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Which Java 2 Book?

Dave Bilson

Joined: Oct 19, 2009
Posts: 7
Hello I was just wondering if there was a requirement to get one version of the Java 2 book by Peter Van der Linden over another.

The prices for the different version differ widly on

Just Java 2: J2SE 1.5 Edition - Peter Van der Linden (26 Aug 2004) - £23.99 (approx 38 USD).
Just Java 2 (8 Jan 2002) - Used from £3.71
Just Java 2 (14 Jan 1999) Used from £0.05

Obviously, postage costs would be added to these prices.

Are there any advantages in getting the 2004 version of the book?
Are there any disadvantages in getting the older versions of the book?
Should I avoid getting the oldest version?

I do have other Java books, however I am a total programming newbie. I have the following other Java Books

Head First Java Book
Java for Dummies

Many Thanks
Campbell Ritchie

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 46373
Welcome to JavaRanch

Yes, there are advantages. Even though (I think) the Cattle Drive uses Java 1.4.2 compatibility, Java was updated greatly when Java5 was introduced in September 2004, so I would regard older books as very outdated.

Other people may have other opinions, however.
Dave Bilson

Joined: Oct 19, 2009
Posts: 7
Thanks for your reply. My question really refers to using the book to complete the assignments in the Cattle Drive, after I have paid my $200 that is.

I know the Java 2 book is outdated but I assumed, maybe wrongly, that the assignment questions were created for this older version of Java using the Java 2 Book as a companion guide?

Marilyn de Queiroz

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9059
I believe the reference pages currently point to the newer version of the Just Java 2 book. However, the assignments are independent of the book. You can use either the newer or the older version and get the same basic information you need to complete the assignments. You can also use other books.

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Which Java 2 Book?
jQuery in Action, 3rd edition