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Core Java(TM), Volume I–Fundamentals (8th Edition)

October 20th, 2010

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Book Overview:

This revised edition of the classic Core Java™, Volume I–Fundamentals, is the definitive guide to Java for serious programmers who want to put Java to work on real projects.   Fully updated for the new Java SE 6 platform, this no-nonsense tutorial and reliable reference illuminates the most important language and library features with thoroughly tested real-world examples. The example programs have been carefully crafted to be easy to understand as well as useful in practice, so you can rely on them as an outstanding starting point for your own code.   Volume I is designed to quickly bring you up to speed on what’s new in Java SE 6 and to help you make the transition as efficiently as possible, whether you’re upgrading from an earlier version of Java or migrating from another language. The authors concentrate on the fundamental concepts of the Java language, along with the basics of user-interface programming. You’ll find detailed, insightful coverage of  Java fundamentals Object-oriented programming Interfaces and inner classes Reflection and proxies The event listener model GUI programming with Swing Packaging applications Exception handling Logging and debugging Generic programming The collections framework Concurrency For detailed coverage of XML processing, networking, databases, internationalization, security, advanced AWT/Swing, and other advanced features, look for the forthcoming eighth edition of Core Java™, Volume II—Advanced Features (ISBN: 978-0-13-235479-0).


Book Review

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out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12796 user reviews
Java Programming This revised edition of the classic Core Java™, Volume I–Fundamentals, is the definitive guide to Java for serious programmers who want to put Java to work on real projects.   Fully updated for the new Java SE 6 platform, this no-nonsense tutorial and reliable reference illuminates the most important language and library features with thoroughly tested real-world examples. The example programs have been carefully crafted to be easy to understand as well as useful in practice, so you can rely on them as an outstanding starting point for your own code.   Volume I is designed to quickly bring you up to speed on what’s new in Java SE 6 and to help you make the transition as efficiently as possible, whether you’re upgrading from an earlier version of Java or migrating from another language. The authors concentrate on the fundamental concepts of the Java language, along with the basics of user-interface programming. You’ll find detailed, insightful coverage of  Java fundamentals Object-oriented programming Interfaces and inner classes Reflection and proxies The event listener model GUI programming with Swing Packaging applications Exception handling Logging and debugging Generic programming The collections framework Concurrency For detailed coverage of XML processing, networking, databases, internationalization, security, advanced AWT/Swing, and other advanced features, look for the forthcoming eighth edition of Core Java™, Volume II—Advanced Features (ISBN: 978-0-13-235479-0).
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  1. Nadine N. Marsh
    October 20th, 2010 at 15:22 | #1

    Rating

    The Core Java Volume 1 is very informative for anyone studying Computer Science or working as a Developer. The book thoroughly explains the concepts of Java Programming for SDK 6.

  2. Jeanne Boyarsky
    October 22nd, 2010 at 16:41 | #2

    Rating

    “Core Java, Volume I – Fundamentals” is meant to teach Java to developers who already know another language. Or as they put it, “serious programmers … with a solid background in a language other than Java.” This is important as the book assumes a knowledge of programming concepts. As such, the authors can explain OO rather than how a loop works. The syntax diagrams and flow diagrams offer concise explanations.

    This edition (the eighth of the book) covers Java 6. I liked that each section was updated to reflect changes to the languages. The authors didn’t just tack on some chapters about the new features. They integrated features as they made sense. More importantly, they updated existing examples to reflect the way they would be written if they were initially written today. This gives the reader appropriate exposure as to when to use new features. At the same time, the authors point out what was added in Java 1.4 so you can use it with an older version. There was even a screenshot of Windows Vista in the getting started section.

    The book is about 800 pages. Some of this is long classes and API extractions. The authors do highlight important code snippets with explanations first, so it is possible to skip these parts. I did like the feature of the API extractions that showed when methods were introduced.

    The authors explain Java in practice well including caveats. There are a few carefully labeled sections that are quite advanced. (proxys and new classloaders.) This is definitely not just an intro book! There was a bit of premature optimization. I don’t see a need to worry about whether ArrayList is efficient unless it is a problem. At the same time, it is important to know why things work the way they do.

