[techbooks] REVIEW: "Just Java", Peter van der Linden
- BKJSJAVA.RVW 990108
"Just Java", Peter van der Linden, 1999, 0-13-010534-1,
%A Peter van der Linden pvdl@...
%C One Lake St., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
%I Prentice Hall
%O U$44.99/C$63.00 201-236-7139 fax: 201-236-7131
%P 776 p. + CD-ROM
%S SunSoft Press Java Series
%T "Just Java 1.2, fourth edition"
Huh. Back to the original, and somewhat inaccurate, title. This book
is a fairly clear introduction to Java. The material is accessible to
the non-programmer, albeit with some dedication. The content is fast
paced, so you may need to go over some sections several times. But it
isn't *just* Java. Oh, no. The jokes start on the *dedication* page.
I am saddened by the loss of the "World's Best" Rolls-Royce, the
waterbomb-carrying paper airplane, and the amusing but painfully
realistic look at getting connected to the Internet, but the table of
easily misunderstood error messages and things learned on the Internet
are still there. I guess as the book grows, something has to give.
Chapter one looks at the what and why of Java. Chapter two goes a
long way, although perhaps not all the way, to explaining object-
oriented programming. (Chapter six adds to it.) This section is
perhaps best appreciated by C programmers, although it does a fair
amount of demystifying of object terminology. The structure of the
book has been reorganized, making it less sectional. The chapters
form a more standard, sequential tutorial on Java, covering the
basics, keywords, types, names, arrays, operators. classes,
statements, interfaces, packages, threads, applets, security,
libraries, GUI, containers, the AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit),
graphics, file I/O, and networking.
But I must also talk about the CD-ROM. Generally I don't, since many
authors simply throw on a few megs of shareware or RFCs, which may or
may not have a bearing on the topic of the book. Not our Peter.
First off, there is over 500 megabytes on the CD, filling it almost
completely. The Java 1.2 JDK (Java Development Kit) wasn't ready in
time for the book, but it has the older versions for WinNT/9x, Mac,
Solaris, Linux, and so forth. (Don't have Linux? It's got that too.)
Or, if you'd rather program in Perl, ada, Fortran, C, or Eiffel, it
can help you too. Plus FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions lists),
sample code, games, the paper airplane (animated), Sherlock Holmes
stories, the Magna Carta, the Jargon File, and a new and different
Rolls story. The directory structure may not be immediately obvious
to all, but then, that's what grep is for. Also, the link to the book
(the CD is navigable via browser) off the main page doesn't seem to
work, but that's what the "Go" box is for.
So, while it may or may not be the world's best tutorial on Java, it
is definitely the most enjoyable.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1996 - 1999 BKJSJAVA.RVW 990108
rslade@... rslade@... robertslade@... p1@...
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