March 18, 2005
"Head First Java, Second Edition": A Jolt of Java to the Brain
Sebastopol, CA--Learning a complex new language is no easy task,
especially when it's an object-oriented computer programming language like
Java. Or, tougher yet, Java 5.0: the most significant version of Java in
its ten-year history, with major changes to the language and important new
APIs. There's a lot more to learn, but the problem is, your brain isn't
getting any bigger. Or easier to train. In fact, it seems to have a mind
of its own--a mind that doesn't always want to take in the dry, technical
stuff you're forced to study.
The truth is that your brain craves novelty. It's constantly searching,
scanning, waiting for something unusual to happen. After all, it was built
that way to help you stay alive. It takes all the routine, ordinary, dull
stuff and filters it to the background where it won't interfere with your
brain's real work--recording things that matter. How does it know what
matters? As Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, the authors of Head First Java,
Second Edition (O'Reilly, US $44.95) say, "Suppose you're out for a hike
and a tiger jumps in front of you, what happens inside your head? Neurons
fire. Emotions crank up. Chemicals surge."
That's how your brain knows. And that's how your brain will learn Java.
Head First Java combines puzzles, strong visuals, mysteries, and
soul-searching interviews with famous Java objects to engage readers in
many different ways. It's fast, fun, and effective. And, despite its
playful appearance, Head First Java is serious stuff: a complete
introduction to object-oriented programming and Java. Readers learn
everything from the fundamentals to advanced topics, including threads,
network sockets, and distributed programming with RMI. This edition
focuses on Java 5.0, the latest version of the Java language and
development platform. Because Java 5.0 is a major update to the
platform--with deep, code-level changes--even more careful study and
implementation is required. So learning the Head First way is more
important than ever.
The new edition covers these key topics and more:
The Java language
Writing, testing, and deploying applications
Using the Java API library
Swing GUI programming
Networking with RMI and sockets
Collections and generics
By exploiting the way your brain works, Head First Java compresses the
time it takes to learn and retain complex information. Its unique approach
doesn't just show you what you need to know about Java syntax, it teaches
you to think like a Java programmer.
If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect--a visually rich
format designed for the way your brain works. If you haven't, you're in
for a treat. You'll see why people say it's unlike any other Java book
you've ever read.
Praise for the previous edition:
"Head First Java transforms the printed page into the closest thing to a
GUI you've ever seen. In a wry, hip manner, the authors make learning Java
an engaging 'what're they gonna do next?' experience."
--Warren Keuffel, "Software Development" magazine
"When you get down to it, though, the only way to really decide on the
worth of a tutorial is to decide how well it teaches. Head First Java
excels at teaching."
--Tony Williams, slashdot.org
"This is, quite simply, the most unique learning guide to Java that is out
on the market. And the fact it's from O'Reilly will shock some people who
are used to just getting 'the facts' from their books. It's written in a
very informal, humorous, conversational style with tons of offbeat
graphics and examples. There's actually a method to the madness, too. They
figure that if they can make the information interesting and 'different,'
the brain will stay engaged in the learning process...If you are looking
for a book to start your Java learning experience, I highly recommend this
--Thomas Duff, twduff.com
Other reviews of Head First Java can be found here.
Chapter 2, "A Trip to Objectville," and Chapter 8, "Serious Polymorphism"
More information about the book, including table of contents, index,
author bios, and samples
A cover graphic in JPEG format
Head First Java, Second Edition
Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
ISBN: 0-596-00920-8, 478 pages, $44.95 US, $62.95 CA
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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