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Introduction to Programming Using Java, Fifth Edition

By David J. Eck

Introduction to Programming Using Java is a free introductory computer programming textbook that uses Java as the language of instruction. It is suitable for use in an introductory programming course and for people who are trying to learn programming on their own. There are no prerequisites beyond a general familiarity with the ideas of computers and programs. There is enough material for a full year of college-level programming. Chapters 1 through 7 can be used as a textbook in a one-semester college-level course or in a year-long high school course.

This version of the book covers "Java 5.0", and many of the examples use features that were not present in earlier versions of Java. (Sometimes, you will see this version of Java referred to as Java 1.5 instead of Java 5.0.) Note that Java applets appear throughout the pages of this book. Many of those applets will be non-functional in Web browsers that do not support Java 5.0.

The home web site for this book is The page at that address contains links for downloading a copy of the web site and for downloading a PDF version of the book.

In style, this is a textbook rather than a tutorial. That is, it concentrates on explaining concepts rather than giving step-by-step how-to-do-it guides. I have tried to use a conversational writing style that might be closer to classroom lecture than to a typical textbook. You'll find programming exercises at the end of most chapters, and you will find a detailed solution for each exercise, with the sort of discussion that I would give if I presented the solution in class. I strongly advise that you read the exercise solutions if you want to get the most out of this book. This is certainly not a Java reference book, and it is not even close to a comprehensive survey of all the features of Java. It is not written as a quick introduction to Java for people who already know another programming language. Instead, it is directed mainly towards people who are learning programming for the first time, and it is as much about general programming concepts as it is about Java in particular. I believe that Introduction to Programming using Java is fully competitive with the conventionally published, printed programming textbooks that are available on the market. (Well, all right, I'll confess that I think it's better.)

There are several approaches to teaching Java. One approach uses graphical user interface programming from the very beginning. Some people believe that object oriented programming should also be emphasized from the very beginning. This is not the approach that I take. The approach that I favor starts with the more basic building blocks of programming and builds from there. After an introductory chapter, I cover procedural programming in Chapters 2, 3, and 4. Object-oriented programming is introduced in Chapter 5. Chapters 6 covers the closely related topic of event-oriented programming and graphical user interfaces. Arrays are covered in Chapter 7. Chapter 8 marks a turning point in the book, moving beyond the fundamental ideas of programming to cover more advanced topics. Chapter 8 is mostly about writing robust and correct programs, but it also has a section on parallel processing and threads. Chapters 9 and 10 cover recursion and data structures, including the Java Collection Framework. Chapter 11 is about files and networking. Finally, Chapter 12 returns to the topic of graphical user interface programming to cover some of Java's more advanced capabilities.

Major changes have been made in the fifth edition. Perhaps the most significant change is the use of parameterized types in the chapter on generic programming. Parameterized types -- Java's version of templates -- were the most eagerly anticipated new feature in Java 5.0.

Other new features in Java 5.0 are also covered. Enumerated types are introduced, although they are not covered in their full complexity. The "for-each" loop is covered and is used extensively. Formatted output is also used extensively, and the Scanner class is covered (though not until Chapter 11). Static import is covered briefly, as are variable arity methods...........

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