This week's book giveaway is in the General Computing forum. We're giving away four copies of Arduino in Action and have Martin Evans, Joshua Noble, and Jordan Hochenbaum on-line! See this thread for details.
I have to say that I liked the book very much. It is not for beginners that don't know programming already, but instead it is for those (especially C) programmers that prefer that the new programming language be presented in a more formal manner.
The book's style is academic and I would see it being used in a four-year University college in a Java class for students of Computer Science. The review questions, which are dispersed over the chapters, are really good, and the answers are very well explained in an appendix.
This is a book that goes way beyond of what is strictly necessary to pass the Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform examination, which is something I like. (I don't believe in 'bare minimums'.)
The few times that I had to e-mail the authors, their reply came promptly and to the point, including code examples. This is not what you usually get with other books. Some books don't even have an errata web page. This one, of course, does, with credits to all who helped them.(Tony Alicea - Sherriff Oct 2000)
I certainly have to say that this has been my favorite book so far. I don't think I would have liked it as much if I hadn't read some other books before hand, but concepts that I previously had a problem with are becoming clearer with this book. One of the big things I look for in a book is exercises. When it comes to programming, I can read something a million times and I can copy code, but I won't truly learn it until I put it into practice. This book has good exercises. Where topics are related, the exercises build on each other. The exercise answers contain good comments to explain the code. Review questions follow each topic. These are great for studying for certification. Overall I would give this book 8 out of 10 stars, and I'm not finished with this yet. Matthew Phillips
<pre>Author/s : Khalid A. Mughal, Rolf W. Rasmussen Publisher : Addison-Wesley Category :Java Certification Review by : Andrew Monkhouse Rating : 9 horseshoes</pre> This is an excellent book for experienced programmers who wish to learn how to program in Java and, in so doing, study for the SCJP exam. Since this book is targeted at the experienced programmer, it does not attempt to spoon feed the reader. Whatever topics are under discussion are explained quickly and concisely, then sample code is supplied to demonstrate the topics. It seems assumed that the experienced programmer will be able to correlate the sample code back to the discussion, as the code is not pulled apart line by line. The book uses ample UML diagrams to describe class hierarchies, state transitions, and event sequences, however they are not relied upon within the text, so someone not familiar with UML will not be disadvantaged. Someone who wishes to learn Java beyond the bare minimum required to pass the SCJP will benefit from the author's additional information provided. For every topic in the SCJP, the authors have picked topics that are related and are likely to be useful to a Java programmer. A word of warning to potential purchasers though: this book will not spoon feed you, you will not get hints about the exam questions, and you will have to be prepared to experiment with the supplied code and textual descriptions of code. The author's do cover all the exam objectives, but they do not focus on getting you passed: they focus on teaching you how to program with Java.
<pre>Author/s : Khalid Mughal, Rolf Rasmussen Publisher : Addison-Wesley Category :Java Certification Review by : Thomas Paul Rating : 9 horseshoes</pre> If you are studying to become a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.4 this book will help you to receive not just a passing grade but an excellent understanding of the intricacies of the Java programming language. Mughal and Rasmussen aren't satisfied with simply giving you a minimal understanding of Java so that you can pass a test. They are interested in helping you to understand the language at a deeper level. After all, it is much easier to pass the certification exam when you actually understand the material rather than when you have simply memorized a lot of details.
I'll give you an example of the level of detail that the book covers. Section 5.2 of the book covers Selection statements. The section starts with a description of the if statement followed by an activity diagram which explains the flow of the statement. The authors then show a simple example followed by a clear explanation of the if statement. Then they do the same with if-else, this time using several examples. The same level of detail follows for the switch statement, again providing clear text, with a simple activity diagram, followed by several well explained examples. Finally, the section ends with several review questions. What this means is that this book can serve you well even after you have passed the certification exam. You will be hard pressed to find a better written reference.
The book covers all the information you need to pass the certification exam and covers the material needed to connect all the pieces together. The included CD has several mock exams with questions that will help you understand the type of questions that you will face on the actual exam. If you do well on the mock exams you will do well on the real thing. Overall, this is an excellent book for studying for the Java certification. But it is such a good reference that you will want to keep it nearby even after you have passed the certification.