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Keywords: Java, programming

Title: Teach Yourself Java 2 In 24 Hours

Author: Rogers Cadenhead

Publisher: SAMS

ISBN: 0672324601

Media: Book

Level: Introductory

Verdict: Save your cash - look elsewhere

Would you trust a book called Instant Enlightenment in 24 Hours? Or how about Weight Loss In 24 Hours? Chances are that the answer?s a resounding no. The same kind of caution needs to be exercised here as well. Not that I?m suggesting that Java programming is the road to enlightenment (though I?m not so sure about the weight loss?).

For those not familiar with it, (and if you're interested in this title then it's a sure guess you're not familiar), Java is a computer programming language. Not just any language though, Java is a language that promises write-once run-anywhere functionality. Most programming languages are specific to the system they are written on. If you use Windows, for example, then a language like Visual Basic or C++ is very closely tied to the hardware and operating system. Write a program with VB and you won?t be able to run it on a Mac or a Linux box, or even on different versions of Windows very often. Java does away with the that, you write a program once and you should, in theory, be able to run it on any piece of kit that supports a the Java Virtual Machine (which in practice is just about any operating system and device you can think of).

This book aims to teach you the ins and outs of programming Java in 24 bite-sized one-hour chunks. Well, while the chapters are short and sweet, the content is inevitably light. Complex topics are either glossed over or not explained in any useful depth. Partly this is because the author attempts to pack in far too wide a range of topics. It?s silly to pretend that you can give an all-round view of so many complex subjects in so short a space. People have written entire books about some of the topics the author tackles in half a chapter.

To mention a few specific examples. Classes are tackled without making clear the difference between class variables and instance variables. File I/O is covered without mention of Readers and Writers, or the difference between buffered and unbuffered I/O. StringBuffers are not mentioned at all. I could go on but if you know what I?m talking about you won?t need this book, if you don?t then you won?t learn about it from this either.

By the end of the book, assuming you haven?t been stunned into a coma by the author?s humor (yep, it?s a US thang), you?ll have a very superficial view of Java programming. What you won?t have is the knowledge or the insight to produce anything useful.

Why did I buy this? The promise is easy knowledge, of course. Don?t make the same mistake I made, there are much better introductory Java books than this. Take your time and browse in a book shop before parting with your hard-earned?

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