Howdy -- I'll have to let people who've read it answer most of this, but I *can* tell you one thing--the book is indeed *serious*.
We take both the topic and perhaps more importantly -- *learning* very seriously, and it turns out that the human brain is wired for specific kinds of input, and the approach we take in Head First is geared toward being "brain-friendly". So everything you see there -- the pictures and the thought bubbles, etc.--are there for a very specific purpose, driven by the way the brain processes information, according to research on neurobiology, memory, learning, psychology, etc.
The SCWCD Study Kit is an outstanding book. I believe that both that book and ours take the *content* very seriously. The Head First book just has a very different way of *representing* it to your brain.
So while our book might not *look* serious, it takes both the content and your brain's ability to process and remember the info seriously.
If the neurobiologists told us that the human brain is wired primarily to process text, then we'd go back to using exclusively text. But humans have evolved over a very long period of time to respond to (pay attention, process, and remember) things which are visual and unusual. Because *that* ability (not the ability to read text) is what kept humans alive. "Yikes! Is that a tiger?" or "Is that person over there a friend, enemy, or potential mate?"
That's not to say that we weren't also trying to make it enjoyable for you. Because that, too, is part of what makes your brain more likely to learn and remember. It's more difficult to learn when your brain is not kept alert.
So, what this all means is that we didn't create the book for *you*--we created it for your *brain*. And your brain evaluates what is serious and what is not in a very different way than *you*. Because your brain thinks that text is NOT life-threatening and NOT to be taken seriously. Some people are able to *force* their brain into paying attention to text, but we try to make that easier by *tricking* your brain into seeing what is on the pages as being important.
There is still a question of style, though. The Head First format is not for everyone, so in the end you still have to evaluate that for yourself. But that has nothing to do with the seriousness with which we treat the content itself. We assume, for example, that you will be using this stuff in the real world, and that the most important thing is to know how and why and when (and when NOT) to use it.
I cleared my SCJP1.4 last week. NOw , I am planning to go for SCWCD1.4 or 1.5(if its avail by the time). for the SCJP1.4 exam i reffered Khalid and no doubt found it excellent.
cn u please gimme the best book to refer.. *considering tht I am not having any hands-on on J2EE(i jus had a bit of it!)
Head First are much heard about... but hvent seen it so donno; the problem is its not available to hand. The only way to have it is thru placing an order. So I need to have feedbks from ppl who are using/used the same (don forget *).
Though Kathy explained in detail. I am niether a neurobilogest nor a member of the writing staff. But I have been convinced with this learning approach. The topic that otherwise would take me to read hours and hours to be digested by my brain, HF series has made that matter of going through a few diagrams and then related Question-Answer session. For instance the idea of proxy stubs movement from server to client, was though clear somewhat but I didn't have any specific shape of in my mind for a stub. When I would recall a stub, a paragraph of text that explained that to me first would appear up but after I saw a 'physcial' proxy picture ( HF SCBCD), it makes me easy to recall. Same happend with request, response objects, I knew they are there, I knew these are provided by container but how those 'physical' simulations (As presented by HF Servlets and JSP) of request, response cleared my concept, now instead of thinkiong some '10101010...' I would think it as some solid objects and then of course their limiatations when response is committed and crossing them out really made the concepts of how one server responds to so many requests without mingling up the contents, could only make its place when I 'physically' contemplate about those. This is very true, when we read some text, say, RequestDispatcher, is recalled then how our mind shape it as a collection of 'Letters' most probably in the same style, when first or last depending on when concept was cleared, we have seen those in some book. I may not be able to present it very much clearly but imagine can we develop a LinkedList operation without actually drawing a node. Specially imagine when we need to introduce delete opration of a node, how we have to draw boxes each representing a node in the list, only after we draw that chain of boxes it makes sense as to actually how we have to manipulate the references in it.
I am a great admirer of this approach of presenatation as HF followed. I have purchased all three books of this servies, although I already had plenty of Java books and was using this language for 6-7 years but still I am learning from what I got in the HF version. I am making the 'photos' of the objects through this approach. I have recommedned this book to many of my friends. At the same time I would like to suggest writers to distribute a CD with this book that should contain the simulated vesrion of the code magnets puzzles and also, I know this might be too demanding but, an animated version of a request process, e.g,. how request travels from Browser and then passes web server, then container ..and uptill creation thread and destroying of objects. This would be a great help for crystal clear understanding and lasting impact that may be easy to recall. We don't forget movies, you know!!!
got my copy of Head First Servlets & JSP ystrday. i know how hard effort it took to get the one. last night i finished with the initial prefaces/ table of contents[it gives a good what i am goin to hav in thr]. I feel 'Head First Servlets & JSP' is not jus another serious book in market, rather its a sincere one!.. had been in teaching for few yrs... and can guess what it takes to make it fun & interesting.