View Full Version : Advise me of a good Java for newbies book?
01-25-2003, 05:46 PM
I have no programming experience, at least not unless you count HTML and programming BASIC when I was a little kid (I certainly don't). Can you advise me of a good "soup-to-nuts" book to teach myself Java?
It should be easy to read, explain programming terms etc while letting me progress fairly quickly. I am a results oriented "learning by doing" kinda gal. Most of the tutorials etc I have looked at explain terms by comparing them to terms in other languages, this is fairly useless to me.
So, whats a good "from the bottom up", total-n00b java book?
01-25-2003, 07:32 PM
Thinking in Java, by Bruce Eckel. Download it for free at www.bruceeckel.com , or go to any decent bookstore and buy a bound copy. Great book.
01-25-2003, 08:05 PM
Thinking in Java won't get you off the ground if you have no programming experience. At least, it sure didn't for me. I got bogged down real early by his writing for people who know basic C syntax. I picked up the Sams Java 2 in 21 Days book written by Cadenhead and Lemay, and have gone from about the level of experience described in the OP to being able to make little specialized calculator apps or primitive games (tic tac toe, etc) without much difficulty. I'm planning on reading Eckels next. Checking the reviews of beginner Java books on Amazon can reveal some useful information. That's what I did, and found the Lemay and Cadenhead recommended, along with another book whose title escapes me at the moment. The other book wasn't at the bookstore I went to, making my final decision quite simple.
01-26-2003, 05:38 AM
Thanks Gorsnak, Amazon sounds like a good tip, I will check it out.
Thanks also Flymaster for something good to "work up to" :)
Any more recommendations are appreciated, I am hoping eventually to be able to program for my cell-phone!
01-26-2003, 06:32 AM
- - - The one good beginning Java book I have found is "Java Programming The Easy Way" by Douglas Downing, ISBN# 0-7641-0752-6. It is basic concepts covered for beginners, you don't need to know anything else. Amazon still shows one copy, and it's $13, not the $18.95 I paid for my copy a couple years ago:
The included CD isn't real useful, just download the current Sun JDK and JCreator Lite (free). (JCreator is a integrated text editor front-end for the Sun JDK).
01-26-2003, 06:33 AM
I've recently taken a course in Java at uni, and "Thinking in Java" was required reading. Although it's a good book as it covers a lot of things, it isn't very good at teaching beginners how to code in Java - I'm definitely with Gorsnak here.
I think you should go to the library and see what they have, and find a "how-to" that's compatible with your style of learning - try out different ones, and then buy it if you like it. I did that, and out of five, I found two that I could use. I still think though, that you should download TIJ (or buy it) and use it as reference - it is more "why" than "how" and explains things a bit deeper. Also Java's homepage is worth checking out, especially when you have started to code a bit and everything begins to make sense.
Beware that Java Script is not the the same as Java, and that some beginners books concentrates on making Java applets for homepages. You might want something more general.
Anyway, I'd like to recommend that you read chapter 1 in TIJ as a general introduction to Java and object-oriented programming, and if you have problems with setting up the compiler, you could try out BlueJ, which is a free, graphic programming tool aimed at beginners. Perhaps it can make your learning curve a little less steep.
Good luck with it! :)
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