get a java book that has exercises in the back of each chapter. ( as Thinking in Java and Java Examples in a Nutshell ) The Head First books are great, but I haven't looked at Head First Java yet.
Try the cattle drive here on javaranch. I didn't really learn until I got started on my own projects and HAD to find out how to do something. So,just dive in by saying, " I want to write a program that does x " and starting out.
Headfirst and TIJ are both great books, with TIJ being a little harder to read, but going into more detail. Rather then choose between the two, I find that they complement each other pretty well. If I don't quite understand a concept in one, reading the other usually clears it up. The link that Steve has given you will lead you to a free version of TIJ3 which covers JDK 1.4. JDK 1.5 will be covered in TIJ4 which is due out in a week or so. Unfortunately the author has decided not to release TIJ4 in online form, meaning you'll have to buy the book or use TIJ3. Given the amount of effort that Bruce has put into all of the Thinking series, $30.00 or so is a bargin. Amazon has a preorder going on TIJ4 at a pretty reasonable price. I highly recommend both books.