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Ivor Horton's Beginning Java™ 2, JDK™ 5th Edition by Ivor Horton

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1.3. Learning Java

Java is not difficult to learn, but there is a great deal to it. Although the Java language is very powerful, it is fairly compact, so acquiring an understanding of it will take less time than you think. However, there's more to Java than just the language. To be able to program effectively in Java, you also need to understand the libraries that go with the language, and these are very extensive. In this book, the sequence in which you learn how the language works and how you apply it has been carefully structured so that you'll gain expertise and confidence with programming in Java through a relatively easy and painless process. As far as possible, each chapter avoids the use of things you haven't learned about already. A consequence, though, is that you won't be writing Java applications with a GUI right away. While it may be an appealing idea, this would be a bit like learning to swim by jumping in the pool at the deep end. Generally speaking, there is good evidence that by starting in the shallow end of the pool and learning how to float before you try to swim, you'll minimize the chance of drowning, and there is a high expectation that you'll end up being a competent swimmer.

1.3.1. Java Programs

As I have already noted, there are two basic kinds of programs you can write in Java. Programs that are to be embedded in a web page are called Java applets, and normal standalone programs are called Java applications. You can further subdivide Java applications ...

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