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Core Java 2, Volume 1 Fundamentals (2nd Ed), by Horstmann, Cornell (Prentice Hall)

Johannes de Jong

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
  • Author - Cay S. Horstmann, Gary Cornell
  • Publisher - Prentice Hall
  • Category in Bunkhouse - Advanced Java

  • If you want to learn Java and OO from scratch this book is definitely NOT meant for you. If however you want to get a deeper understanding of the Java fundamentals (yes this book has been aptly named) and how you implement OO in Java this book is a must. I kept on catching myself saying "hey that's neat" when I finally grasped an important fundamental (yes that word again) that has alluded me up to now. (I've been playing with Java for 5 months). What I especially liked about the book is that the authors explained why a specific solution was chosen. They did not just leave me in the dark. At times they even suggested alternatives.
    My complaints:
    They waste unnecessary pages with code that hardly gets discussed. A simple reference to the CD would have been enough, heck they even supply a great editor (TextPad) to read and compile it with. I still had to correct quite a few examples manually after I'd downloaded the latest version of their code. Surely they could have updated it ? The Core Java Web page can be found on Core Java The rest of Mr. Hortsmann's site is also worth a visit.
    "A solid foundation to improve your basic Java skills".
    (Johannes de Jong - bartender, July 2001)
    More info at
    More info at
    More info at
    [This message has been edited by Johannes de Jong (edited July 14, 2001).]
Jason Menard

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
The book says that it is aimed at experienced programmers, and that was the category I fell into when I first picked up the 1st edition of this book. This is the book that pretty much taught me Java and this is the one "basic" java book that I still keep at my desk and recommend to folks in my office transitioning to Java from another language.
I really like the layout and find the writing style interesting and easy to follow. All the examples are easy to understand. If you are coming from C++, there are sidebars strewn throughout the book that highlight particular differences between Java and C++. Most of the other "beginning" Jav abooks I've seen waste too much time on basic programming fundamentals to be of much interest to an experienced programmer, but this book gets right to the point and contains all the info you need to know to get going with the language.
This is a great book and I highly recommend it. It is also useful as a companion for those studying for the SCJP.
Eric Perkins

Joined: Apr 05, 2001
Posts: 26
I agree with Johannes and Jason, a book that goes to great pains to explain why a solution was chosen and even offer alternatives really coaches you to the right path of becoming a true blue programmer. In other words, it teaches you the practical aspect of programming. It teaches you codes that really get things done.
Like what Jason said, it waste no time in explaining basic programming fundamentals.
I personally find the coding style elegant, goooood for anyone who wanna pick up tips on becoming a Shakpearean programmer.
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
It's about time this book needs to be given some rating by the Book review team.
I would consider it atleast 8 whatevers.
This is because I think it sure helped tons of Java gurus to get upto speed and made them talk the stuff the right way.
This is mother of Java intermediate books.

SCJP, blog
Marc Peabody
pie sneak

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

This book has more JavaRanch Reviews.

A good workman is known by his tools.
I agree. Here's the link:
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