Thursday, December 16, 2004

Review - Core Java 2, Fundamentals

Core Java 2, FundamentalsCore Java 2, Fundamentals
by Cay Horstmann, Gary Cornell

4 out of 5 stars

This is the seventh edition of this book and in some ways it hasn't changed much since the first edition. The first edition was aimed at C++ programmers who were looking to transition to the new language. The seventh edition is still fast-paced and detailed and aimed for the experienced programmer. This is not an easy-to-follow tutorial for the beginner programmer. The authors assume that you already know the basics of programming even if it isn't with an object oriented language. The book might make a fairly good college textbook but not as a first language.

The book covers the main areas that you would expect in an introductory Java book with a few surprises. The book gives a little bit of the history of Java and shows how to install and run Java from the console and Eclipse (but not NetBeans). There is an early introduction to reflection but exception handling isn't covered until well into the book. Swing is covered in a fair level of depth. J2SE 5.0 changes are covered throughout the book with the many examples written to show off the new additions to the language. Threading and Collections are not covered but rather are saved for volume two.

Overall this is a well written book but the target audience is getting small. How many C++ programmers can be left that don't already know Java? If you are looking for an introductory tutorial then this book may be a bit too advanced. Through seven editions, Core Java has changed little other than to reflect language changes. Perhaps it's time to rethink the franchise.

This earned 4 stars on Amazon. The book is published by Prentice Hall.

The review can be seen on Amazon on My Amazon Reviews page.

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