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Java: Book Review

Book Review: Core Java (9th Edition), Volume I and Volume II

Part of the Prentice Hall Core Series

This review covers both Core Java Volume I--Fundamentals (9th Edition) and Core Java, Volume II--Advanced Features (9th Edition). Both books are part of the Prentice Hall Core Series.

I actually got Volume II first and liked it so much I ordered Volume I. I felt like I was missing the first half of the story. Especially when I downloaded the code and both volumes were included.

These two books take you on quite a journey. The first volume starts off with a great overview and history of Java. It then goes into how to download, install, and configure both the JDK and Eclipse. The authors uses Eclipse throughout both volumes.

The rest of Volume I is dedicate to covering the fundamental concepts of the Java language and the basics of user-interface programming. I have listed the chapters in Volume I below.

Volume I
Chapter 1. An Introduction to Java
Chapter 2. The Java Programming Environment
Chapter 3. Fundamental Programming Structures in Java
Chapter 4. Objects and Classes
Chapter 5. Inheritance
Chapter 6. Interfaces and Inner Classes
Chapter 7. Graphics Programming
Chapter 8. Event Handling
Chapter 9. User Interface Components with Swing
Chapter 10. Deploying Applications and Applets
Chapter 11. Exceptions, Assertions, Logging, and Debugging
Chapter 12. Generic Programming
Chapter 13. Collections
Chapter 14. Multithreading
Appendix A. Java Keywords

As you can see the first volume covers a ton of topics. They are all covered in depth and without filler. It is amazing that in these two huge books the authors' no nonsense approach uses no blather to fill up pages with unneeded war stories and his personal views on how the language could be better. I mention that because I recently tossed a book on the pile of books I regret buying that was all filler.

Volume II picks up where Volume I left off and continues into enterprise features and advanced user-interface programming. The topics are covered in great detail, but the authors' writing styles make the topics easy to understand, and a pleasure to read.

Volume II
Chapter 1. Streams and Files
Chapter 2. XML
Chapter 3. Networking
Chapter 4. Database Programming
Chapter 5. Internationalization
Chapter 6. Advanced Swing
Chapter 7. Advanced AWT
Chapter 8. JavaBeans Components
Chapter 9. Security
Chapter 10. Scripting, Compiling, and Annotation Processing
Chapter 11. Distributed Objects
Chapter 12. Native Methods

The authors also have a support site that has a List of Frequently Asked Questions, a bug list (Errata), and the downloadable code.

The downloadable code is organized by volume and chapter. Each chapter has its own folder and each example in the chapter also has its own folder. The best part about it is it just runs. Lately that hasn't been the case with a few book I have purchased.

The code along with the in-depth and clear explanations of the topics at hand provide the ultimate Java learning tools.

There are a total of 2092 pages of pure Java learning material. The authors' writing styles make these a good cover to cover read for the beginner that needs to cover everything, but they very well organized and make great references.

I highly recommend these books to beginners as well as advanced developers. When I am coding Java, these two books will definitely be by my side.

Core Java Volume I--Fundamentals (9th Edition)










Core Java, Volume II--Advanced Features (9th Edition)

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.