Author: Paul J. Deitel & Harvey M. Deitel
Publisher: Prentice Hall, 2009
Aimed at: Programmers moving to Java
Cons: Poor organisation of ideas
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
I really didn't get on with this book but as some readers seem to like the approach used by the Deitel books, don't let this put you off. The Deitel approach is to create something massive and something more like an academic textbook than an inspiring read. It has to be said that this particular 1200 page brick does its best to be helpful and friendly by including short notes on common mistakes in programming. This makes it slightly less intimidating but to be honest the layout and the very small print probably make the effort futile.
The book covers Java 6 from the first concepts, through objects, the user interface, widgets, graphics, JDBC, generics, networking, JavaServer Faces, JAX-WS, regular expressions and so on. If you are looking for a book that covers the ground then you can't really fault this volume.
Although supposedly aimed at "programmers" the text starts off more or less from first principles. If you already program in any object oriented language then there is a lot you will need to skip. But if you are a beginner then the order in which the material is introduced isn't helpful nor is the introduction of advanced concepts such as UML and object oriented design right at the start. There are also a lot of places where admittedly simple concepts are used and then covered later. In short the authors really don't seem to have a clear idea of who their audience is and as a result have ended up producing a book that isn't exactly right for any particular level of experience. If you can cope with skim reading through some of the very basic stuff then it might be of value to you as an experienced programmer needing to brush up your Java with a UML object oriented flavour. The best thing I can find to say about it is that it's "big".