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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 - A Practical Guide
Author:
Neil Fawcett&Terry Ridge
ISBN:
0 7506 3344 1
Publisher:
Butterworth-Heinemann
Pages:
434pp+CD
Price:
£?
Reviewer:
Mark Kuschnir
Subject:
java
Appeared in:
10-3
Paging through the book quickly it did not look too bad. Reading it was an entirely different matter. There are numerous faults in this book. Some are serious and some are not so serious. The following paragraphs detail some of the more annoying faults.

The book claims to be for C/C++/VB programmers stepping up to Java - I don't think many C/C++ programmers would find it sufficient.

It is not obvious which JDK version the book applies to - in fact it seems to be JDK 1.0.2 - it should update to JDK 1.1 immediately.

The first example will not compile due to a typo ('Class' instead of 'class'). Throughout the book classes are presented without a modifier - as this book is for beginners all classes should read

'public 
class'
.

The JavaBeans chapter (all 3 pages!) should be scrapped! It explains very little and frequently refers to 'Java Beans' instead of 'JavaBeans'. The OO chapter should be seriously reworked or (preferably) deleted. It contains such gems as 'OO = RAD' and 'polymorphism = method overloading'.

The book does not contain a single full javadoc comment! The tags are vaguely mentioned at the back of the book and miss out the essential

@param, @return
and
@exception
tags! Other faults include; no full explanation of the JVM - despite a promise to do so on the back cover and frequently uses of the phrase 'Java language' when really referring to APIs.

The book should be updated to JDK 1.1 and probably be aimed at VB programmers wanting to write applets or GUI applications. Currently it can only be recommended as a doorstop.