    I recommend this book if you are looking to learn Java or have only used certain pieces of it. Just be sure to read the TOC carefully as the authors branch out. For example, the inheritance chapter covers var args and reflection.

  3. A. Brown
    October 25th, 2010 at 09:05 | #3

    Rating

    This is a great reference guide for many java techniques. That being said, you should have some knowledge of either java or another programming language before picking this book up. DO NOT buy this book if you are looking to learn java from scratch with no prior programming experience. This book covers a large range of topics and would be too much for someone trying to learn the basics. All in all it is a great reference book and I’m glad to have it on my shelf and I think it was well worth the money.

  4. Ray Galyon
    October 25th, 2010 at 23:37 | #4

    Rating

    If you’re looking for a solid book on Java 6 (this is a two volume series though) that is part reference material and part insight from a veteran educator and programer then this book is for you. It’s not a Java / Comp Sci 101 book but one that is geared towards folks with some programing experience, particularly in Java. I highly recommend this to the Java programmer that needs a good reference and wants t know how Java works in te real world.

  5. Bhargav Mohanty
    October 27th, 2010 at 02:36 | #5

    Rating

    I am a student and was completely new to Java when i got this book. It’s a simple perspective and yet has enough depth to appeal to beginners in Java. I highly recommend it.

  6. Thomas Long
    October 27th, 2010 at 09:37 | #6

    Rating

    I am a self-taught Perl programmer. I’ve been using Perl 5 for about eight years, and in the last couple of years I’ve been wanting to move to Java. I’ve tried so many books – Herb Schildt’s “Beginning Java” (too easy and boring examples), Deitels’ gigantic volume (worthless crap – as are all of Deitel’s stuff; I mean, do you really need to waste a chapter teaching would-be Java coders UML?), Cadenhead’s “Teach Yourself Java 6 in 21 days” (left too many holes; not enough depth in critical areas, and lots of mistakes), etc. I finally found this book and ordered it. This is the one I should have been using all along.

    When you work through this book, you get the sense that you are being taught by a real Java guru, an author who isn’t going to leave you hanging. This is a serious text, and as others have noted — it isn’t for a new programmer. Having said that, it is perfect for anyone coming to Java from another language. About the only critical remark I would have is that I think the chapters on error-handling and on collections might have been better placed ahead of the chapters on Swing; as it is, the Swing stuff seems a little bit of a diversion in the middle of the book. But fortunately, this book is so well done that you can easily jump forward a couple of chapters, then back one, etc. Indeed, there are some places where the author simply says stuff like “the rest of this chapter may be more relevant to the tool-builder than to the application programmer; application programmers may want to skip ahead to the next chapter.” To me, that represents an honest writer who has years of experience teaching people Java.

    A word of advice: if you are the kind of person that learns best from little exercises, strict tutorials, etc., you may not want this book (except as a reference). If, on the other hand, you like trying out the stuff by applying it “in your own world” so to speak, this book is ideal; you should be sufficiently inspired to adapt the examples, etc., to your own liking.

    I have worked through just about all of the book in about a month, and I am now confidently “converting” some of my Perl stuff over to Java. This book has given me a real love of Java, and I look forward to working my way through Volume II when I finish this one.

  7. Mitchell L Model
    October 28th, 2010 at 00:43 | #7

    Rating

    I am an extremely experienced Java programmer and Ph. D. computer scientist. I write and teach courses and develop technical assessments, so it’s important to me to keep up with language developments. While I’ve bought a great many Java books over the years, I’ve been neglecting Core Java for many editions, thinking it would no longer be of any use and being tired of repurchasing books. I’m part way through this one, and I am astounded at how much I am discovering, especially about Java 5 & 6 (even though I thought I knew all about their new features). I’m also enjoying the detailed comparisons with C++, as I used to use and teach that too. No matter how much you know about Java I would strongly recommend this book, if only to read all the well-delineated comments and clarifications that appear frequently. A particularly nice feature is that where portions of the API are summarized there are indications of the version in which the feature was added — it helped reduce my feelings of chagrin when I read something surprising to find that it had been introduced in v6 or was a part of v5 I hadn’t yet explored. Unlike so many other books this one provides meaningful and useful examples. I am eagerly anticipating the second volume.

