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Best Java book you have read this year?

Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
So what is the best Java book you have read this year?
I have two, a new one and an old one:
The new one:
Developing Java Web Services: Architecting and Developing Secure Web Services Using Javaby Ramesh Nagappan (Author), et al. We did a promotion with them earlier this year.
The old one:
Java Rules by Douglas Dunn. This actually came out a couple of years ago but I just read it this year. It is an exceptional book.

Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Mark Spritzler

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17276

My favorite this year has been Jonathan Knudsen's J2ME Wireless Java book.

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Ilja Preuss

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
What exactly do you mean by "Java book"? Does "Agile Software Development - Principles, Patterns and Practices" qualify?

The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:
What exactly do you mean by "Java book"? Does "Agile Software Development - Principles, Patterns and Practices" qualify?

Ack! No!!!
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

I enjoyed Bruce Tate's "Bitter Java" in a way that I haven't enjoyed a computer book in years. The approach was unique, and the material was well presented.

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Ilja Preuss

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Ack! No!!!

The first part, I understand: ACK == Acknowledged
But NO? No Offense? Why should I feel offended?
Ron Newman
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1056
I have found Sams Publishing "Tomcat Kick Start", by Martin Bond and Debbie Law, invaluable while learning Servlets and JSPs.

Ron Newman - SCJP 1.2 (100%, 7 August 2002)
Johannes de Jong

Joined: Jan 27, 2001
Posts: 5089
Head First Java
Mark Spritzler

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17276

Originally posted by Johannes de Jong:
Head First Java

Good call Johannes. Now I think I have to rethink my "nomination"
Andres Gonzalez
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Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
- Sun certified programmer, by Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
I haven't taken the certification exam, but I really liked it.
- EJB design patterns by floyd marinescu. Liked it a lot. Haven't read core j2ee design patterns, I've heard it's the best in this area

I'm not going to be a Rock Star. I'm going to be a LEGEND! --Freddie Mercury
Damian Ryan
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Joined: May 09, 2003
Posts: 117
I know this is probably old hat to a lot of people, but I came to the subject relatively late; so my best Java book this year was the O'Reilly one on Java RMI by William Grosso. I thought it was really clearly written and well explained. It almost tempted me away from sockets when I did my SCJD assignment. But only almost
I also want to give Max's (et al) book "The Sun Certified Java Developer Exam with J2SE 1.4" an honorable mention: in my opinion the chapter on threads contains the clearest explanation of multi-threaded programming I have ever read (including quite a few books dedicated to concurrent programming or threads).

Always proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
vasu maj
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Joined: Jul 12, 2001
Posts: 396
Thinking in java... I started liking the book by the the uniqueness of the name and reading it didn't disappoint me...
I completely agree with Damien Ryan on the chapter on threads in developers' exam book. I got my threads clear after reading the book.
[ August 11, 2003: Message edited by: vasu maj ]

What a wonderful world!
Al Newman
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Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
These aren't necessarily Java books, but two recent purchases I'm enthusiastic about are EJB Cookbook (Sullins and Whipple) and Java Development with Ant (Hatcher and Loughran). Both Manning books.
Bruce Tate's Bitter Java and Bitter EJB are good also.

Michael Sweeney

Joined: Nov 01, 2004
Posts: 5
I wish I'd had KickStart Tomcat three years ago.
Mughal/Rasmussen's Java 1.2 Certification in goods/ounce was hard to beat. (How come no 1.4 edition ?)

Barbara Norway
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Joined: Sep 30, 2003
Posts: 150
I'd have to say "Head First Java" as it got me to finally start learning Java. I never really *needed* to learn Java for any of my jobs (Oracle, Unix, perl, etc.) but I kinda always wanted to....

I love learning new things so that hadn't been the problem. It was just finding the time and Java just didn't bubble up to the top of the list. With HFJ I was able to really get started - quickly & painlessly.

I still have a lot of competing interests that keep me from spending as much time as I would like on Java but, after going through HF Java I have been able to get going with the rest of the Java books I've been collecting

Nicholas Cheung
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Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982
No doubt for HF EJB.


