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Best book to study Java
8 points by umangd on Feb 9, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments
I have prior experience in C/C++ and want to study JAVA. There are tons of books out there. I am looking for one that teaches the basics as well as gives practical knowledge.. any recommendations?

It's getting old, but the early editions of O'Reilly's "Java in a nutshell" (by David Flanagan) books were targeted specifically at C/C++ programmers learning Java. In my opinion, it's extremely well-written, being correct, clear, concise and engaging.

From the 4th edition (which was for Java 1.4), it bulked up from 1 inch thick to 2 inches, and stopped specifically targeting C programmers. It's still good, just not as good. Also, since then, Java has added generics, annotation and several other things. Some of these (esp. generics) have a widespread impact on coding. Also, it doesn't cover the ecosystem. But if you want to start with the basics, it has them.

For an introduction to the basics of the language, in terms of C, the earlier editions can't be beat. (your local university library will have several copies - chapters 2 How Java differs from C and 3 Classes and Objects are what you need)

I have no experience going from c/c++ to java, but I would highly recommend starting at java 1.5 or above.

The differences between 1.4 and 1.5 were quite profound

I believe that you can't really learn Java through reading. You'd better served if you try to port some of your old code to Java so you have a purpose. Java's spec can span to thousand of pages, so an overview book can be either too thick or too shallow. I would recommend you reading a Data Structure+Algorithm book in java, which will cover all the basic use and unique characteristic of the language: http://www.amazon.com/Data-Structures-Algorithms-Java-2nd/dp...

Java Precisely (Sestoft) gives you the crispiest syntax. Effective Java (Bloch) gives the best practices. Core Java (vol 1, 8th ed) gives you a pro-C++, no-nonsense comprehensive coverage. Official Java Tutorial is the best intro, save it's not a book!

I love the Head first series books. Even though I already had experience with other languages when I started, Head First Java explained things clearly and enjoyably! http://amzn.to/ybDBJv

I can't recommend Head First Java enough - initially I thought it was too whimsical and lacked depth, but it goes over key points simply and repeatedly until you understand them. If you have OOP experience then a lot of the first half of the book will be pretty familiar, but it's useful enough for the syntax/quirks etc

The Head First Series is "Learn the Hard Way" backed by modern educational theory - hands on, engaging multiple learning pathways, and offering problems at various levels of difficulty even on relatively advanced topics.

They are structured based on ideas about how people learn rather than ideas about how they should learn.

That's not say that "Learn the Hard Way" is not useful or that I don't admire what Zed Shaw is doing. I think it is really good work.

+1 for head first java, I also recommend effective Java once you've read hfj

Thinking in Java by Bruce Eckel is a great book and teaches you not only the "What"s and "How"s of Java but also the "Why"s. http://amzn.to/o2lVx0

If you come from C background, you already have basic java syntax. You just need to know the library. I think you should read "Effective Java". Imho, It is one of the best books I have ever read.

Best thing to do is watch videos on youtube!!

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