Absolute Java with Student Resource Disk

Product Description
With the second edition of Absolute Java, best-selling author Walt Savitch offers a comprehensive introduction of the java programming language.  This book gives programmers the tools to master the Java language.  He takes full advantage of the new Java 5.0 features and incorporates the new Scanner class. There is comprehensive coverage of generic types, including how to define classes with type parameters, collection classes done as generic classes, and link… More >>

Absolute Java with Student Resource Disk

5 thoughts on “Absolute Java with Student Resource Disk”

  1. The book excels at teaching a reader new to either Java or any programming language. Savitch goes comprehensively through the core classes that come with the standard Java distribution. Also, he uses Java 5, which is the latest major release of Java. If you are going to start learning Java, you might as well start here, instead of using a text that deals with earlier versions.

    It turns out that Java 5 also gives notational simplifications, which may help the new programmer. For example, suppose we have “int i” and “Integer x”. In earlier versions of Java, you would have had to write “i=x.intValue()” to assign from x to i, or “x=new Integer(i)” to assign from i to x. Experienced Java programmers will shrug and say, “so what?”. But they don’t need this book anyway. For a beginner, some of the earlier Java notation or formalism can be bulky. But now in Java 5, you can just say “i=x” or “x=i” and the JVM makes the appropriate conversions internally. So long as you understand this, the new notation is better. It makes the code more concise and readable. Which even for experienced programmers should be desirable. Easier to understand and debug.

    It should be said that Savitch goes much further into other aspects and improvements in Java 5. Without gainsaying his efforts, I think the above is the most understandable thing to appreciate about Java 5.

    Another positive aspect of the book is the plethora of worked out examples and problems in each chapter. For the latter, answers are also furnished at the ends of the chapters. But if you want the most out of this book, retain enough self discipline to devote serious effort to the problems before checking the answers.

    Savitch also brings up the topic of patterns. It reflects a roughly 10 year old realisation in computing about the importance of this to robust and rapid coding. And it also aids in the efficient communication of solutions between programmers. Seeing it migrate to a beginner’s book like this is a good sign. If you can learn just the overall concept of a pattern, as well as several specific and important patterns given in the text, then you get off to a good start in programming. In any language.

    Sure, when you don’t even know the syntax of Java, patterns can seem a little abstract. Just like interfaces. But when you get around to writing thousands of lines of source code, or having to maintain or extend such code bodies, then patterns and interfaces really show their utility.

    Note in passing that the book is not really an algorithms text. The most involved it gets in this aspect is a brief discusssion of sorting methods. If you’re after algorithms implemented in Java, try elsewhere.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. It is BY FAR the best book on programming that I have read. I tried Java for Dummies, learning online, also the Java tutorials from Sun and they were a waste of time or money or both.

    There are several reasons that make me love this book and the way this author teaches:

    1. I read most of this book in seven weeks. After that, I took a second course on programming and I did great on my class.

    2. The exercises are well designed to learn. Some are challenging but all go right to the core of what you learned on each chapter.

    3. It covers the basics and even some advanced topics that I have encountered in following programming courses.

    4. The explanations are crystal clear. It is hard to be left with doubts.

    5. The organization is perfect. It builds a core and then it adds more to the core. After five chapters you can move on many different directions depending on your needs and the book will still make sense.

    6. The code is transparent and clarifications on the margins do help.

    7. It is up to date with the latest Java release.

    In all honesty this book does not have a weak spot. BUY IT!!!

    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Straightforward, and easy to understand, not tedious. This book is extremely good. My instructor isn’t the best, so I end up reading through the book a lot, and have come to really appreciate it.

    Important concepts are hit upon from several different angles to really drive points home (but not tediously and repetitive), code examples are very good, lots of tips, and warnings of frequent mistakes. I can go through a chapter in a couple of hours, this semester I’ve gone through a thousand pages in this book, but it doesn’t feel like I spent more effort on this course than others, I have learned so much from it.

    Also, if you want to skip ahead, he will tell you what sections you need to know before beginning a chapter, so you can hit some relevant topic without reading every chapter prior to it.

    Effective use of formatting and white space, clear headings that really help to find and organize the information, chapters are nice and manageable. Important parts of the code examples are highlighted so that you don’t have to read the entire piece of code to get the relevant information, but if you want to see how the piece fits into a working program, the entire code is there to be referenced. It helps you to be able to just look the code quickly if thats all you need, or really sit down and give it a thorough run through to see how it works in the program.

    I wish all my textbooks were like this, I advocate it to everyone interested in Java.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. I have read both books by Savitch and Deitel, and Savitch is by far clearer, although Savitch could still buff the textbook out a bit more with explaining “Compositon” topic better and clarifying paramater type.

    Also Savitch summarizes every subsection and I am not 100% sure this is necessary in all subsections.

    Savitch should urge his publisher not to begin a new subsection at the bottom of a page!

    Savitch should make available more solutions in a separate manaul for those wishing it.

    Overall I would say Savitch saved my day with my 2 JAVA courses. Deitel starts out with graphics, assuming the student will graps Java better but Deitel introduces some rather major concepts when doing this and I don’t think the students would appreciate the complex ideas without using Savitch step by step methodologies. Deitel assumes a student undestands the concept of “extends”, “implements” etc and this is exactly what graphics class uses and Deitel assumes students will understand these concepts just because they are graphical in nature. Savithc covers these concepts later when other major concepts are covered so that a student will appreciate the “extends” concepts much better.

    So Savitch and Deitel cover the same material, but in different sequences. And I believe that Savitch’s approach works better and helps the student understand the more difficult concepts later in the textbook.

    gerard sagliocca,

    [email protected]

    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. I’ve tried three other Java intro books, and they either aren’t well-organized or they take such a dim view of the reader’s abilities that it’s like reading Programming for Pre-schoolers. Absolute Java is well-structured with both breadth & depth: it doesn’t ignore programming basics, but covers a much larger scope of material than other books I’ve tried, while still including detail about intricacies of more sophisticated aspects of the language. Uses lots of good, robust examples. Love it.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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