I read all threads of this forum and try to figure out the text for my class: Introduction to Computer Science, in a university. Quite a lot of people here proposed the Head First Java, but I found it is a thick one and might not be good for fresh students. Can you suggest alternatives? Many thanks.
My college Java course used Core Java 2 by Cay Horstman, et al. from Sun Press. Of course, the cirriculum required that you already took the beginning programming courses taught with C++. I don't know how good this book would be for anyone with no programming background. From what I've heard of Head First Java, it seems more appropriate for newbie programmers.
i have not had the opportunity to go through Head First Java, but Core Java by Cay, in my opinion, is too heavy for beginners. I normally recommend my students to go through something like Java Complete Reference by Herbert Schildt and then move on to Core Java.
Core Java is an excellent book, but somewhere in the book itself, the authors have stated that they 'assume' a background in programming.
Originally posted by Simon Xu: Quite a lot of people here proposed the Head First Java, but I found it is a thick one and might not be good for fresh students.
Hi Simon. What do you mean exactly by "thick"? Too many pages? It seems hard to believe that Head First Java could be too difficult for new students.
It's been a few years since I looked closely at several different introductory programming books using Java, but I think only one thing has changed greatly: now there's Head First Java. From what I remember of the other options, I couldn't suggest another book that would come close to being as learner-friendly as Head First Java.
Another interesting approach for teaching Java as first programming language is that with BlueJ: no command line, no "public static void main" stuff, direct interaction with objects, build in editor, ...
We plan to use it next academic year.
Joined: Aug 16, 2000
Sorry that I bring this topic again.
Have anyone reviewed the text by C. Wu, An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming with Java, 3rd edition?
I would also recommend the DrJava IDE done by the nice people at Rice University. It has several language levels so the tyro is not bombarded by public static void String args and all that nasty stuff.
Their CS201 site is muy useful, especially if you love objects.
I will be starting my beginners at NCSSM with some Python, then move on to an objects-early approach to Java. We will use Head First Java. I read quite a bit of it. It is a very nice supplement to my in-class lectures, programming activities and labs.
I would encourage you all to go look at DrJava. It can also be downloaded from sourceforge
I think HeadFirst Java would make an excellent introduction to the language. Do not be put off by the size of the book as the book makes good use of plenty of use of white space and illustrations. There is an updated version for JDK1.5. I also loke the look of Dr Java. You might also consider my book Welcome to Java which you can find in the form of an online course at
The course and text are available under a version of the Creative Commons license (i.e. you don't have to part with any money and can make copies to your hearts delight)...and covers approximatly 100 pages.