SCJP 1.2, OCP 9i DBA, SCWCD 1.3, SCJP 1.4 (SAI), SCJD 1.4, SCWCD 1.4 (Beta), ICED (IBM 287, IBM 484, IBM 486), SCMAD 1.0 (Beta), SCBCD 1.3, ICSD (IBM 288), ICDBA (IBM 700, IBM 701), SCDJWS, ICSD (IBM 348), OCP 10g DBA (Beta), SCJP 5.0 (Beta), SCJA 1.0 (Beta), MCP(70-270), SCBCD 5.0 (Beta), SCJP 6.0, SCEA for JEE5 (in progress)
Mishra Anshu
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Joined: Sep 16, 2003
Posts: 224
The 2 Head Firsts (EJB/Servlets n JSP).
I read both of them, this year.
While last year, I read Head First Java (So, can't include in this yr's list)

"Ignorance is bliss"
Sri Ram
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Joined: Sep 08, 2002
Posts: 48
I would say HF EJB & HF Servlets and JSP.

Vanniarajan Arumugam PMP
Ravi Kotaru

Joined: Nov 09, 2003
Posts: 27
I vote for
Sun certified programmer, by Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
After reading the book i felt confident that I will pass the exam. and I got 86%.
It is a great book. Also 'Head First Java' is a great book for beginners. I haven't read that but I have browsed through it once.
[ November 03, 2004: Message edited by: Ravi Kotaru ]

ravi<br />scjp 1.4
Vladas Razas
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Joined: Dec 02, 2003
Posts: 385
I love "Head First EJB" for it was very pleasant to read book on not so pleasant technology. I commend it for being very "user friendly". And it was fun. But when I finished reading it was hard to find answers to questions. It's great as a tutorial but doesn't do for a reference book. It is very good, fun to read introduction that I would never say "it's just another book".

I've read 3 books this year and I would vote for "HF EJB".
Jagdeep Singh
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 106
My vote goes to HF EJB.

Jagdeep Singh<br />SCJP;SCWCD;IBM Certified XML Solution Developer;SCBCD1.3
Don Stadler
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Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
This thread is taking on a certain KS and BB flavor, isn't it? :roll:

I'm afraid I have to add to it though. HF Design Patterns is the best Jave book I've read this year. Bruce Tate's 'Lighter Java' was very good, but not really what I call a classic Java book. The winner of the Java Manifesto category for this year, I think.

I'm looking forward to the first book about Maven also.
Alvin chew
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Joined: Jan 08, 2004
Posts: 834
head first EJB book is it good for beginner ? or it mainly for exam ? thank you
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:
What exactly do you mean by "Java book"? Does "Agile Software Development - Principles, Patterns and Practices" qualify?

It does use Java
Indeed it's a great work.
Another good one is Head First Design Patterns.

I'd be hard pressed to decide between those two.

Karthik Guru
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 1209
I'm not done yet, but 'JUnit Recipies' is my favourite for the year.
K Riaz
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Joined: Jan 08, 2005
Posts: 375
Java Cookbook.
James Jennings

Joined: Mar 03, 2005
Posts: 25
I am carrying coals to Newcastle, but

I started reading Head First Design Patterns two weeks ago, and am beginning to understand design patterns for the first time. I have several other DP books including Gamma, Helm, Johnson, and Vlissides, but they are too advanced for me (a greenhorn) at this time. HFDP makes it all clear and simple (sorta).

Head First Java, 2nd Edition is on the way -- shipped this afternoon. That looks good, too.

My first Java book was Core Java I, seventh edition, Cay Horstmann. It is also a very good book. I have read 200+ pages of it, and that and a few chapters in HFDP is all the java, I know, so far.
Nicholas Cheung
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Joined: Nov 07, 2003
Posts: 4982
I vote for HFDP too.

