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Search in Book Reviews

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 an Object-Oriented Language
Author:
Michael Smith
ISBN:
0 07 709460 3
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill
Pages:
474pp
Price:
£24-99
Reviewer:
Silvia de Beer
Subject:
java; object oriented
Appeared in:
12-2
The book teaches Java to students who have no previous knowledge of any other programming language. The book explains all the language basics and gives mostly examples for programs with a command line interface rather than GUI applications. Windowed programming comes later in the book, with only the very basic visual components and layout managers.

The book does not handle all the different class libraries which come with java-2, but chooses small parts of the most important ones, like the container classes, model-view paradigm, threads, sockets and Remote Method Invocation.

The book is clear at teaching Java as an introduction, although it is a pity that there are a few typing errors and other small inaccuracies like an example to print a line 3 times:

int i = 0;
while (i<= 3)
{
    // print the line
    i = i + 1;
}
Of course, the line is printed 4 times. Also, for didactic reasons I would rather use a for-loop.

There are other examples where I would have been stricter on the programming style. A weak point of the book is the relation between program design and code. The book gives a few UML class diagrams, but mostly the code is just given. It would be more instructive for students to explain more of the design process.