Book Review: Java the Complete Reference, 8th Edition

Java, the Complete Reference, 8th Edition has been updated according to changes in Java 7. For those not willing to read the whole review, I will say my conclusion is, be you a beginner or an expert Java developer, you need to read this book.

This book is an in-depth guide to the Java language. A very large portion of the core Java APIs are discussed comprehensively. The book has four parts, plus appendix and index.

PART 1: The Java Language

This part has 14 chapters and comprises discussions ranging from the simplest to the fairly complex. It starts with a history of Java and ends with a discussion on Generics, touching topics like Annotations, IO, Threading and Exceptions along the way. I particularly like the part that talks about C programming language, extolling the virtues of the language. Of course no Java book is complete without talking about OOP (Object oriented Programming) and chapter 2 of part 1 did justice to this. One good thing for beginners is that you start writing code straight from chapter 2. If you are an experienced programmer, you can safely skip to chapter 10. Although I recommend reading everything.

Chapter 1: The Introduction and Evolution of Java

Chapter: 2: An Overview of Java

Chapter: 3: Data Types, Variables and Arrays

Chapter: 4: Operators

Chapter: 5: Control Statements

Chapter: 6: Introducing Classes

Chapter: 7: A closer look at methods and classes

Chapter: 8: Inheritance

Chapter: 9: Packages and Interfaces

Chapter: 10: Exception Handling

Chapter: 11: Multithreaded Programming

Chapter 12: Enumerations, Autoboxing, and Annotations (metadata)

Chapter 13: I/O, Applets and Other topics

Chapter 14: Generics

 

PART 2: The Java Library

This part also has 14 chapters, taking the chapters count to 28. Here the book discusses the core Java Library; which includes Strings, NIO, Networking, java.util package, AWT, concurrency and Regular Expressions. This is the chapter for you if you are an experienced developer. Here, the book discusses the new Java 7 Features and more. I’ll advice beginners to read the Part 1 at least twice before diving into Part 2.

Chapter 15: String Handling

Chapter: 16: Exploring java.lang

Chapter: 17: java.util Part 1: The collections framework

Chapter: 18: java.util Part 2: More Utility Classes

Chapter: 19: Input/Output: Exploring java.io

Chapter: 20: Exploring NIO

Chapter: 21: Networking

Chapter: 22: The Applet Class

Chapter: 23: Event Handling

Chapter: 24: Introducing the AWT: Working with Windows, Graphics and Text

Chapter: 25: Using AWT Controls: Layout Managers and Menus

Chapter 26: Images

Chapter 27: The Concurrent Utilities

Chapter 28: Regular Expressions and Other Packages

 

PART 3:  Software Development Using Java

This part discusses some really very import ant Java concepts. It contains just 4 fully packed chapters, recommended for both beginners and experts alike

Chapter 29: Java Beans

Chapter 30: Introducing Swing

Chapter 31: Exploring Swing

Chapter 32: Servlets

 

PART 4: Applying Java

In this part, we have two chapters. Each chapter picks a real world Java application. describes and implemented it. A note to beginners here, because of the volume of code you will be required to type, you might want to do copy-and-paste, but I strongly recommended against that. Doing the typing will definitely help you in more ways than one. This chapter concludes this book, bringing the number of chapters to 34.

Chapter 33: Financial Applets and Servlets

Chapter 34: Creating a download manager in Java

 

Appendix and Index.

In the appendix, javadoc is discussed. I particularly like and recommend this part to all. Documenting code is very important and should be embraced by all.

 

In summary, this is a good book, read it, study it, use it as a reference, whatever you decided to do with this book, you will find out it is more than equal to the task.

Great thanks to Faltermeier Bettina for providing me the preview copy.

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2 Comments »

  1. moses said

    hi..i am new to java and i have just started programming..does one need a Bsc Math or Comp to do java??..so far so good but my friends keep telling me i shud have gone thru university first..wat’s your advice to a novice like to becoming a future java guru?..ps.greetings from nairobi.

  2. Very nice blog post. I certainly appreciate this website.
    Continue the good work!

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