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Thinking In Java
by Bruce Eckel, Bruce Eckel

Prentice Hall PTR
third edition
December 2002
1119 pages

Reviewed by Junilu Lacar, March 2003
  (9 of 10)

This edition is updated for the Java JDK 1.4 and includes significant changes over the previous edition.

New and expanded discussions touch on assertions, I/O and new I/O, logging, JavaDoc comments, exception handling, JNLP and Webstart. The 2nd edition's chapter on distributed computing, which included EJBs, Servlets and JSPs, RMI, and JNDI, and the appendix on JNI are gone and moved to another book on Enterprise Java.

Staying abreast of current development practices, Eckel introduces brief discussions on using Ant for automated builds, and version control using CVS. He also puts more emphasis on unit testing, replacing comments and System.out.println statements from previous editions with code that uses his own unit testing framework in most of the book's sample code. The source code, which you can download from his website, also comes with Ant build files.

The CD that comes with the book contains a multimedia course called "Foundations for Java" which you should go through before reading the book. Unfortunately, the CD I got was damaged during shipping and I haven't received a replacement as of this writing.

One minor complaint is that the typeface in the code and tables are not very readable. In the tables, the number 0 looks like a lowercase o. Overall, I think Eckel did a good job in keeping the book up-to-date and relevant to the needs of beginning to intermediate Java programmers who would benefit from this book.

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Prentice Hall PTR
second edition
May 2000
1128 pages

Reviewed by Kathy Sierra, May 1999
  (8 of 10)

My favorite book for those coming from a C++ background. Bruce Eckel explains complicated things about Java with the casual clarity of a conversation between two smart colleagues. You'll spend a lot of time reading this book. I must get Bert his own copy; he keeps going after mine.

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