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Book Review: Java The Complete Reference, 7th Edition

Posted by WingedPanther73, 03 December 2011 · 1415 views

Welcome to a book I will never recommend to someone who wants to start learning how to program with Java: http://www.amazon.co...22920795&sr=1-2 . This books is a great example of how you will change the types of books you want for learning as you progress. Before you say, "great, he finally found a sucky book," please understand that it's very good. Let me explain.

When you start learning how to program, you need to learn several things from a programming book. You need to learn language syntax, you need to learn programming concepts, and you need to learn paradigm concepts. So, for Java, you would need to learn the syntax of Java, you would need to learn how to use loops, function calls, etc, and you would need to learn OOP, inheritance, etc. This book does NOT teach all of that. This book teaches Java, and how Java implements the other concepts. If you don't understand what a for loop is for, you don't want this book.

Now, let's say you have a few years of programming under your belt. You've done some GUI work in a couple languages, you can whip up a tic-tac-toe program in your sleep, and you have a basic understanding of data structures and memory management. This is the book for you. It has NO problems for you to work through. The assumption is you can dig those up all day long by yourself. What it does is explains how the language works, and what library classes are available, in great detail but with few examples. This is the book you grab when you need to look something up.

If you are starting to learn programming, and starting with Java, this will be about the third book you get, not the first, but you'll love it to pieces because it doesn't skip stuff for no reason. If you are already strong in C++ or C#, this is a great book to start learning Java with, because you'll get explanations of how Java differs from them.

It is thorough, but terse. It also explains differences between versions of Java, which can be very important when you're looking at old code with deprecated methods. If you're a coding guru who wants to add Java, this is the book for you.

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You convinced me to take a look at this book. :) Thank you. This is exactly what I need, a summary and not water on pages...
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I've noticed a HUGE change in the types of programming books I like now, vs when I started. This book is dry. You get a lot of tables of method signatures, for example, which is just what you need when you're trying to remember how to call one :)
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