  8. W. Scott Cook
    October 28th, 2010 at 12:07 | #8

    Rating

    This book has been an excellent resource in my learning Java programming. I’ve been programming for over 20 years (yes, I used the original K&R C handbook to learn C), but I am new to Java. Using this book, working through the examples carefully (actually typing each of them into NetBeans and digesting the code piece by piece, modifying them here and there afterward to test ideas and enhance understanding), I can actually say that the topics are sinking in and the presented material (i.e. the Java skills , concepts, and syntax) is becoming second nature.

    To give an honest impression: I did not, however, start completely fresh with this book. I first worked through the Java tutorial on Sun’s website. I think that helped me grasp topics better when they were presented here in Core Java and I’d recommend doing something along those lines instead of relying strictly on this book (or any one source for that matter). In fact, for me personally, it helps to code and code and code as much as possible. So, the more sources of actual coding opportunities, the better.

    That said, I would add that if this book had some companion exercises to go along with the material and the code examples contained within, it would be invaluable (and 5 star worthy). Giving the reader the additional chance to enhance and test his/her understanding of the material by starting with a problem and a blank page would (imo) make this book an incredible resource. I was a disappointed at first that there were only pre-done examples in this book, but that seems to be par for the course as it does not appear that there are current Java exercise books.

    Anyway, I do believe I’ll be moving on to Volume II and work through it in the same manner as I did in volume I (hoping that volume II is as well done as volume I).

  9. Edmond S. Snell
    October 28th, 2010 at 16:17 | #9

    Rating

    This book is a great explanation of Java programming if you have had some experience in programming languages (especially C) before. If you like learning from example code this is the book to get as it has lots of relevant example code that is very well commented.

  10. elena ivlev
    October 28th, 2010 at 17:53 | #10

    Rating

    a good technical book about java.

    Good as a reference book for people with experience with java

  11. calvinnme
    October 30th, 2010 at 16:52 | #11

    Rating

    This is the latest edition and eighth round of the “Core Java” series of books. When it first came out in 1996 it had no competitors, and now alternatives abound, in particular the “Head First” series for learning Java published by O’Reilly and Associates. However, this is still my recommendation both for people who are learning Java and for those who are old pros and just want to catch up on what’s new in the language. There are plenty of code examples, and the explanations are very clear as in the previous editions. This series always comes in two volumes – the fundamentals volume appears first followed by an “advanced features” volume a few months later. Both are usually worthwhile due to their comprehensive coverage of the language. The following is the table of contents for the eighth edition, not yet shown on the product page at the time I am writing this:

