[Javanese cat PIC] So You Want to Learn Java?

11th December 2005, Draft no.1


I've received quite a few e-mails from people wanting to write Java games, but needing to learn Java first. Unfortunately, Killer Game Programming in Java isn't a good starting point. When writing the book, I made a decision early on to assume a basic knowledge of Java; the sort of thing gained from a single semester course, or from reading a beginner's book.

Four beginner's book's I'd recommend are:

The Head First book is amazing, with a truely novel way of teaching. My only concern is that it may not be suitable for non-native speakers, unfamiliar with American culture. Also, the book isn't comprehensive, but it does cover all the essentials.

The Eckel book is free online, and a great read. However, I've noticed that some students find the detailed explanations slightly overwhelming.

The Deitel book assumes almost no previous knowledge of programming. It may be a bit unsatisfying for readers wanting more depth.

I refer to the tutorial quite often, using it alongside the documentation for J2SE 5.0, which can be downloaded as well.


Please don't rely on my opinions alone. One reason I've included the Amazon links is so you can look at other people's views of the books.


Dr. Andrew Davison
E-mail: ad@fivedots.coe.psu.ac.th
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