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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Java 2 Weekend Crash Course
Author:
Sanchez&Canton
ISBN:
0 7645 4768 2
Publisher:
IDG
Pages:
427 pages+CD
Price:
£15-99
Reviewer:
Richard Lee
Subject:
java
Appeared in:
16-4
The title comes from the way the book is organized; 30 chapters which should take half an hour each, loosely grouped into 6 sections. If you are following the course guide, this starts Friday evening and finished Sunday afternoon. These contain a run-of-the-mill how to program course with the text condensed down to fit the given time frame.

The book does achieve its aim of teaching the basics of Java programming in a weekend and there are a couple of nice touches but that is about the best that can be said.

You do not get to write your first Java program until chapter 3, the ubiquitous Hello World example, and you have to wait until chapter 6 before encountering anything more to type. The rest is taken up with theory more at home in an A-level course.

When the programming does start it earnest it follows a formulaic approach that could have come straight from a book on programming in C. It is chapter 11, a third of the way into the book, before object-oriented programming is introduced. Recursion and abstract data structures are briefly mentioned but in this condensed form, a beginner is unlikely to understand much and an experienced programmer likely to be insulted by the noddy descriptions.

With so much of the book taken up on introducing the basic elements of the language and other chapters wasted, there is little room left for the actual Java programs and the examples. AWT, the most basic form of creating a GUI in Java, is squeezed into two chapters with just one example. Graphic coding gets a single chapter.

More important than what is in is what has been left out. There is nothing on applet programming, networking or SWING. The book fails to develop a single worthwhile application.

Anyone who already knows a different programming language will find the way the language is introduced tiresome. I also cannot see how someone who has not programmed before is going to learn from this book. Not recommended.