Saturday, December 20, 2008

Java for the Holidays

I've blogged about Cay Horstmann before. In the world of Java books there is no shortage of "so-so" tomes that "kind of" teach you the language. Then there are a few truly great books that are several levels above the rest. One is Head First Java, but that book is in need of a rewrite soon. The other great Java book is Core Java Vol 1: Fundamentals by Cay Horstmann and Gary Cornell.

What makes a great programming book? For me, the author must get to the heart of the language. Mark Lutz and Wesley Chun have written truly "Pythonic" books about the Python language. Their books are miles ahead of many of the other books on Python programming, which seem sloppy and inefficient.

Horstmann's Core Java is a great book. So I finally went to Borders and bought my own copy. I worked through the first 138 pages today (as review) and can't wait to revisit the chapters on Swing GUI development. If you really want to understand Java, try this book.

Teachers who read this books will have a big advantage in teaching Java, no matter what textbook they have officially adopted for their class.

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