Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Best Java Book?

What's the best book on Java for an experienced (non-Java) programmer who has limited Java experience and needs to develop network-based Java apps? Something thin is preferred :-)

Thanks in advance.

C Rose
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I'd recommend "Effective Java" - it's very similar to the "Effective C++" and "More Effective C++" books, if you're familiar with those.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I like:

"Thinking in Java" - Bruce Eckel

Free download too!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

+1 for Thinking in Java.

Brad Wilson (
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

It seems that the OP was asking specifically about Java network programming, not Java programming in general.  The suggestions so far probably aren't what you're looking for.

Amazon brings up a good selection when you search on "java network programming." I learned from the one at but it came out in 1997 and is out of print. I haven't read any of the others, but the Amazon reviews are probably as good as any you'll get here :-)

Rob Warner
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

No they aren't. At Amazon the authors post anonymous reviews praising their books :P

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The phrase "network-based Java apps" is pretty nebulous. It could mean Java server apps served via a web server. *shrug* Regardless, if someone doesn't know Java at all, they will need groundings in the fundamentals, and TIJ is an excellent book for that.

Brad Wilson (
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Thanks for the suggestions.

I left the specification loose on purpose. I like the Effective... series -- I'll check out the Java equivalent.

I'll also take a look at TIJ.

Cheers all.

C Rose
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

"How to ruin your career in seven days or less", by Bill Joy

S. Walker
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

"The phrase "network-based Java apps" is pretty nebulous. It could mean Java server apps served via a web server"

Agreed, which is why I still suggest "Bitter Java", as the emphasis is on design related to server-side application development with Java.

Java Dude
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Just read the Java Tutorial (free download from Sun) on the networking part. It discusses simple TCP and UDP traffic, multicasting, RPC, RMI, CORBA, etc. That's more than enough more basic knowledge.

If you mean server-side programming like JSP, Servlet, EJB, etc, read "Core Servlet", "Head First EJB",etc. There are a lot of these books on the store.

If you want to get ahead in the language of Java itself, read "Java Programming Language" and books on "Certified Java Programmer". It is important to know the detail of the language to the fullest, you won't regret.


Richard Sunarto Yu
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

FWIW, Safari's Java top 10 at the moment is:

1.  Sams Teach Yourself Java™ 2 in 24 Hours, Third Edition
2.  Java Servlet & JSP Cookbook
3.  Hardcore Java
4.  Programming Jakarta Struts
5.  Programmer's Guide to Java™ Certification, A: A Comprehensive Primer, Second Edition
6.  JavaServer Pages, 3rd Edition
7.  Java Extreme Programming Cookbook
8.  J2EE™ Web Services
9.  Java Examples in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition
10.  Java Swing, 2nd Edition

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

For a non-java guy to get started the 'think in java' is too thick. I'd recommend 'Java Examples in a Nutshell' by David Flanagan to get some nifty examples and a feel for coding. The cool thing is that he covers most subjects.
Next thing would be Gosling's 'The Java Programming Language' for tangling the reality of OOP in Java and doing it well (as a nutcracking beginner).
If you'd get that far (and still having fun) I would get 'Effective Java' as it is an excellent material for any (half-serious) programmer.

Elias Ivarsson
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I learned Java from "Just Java" by Peter van der Linden (I picked the book because he's generally a very good author, I love "Deep C Secrets") and I really enjoyed the book.

However, that was a long time ago, and the Amazon reviews for the fifth edition of the book are more mixed, saying the PvdL has lost his enthusiam for the subject matter and it shows in the book.

Nevertheless, "Just Java" might be one to check out. It's definitely pitched at teaching the Java language to an experienced programmer.

Bill Tomlinson
Wednesday, April 28, 2004

you can try this book

A Little Java, A Few Patterns
by Matthias Felleisen (Author), Daniel P. Friedman (Author)

new one
Sunday, May 2, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home