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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:
Just Java 1.2 (4th ed)
Author:
Peter van_der_Linden
ISBN:
0 13 010534 1
Publisher:
Prentice Hall
Pages:
776pp+CD
Price:
£35-99
Reviewer:
Brian Bramer
Subject:
java
Appeared in:
11-4
This text provides an easy to read overview of OO, Java 1.2 (now called Java 2.0) language and its APIs, with the odd bit of humour thrown in. It is one of the excellent SunSoft Press Java series from Prentice Hall and is aimed at giving experienced programmers (in Pascal, VB, Fortran, Ada, C, etc.) a fast introduction to Java.

After an introduction to Java and important issues (portability, APIs The JVm, performance, etc.) there is a discussion (Chapter two) of OO programming concepts covering abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, etc. I would not advise readers experienced in C++, Smalltalk, etc. to skip this because much of the Java class syntax is outlined and keywords defined (public, protected, private, final, static, etc.) Chapters three to eleven then cover the Java language in detail building up from basics (types, expressions, etc.) to exception handling, treads, etc. To support the discussion there are plenty of diagrams and sample code. Chapter six then reinforces the basics with a fairly complex case study (the code may be obtained from the CD and used with the discussion in the text). Following chapters then describe applets, security, APIs, the AWT, graphics programming, the JFC and Swing, graphics programming, I/O and networking. Each chapter ends with Light Relief (humorous anecdotes, etc.) and several have exercises. Throughout the text alternative techniques are presented and discussed, e.g. when implementing event handlers the use of inner classes, anonymous classes, adapter classes, etc. are compared.

The book is an excellent easy to read introduction to Java and its APIs. It does concentrate on general-purpose programming and provides very brief coverage of many APIs (e.g. networking in 33 pages) and the system developer would soon require texts on advanced or specialist features. Highly recommended!