Objects First with Java by David J. Barnes, Michael Koelling
Book Review Team
Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Author/s : David J. Barnes, Michael Koelling
Publisher : Prentice Hall
Category :Beginning Java Review by : Frank Carver
Rating : 9 horseshoes
This book is intended to be a course text book for an introductory course in Java and Object Oriented Programming. The authors have made a conscious decision to cover the material in a different order to almost all other books on the subject. You won't find an initial chapter on classpaths, compilation and the main method, there's no pseudo-procedural "hello, world" example. The book leaps straight in to creating objects from classes, examining values and calling methods.
There is a trick to all this, of course. The book is based on a kind of Java development environment optimised for teaching called "BlueJ". BlueJ is a free download, and a copy is included on a CD with the book, along with all the source code examples. I've had a play with BlueJ, and it certainly makes important things like the distinction between a class and an object, and the inheritance structure of the code, much clearer than traditional IDEs.
If you are planning to teach a course on Java or OO, you should certainly take a look at this book. Even if you don't run the course exactly as presented, the approach is fascinating. If you are trying to pick up these tricky ideas on your own, this book might also be very useful. Even if none of those cases apply, the BlueJ software is still a really neat tool for prototyping.
This is a very good book but very frustrating if you are trying to us it for self study. I'm using Edition 5 but have been unable to gain access to the answers due to Pearson Publishing antiquated proceedures.