REVIEW - Essential Java Fast - How to write object oriented software for the Internet


Essential Java Fast

How to write object oriented software for the Internet


John Cowell


Springer Science & Business Media (1997)




Burkhard Kloss


October 1998



I like this book. It is a light, readable introduction to Java. The author introduces all the main features of the language in a simple, no- nonsense manner. Each feature is accompanied by a small example and he encourages the reader to try things out. After reading this book, I certainly feel happy to explore the rest of Java on my own.

Now, some criticism. Where C++ is discussed, the author shows that he has not kept up to date with the C++ developments - then again, he's writing a book on Java, so this is not a major detraction. Sadly, the book has more than its fair share of typos and small omissions in the examples, although it was always clear what was going on. However, a programming beginner might find these more problematic. The appendices are more puzzling. There are two of them, a very brief listing of the classes in the Java packages, and a class hierarchy. Both of them seem fairly pointless, since they are just lists of names, without any details on methods or use.

In summary, if you're looking for an accessible, pleasant introductory book to Java, this one lives up to its title. You'll have to supplement it with a good reference book and follow up on it with a more advanced text, but at least you can pass it on to a friend after you've been through it once.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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