My son (then 16) learned how to program with Java from Objects First. I only know the first edition but it looks as if the third edition is going to be at least as good. Because the book is rather expensive, take a look at the contents, you can then see if you can "take it" [ May 03, 2006: Message edited by: Barry Gaunt ]
HF Java doesn't assume you know Java, but it does assume you know what they're teaching in one chapter before moving on to the next.
If you don't look for a book that teaches you something you might want a reference rather than a tutorial.
Dummies books are useless. They make people think they know something when in fact they don't. Just giving examples doesn't teach you anything, you learn things by doing them yourself, which is how the books you dismissed do it.
Joined: Apr 21, 2006
I never stated I "just" wanted examples. I also want to know how to do something, but would like to see an example of code "in addition" to the tutorial.
I mean I love hands on, but if I'm just reading and then typing what I see in the book without understanding, I'm really not getting anywhere. I may pick-up a few things here and there, but not much.
Head First Java does assume some experience in the prequsites part.
It states "In this book, we assume you are familiar with some type of programming language".
Knowing a few things in Java didn't really help when I read the head First book.. Perhaps if you've learned all the basics, or want to prepare for a Java test,etc,then the book would be great.
But for an absolute beginner like myself, I didn't find it very helpful..
I need something that shows you Java and really gets in extreme detail in the basics before moving on.
I have never done any type of programming except HTML, which I really don't count as programming. [ May 04, 2006: Message edited by: Jeremy Bernard ]
I started learning Java from Walter Savitch's, "Java - An introduction to Computer Science and Programming", which takes a detailed approach to the fundamentals of the language and programming logic. The book has good examples that are often written one way and then rewritten to show a more efficient/improved approach. Each chapter has good projects for the reader to write and understand before moving on.
As Paras Jain mentioned, Bruce Eckel's, "Thinking In Java", is a good book, but as others it assumes some previous knowledge. It reviews the basics, but it not nearly as detailed as the Savitch book. It is a great book to get an understanding before researching, plus the previous (3rd edition) is free in PDF format, so taking a look can't hurt.
Joined: Jan 24, 2006
the book i referred is pretty good, I've used it the past two semesters in
my college classes.
like i said, it talks about a particular subject in great detail,
For Example: How to print something to the monitor.
it goes over the different ways, and then has examples using those methods.
and it explains what "System.out" means, and what it is..
it a really good book, but i guess its my opinion.
I liked Murach�s beginning Java 2 JDK5 (authors: Doug Lowe, Joel Murach, Andrea Steelman), and another good book is Beginning Java Objects from concepts to code (author: Jacqiue Barker - Apress). [ May 04, 2006: Message edited by: Amir Alagic ]
No matter which book you use, you are going to find some speed bumps. These are different for every reader -- one person might need more detail about what static means, while another might need more detail about protected access or polymorphism. In any case, it's doubtful that any one book will be able to present everything at the level of detail required by any particular reader.
So maybe you can get the additional help you need through these boards. Can you tell us where exactly you're getting stuck? What exactly doesn't make sense?
You could post something like: "The book says _______, so I thought that _______. But when I try _______, then _______ happens instead. What am I missing?"
"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
Head First Java is, in my opinion, the best overall Java tutorial there is. It's engaging and entertaining, but still covers the topics in enough depth to be worthwhile.
My suggestion is that you go to your local Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstore, and get some examples of the books recommended here. Then drink a couple cups of coffee and read the first chapter of each one. Buy the one that appeals to you most based on that reading.
You'll find a table of contents on the first link as well.
It is my belief that you cannot possibly understand Java without knowing about objects first. This book (which has been revised since the original edition I purchased many years ago) first introduces object concepts, then how to design good applications, looks at Java syntax (including the new J2SE 5.0 features like generics) and ends up with some GUI construction using AWT/Swing.
It isn't an extensive Java API reference - the free JavaDoc is in my opinion much better than any printed manual anyway - but it's an excellent introduction and will teach you good habits from the outset.
Charles Lyons (SCJP 1.4, April 2003; SCJP 5, Dec 2006; SCWCD 1.4b, April 2004)
Author of OCEJWCD Study Companion for Oracle Exam 1Z0-899 (ISBN 0955160340 / AmazonAmazon UK )
Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Thanks to you all.. I have been looking at the information I have found about the books recommended.
I figure I will have to buy a few books so I can try to cover as much as possible, that way if I get stuck in one book, I can read another to see if I can gather what I need to continue in the other, etc..
i really don't know how to react. this forum is very helpful. that's all i can say. i'm a java newbie. shifting little by little to java.
to the one who posted, i got a lot of eBooks about java. i collected a lot from the web before i finally decided to learn the language. in fact, i already have some of the books mentioned in this topic. just in case you need one, i'd be glad to send you.
I just wanted to thank everyone who put their thoughts and recommendations into this thread. After reading all of your responses and reading all the reviews on amazon for the different books, I decided to purchase Head First Java, 2nd Edition. I'm confident this will be the resource that will finally help me to learn Java. My AP Computer Science A textbook is horrible; it gives one long program per chapter and explains different concepts and ideas that are used in it. I need more than that. Again thanks for your contribution, and I hope others can benefit as well.
What we really need is a sticky thread somewhere with different Java books and a short summary of each one, their strengths and weaknesses, etc.