    Chapter 1: An Introduction to Java 1

    Java As a Programming Platform 2

    The Java “White Paper” Buzzwords 2

    Java Applets and the Internet 7

    A Short History of Java 9

    Common Misconceptions about Java 11

    Chapter 2: The Java Programming Environment 15

    Installing the Java Development Kit 16

    Choosing a Development Environment 21

    Using the Command-Line Tools 22

    Using an Integrated Development Environment 25

    Running a Graphical Application 28

    Building and Running Applets 31

    Chapter 3: Fundamental Programming Structures in Java 35

    A Simple Java Program 36

    Comments 39

    Data Types 40

    Variables 44

    Operators 46

    Strings 53

    Input and Output 63

    Control Flow 71

    Big Numbers 88

    Arrays 90

    Chapter 4: Objects and Classes 105

    Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming 106

    Using Predefined Classes 111

    Defining Your Own Classes 122

    Static Fields and Methods 132

    Method Parameters 138

    Object Construction 144

    Packages 15

    The Class Path 160

    Documentation Comments 162

    Class Design Hints 167

    Chapter 5: Inheritance 171

    Classes, Superclasses, and Subclasses 172

    Object: The Cosmic Superclass 192

    Generic Array Lists 204

    Object Wrappers and Autoboxing 211

    Methods with a Variable Number of Parameters 214

    Enumeration Classes 215

    Reflection 217

    Design Hints for Inheritance 238

    Chapter 6: Interfaces and Inner Classes 241

    Interfaces 242

    Object Cloning 249

    Interfaces and Callbacks 255

    Inner Classes 258

    Proxies 275

    Chapter 7: Graphics Programming 281

    Introducing Swing 282

    Creating a Frame 285

    Positioning a Frame 288

    Displaying Information in a Component 294

    Working with 2D Shapes 299

    Using Color 307

    Using Special Fonts for Text 310

    Displaying Images 318

    Chapter 8: Event Handling 323

    Basics of Event Handling 324

    Actions 342

    Mouse Events 349

    The AWT Event Hierarchy 357

    Chapter 9: User Interface Components with Swing 361

    Swing and the Model-View-Controller Design Pattern 362

    Introduction to Layout Management 368

    Text Input 377

    Choice Components 385

    Menus 406

    Sophisticated Layout Management 424

    Dialog Boxes 452

    Chapter 10: Deploying Applications and Applets 493

    JAR Files 494

    Java Web Start 501

    Applets 516

    Storage of Application Preferences 539

    Chapter 11: Exceptions, Logging, Assertions, and Debugging 551

    Dealing with Errors 552

    Catching Exceptions 559

    Tips for Using Exceptions 568

    Using Assertions 571

    Logging 575

    Debugging Tips 591

    Using a Debugger 607

    Chapter 12: Generic Programming 613

    Why Generic Programming? 614

    Definition of a Simple Generic Class 616

    Generic Methods 618

    Bounds for Type Variables 619

    Generic Code and the Virtual Machine 621

    Restrictions and Limitations 626

    Inheritance Rules for Generic Types 630

    Wildcard Types 632

    Reflection and Generics 640

    Chapter 13: Collections 649

    Collection Interfaces 650

    Concrete Collections 658

    The Collections Framework 689

    Algorithms 700

    Legacy Collections 707

    Chapter 14: Multithreading 715

    What Are Threads? 716

    Interrupting Threads 728

    Thread States 730

    Thread Properties 733

    Synchronization 736

    Blocking Queues 764

    Thread-Safe Collections 771

    Callables and Futures 774

    Executors 778

    Synchronizers 785

    Threads and Swing 794

  12. Eric Jones
    October 31st, 2010 at 19:39 | #12

    Rating

    This is a very fine book. Althought I am still progressing through the first third of it, I have found it to be very useful.

  13. A. Hintz
    November 2nd, 2010 at 02:01 | #13

    Rating

    I like this book – it covers a lot of territory very quickly and has notes for people who have already programmed in C++ – like myself.

  14. M. Palfreyman
    November 3rd, 2010 at 07:13 | #14

    Rating

    An excellent book for learning the basics of Java. If the reader has had previous experience with C or C++ it makes learning Java much easier. As with most books of this type the authors often give examples which tend to be on the elaborate side. However, this is a sound text for learning the Java language and I would have no hesitation in recommending it.

  15. G. McMahon
    November 4th, 2010 at 04:47 | #15

    Rating

    I am not familiar with other books on Java. I suggest using this one if you are taking any of the Java classes provided by Sun Microsystems, Inc., especially the first “Java Programming” course, because the book’s presentation is somewhat aligned to the course’s. I am familiar with computer language books in general, and this one suffers from the same problems that most of the others I have examined or used have. For example, it tries to be a narrative textbook that could be read consecutively, and also tries to be a reference book to help you when you have questions. It gets mediocre marks from me on both functions. Concerning the narrative aspect, the exposition is not always in clear language; object-oriented languages involve many abstract concepts, and only the best technical writers seem to be able to get their ideas across in an unambiguous way without using long, convoluted, obtuse sentences. It leaves me thinking “there MUST be a simpler way to explain this!”. Reading chapters 1-7 consecutively is probably worth the effort, although Sun’s website has a free online tutorial that is easier to read. Concerning the reference book aspect, the book COULD probably answer a lot of questions, but the index doesn’t have enough entries to make it easy for the reader to find answers. This is bad considering the book is over 800 pages long! The reader often must skim through chapters to find the needed information.

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