Peter Rooke
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Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 820

"Effective Java - Programming Language Guide" by Joshua Bloch. The author has explained some very complex design ideas clearly. Going to take a bit more Java (OO) experience before I really understand the more subtle points � sign of a good book.

I also like HFDP, but I've only started reading it. Can I also add "Peopleware" by Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister. I know this is not a Java book - but I think it is relevant.

Regards Pete
Steven Bell
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Joined: Dec 29, 2004
Posts: 1071
I'd say HFDP is the best I've read this year, but Effective Java is the best book I have on my shelf.
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Joined: Jul 24, 2002
Posts: 379
a) HF EJB,
b) HF Servlet/JSP
c) How Tomcat Works, edited by BrainySoftware, written by Budi Kurniawan and Paul Deck
d) Wireless Java, Developing with J2ME, edited by Apress, written by Jonathan Knudsen

Marco Tedone<br />SCJP1.4,SCJP5,SCBCD,SCWCD
Ray Muirhead
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Joined: Jun 11, 2004
Posts: 44
Head First Java, hands down. Haven't seen Design Patterns yet, but just want to say thankyou to the authors -- you've made my college Java life a lot simpler and a lot more fun .

Weerawit Maneepongsawat
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Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 203
I vote to Head First Design Pattern...

Weerawit<br />SCJP 1.4, SCWCD 1.2, SCWCD 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCBCD 5.0, SCMAD 1.0, SCJA 1.0, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA, SCDJWS 1.5
Ariel Ortiz
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Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 121
One of my all time favorites is:
Joshua Bloch's "Effective Java Programming Language Guide".

A recent favorite:
Freeman�s et. al. "Head First Design Patterns"
How did we learn design patterns before this book?

Marcos Maia
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Joined: Jan 06, 2001
Posts: 977
HF Design Patterns, a great book. I also like to mention Applying UML and Patterns. An Introduction to Object-Oriented }Analysis and Design and Iterative Development third edition from Craig Larman, this is not exactly about java but it�s really worth reading.
anupa oru
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Joined: Jan 15, 2005
Posts: 118
I vote for

Sun certified programmer, by Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates
It's not because it allowed me to pass the exam but content was well organized. Even for people who are unaware of java programming can easily learn Java programming. I hope they are going to release this kind of book in J2ME.
Neeraj Dheer
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Joined: Mar 30, 2005
Posts: 225
hmmm...havent read the HF series...but so many posts would compel me to do so.

my favourites have been the 'Core Java' series and most O'Reilly java books, notably the O'Reilly Servlets book.
Jim Bracks
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Joined: May 04, 2004
Posts: 42
1-Software Architecture Design Patterns in Java by Partha Kuchana.(simply great)
2-Effective Enterprise Java by Ted Neward
Jordi Raya

Joined: May 10, 2005
Posts: 3
Another fan of "Sun Certified Programmer & Developer for Java 2 Study Guide" and Sierra-Bates (thanks! thanks! thanks!).

It helped me a lot to pass the exam and "seeking the next joke" encorauges to keep reading to someone as lazy as me. I used a PDF print of 4 pages/sheet only with the programmer exam, small enough to carry everywhere. Of course I've an original, but if I haven't I like it so much that I'll purchase it, even with the exam passed, it's very well organized and the explanations for threads and assertions are the best I found.
The negative point is that the developer part seems only an introduction, it says important things but I'm expecting a book with SCJD better covered and written in the same style.

I'll try some of the HF books for this summer reading...

SCJP 1.4 (and that's a lot for me)
James Jennings

Joined: Mar 03, 2005
Posts: 25
I have seen mention here of Design Patterns by the Gof, and Joshua Bloch's book Effective Java.

I own both. I cannot understand either of them. IMO, if you understand them, you don't need them. If you don't understand them, you don't need them. By the time you do understand them .... Why can't I see the Emperor's new clothes?

But someday I am going to read them and understand them. Just for spite.

There is a satirical review at of Bloch's book by someone using the nom de plume Charles Henry Higgensworth III of Boston, Massachusetts.
I agree. Here's the link:
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