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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:
Teach Yourself JBuilder in 21 Days
Author:
Michelle M Manning
ISBN:
1 57521 104 1
Publisher:
Sams
Pages:
752pp+CD
Price:
£36-50
Reviewer:
Colin Harkness
Subject:
java; borland
Appeared in:
10-4
This book attempts to teach you Java 1.1, the various JavaBeans components that come with JBuilder and the JBuilder development environment in 21 days. I didn't need to consult the manuals or online documentation to get productive.

While each chapter might not take a full day to complete (and not all chapters are the same length) I don't think it is possible to work through this book in 21 evenings (unless your evenings extend well into the wee small hours). I mean 'work through' rather than 'read' as, apart from a couple of chapters introducing Java the language, you really need to be sitting at your computer, trying out the programs. The text is very much 'do this, click that, open the other' in places and impossible to follow without doing it!

I'm no Java expert, though I did find a couple of minor errors in the Java Language section. You have to go from beginner to expert in multi- threading and databases in quite a short time period. These concepts were generally well explained, with good examples. There are hints for converting C++ and Delphi programmers.

You'll need another reference book on Java if you want to master the language. As far as JBuilder is concerned, the manuals are probably still essential reading as this is a teaching book not a reference.

The CDROM contains JBuilder Professional, time limited to 90 days, but it does not provide source code for the JBCL components. This should be plenty of time to evaluate the product before you go out and buy the real thing. When I tried this version on NT4 I couldn't get it to work reliably. I suspect this has something to do with the IE4 desktop 'enhancement' I had installed, which seems to do a good job of breaking software.

Borland have announced JBuilder 2, available early spring. If Sams intend to update this for JBuilder2 then the second edition should be worth considering - this edition probably isn't as its days of usefulness are numbered.