Introduction

Java is good stuff. I’ve been using it for years. I like Java because it’s very orderly. Almost everything follows simple rules. The rules can seem intimidating at times, but this book is here to help you figure them out. So, if you want to use Java and want an alternative to the traditional techie, soft-cover book, sit down, relax, and start reading Java For Dummies, 6th Edition.

How to Use This Book

I wish I could say, “Open to a random page of this book and start writing Java code. Just fill in the blanks and don’t look back.” In a sense, this is true. You can’t break anything by writing Java code, so you’re always free to experiment.

But let me be honest. If you don’t understand the bigger picture, writing a program is difficult. That’s true with any computer programming language — not just Java. If you’re typing code without knowing what it’s about, and the code doesn’t do exactly what you want it to do, you’re just plain stuck.

So, in this book, I divide Java programming into manageable chunks. Each chunk is (more or less) a chapter. You can jump in anywhere you want — Chapter 5, Chapter 10, or wherever. You can even start by poking around in the middle of a chapter. I’ve tried to make the examples interesting without making one chapter depend on another. When I use an important idea from another chapter, I include a note to help you find your way around.

In general, my advice is as follows:

  • If you already know something, don’t bother reading about it.
  • If ...

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