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Java Au Naturel - Guide to Object Oriented Design - Java 2 with Swing

by Dr. William C. Jones, Jr.
Software development with an object-oriented approach is the fundamental subject of this book. Java is a programming language used to create the animations you see when you browse the web. Of all the programming languages whose use is wide-spread, Java is the best for learning and doing object-oriented software development. That is why Java is used in this computer science book.
Chapter One explains the details of compiling and executing a program. It introduces much of the vocabulary you need. It establishes the framework for Java programs. And it gives an overview of the book with a look at other contexts where objects are used to perform useful tasks. This is a foretaste of what is to come, so you are not expected to fully understand at this point everything it mentions.
Chapter Two introduces a quite different software context. The software provided to you defines objects that control the basic physical actions of electronic equipment. Your job is to develop additional software that puts these basic actions together in combinations that perform tasks that the purchaser of the electronic equipment finds useful. You learn to use inheritance in this new context. Then you see how to have objects select between two courses of action depending on the circumstances. You also learn a simple method of diagramming the relationships among classes of objects. It is a widely used technique that is part of the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The UML is the industry standard for modeling software.
Chapter Three shows you how to teach objects to repeat a sequence of actions many times until a task is accomplished. This ability leads to more complex programs, so we discuss a reliable process for developing the logic to solve a problem and translate it into a Java program. This is the one chapter that does not introduce a new major context for developing software.
Chapter Four switches to the context of game-playing programs. In this context, you learn how to build objects "from scratch", specifying what they know as well as what they can do. By this time you can write interesting and useful programs using only the standard library of objects that comes with every Java installation. The game-playing software interacts with the outside world through the keyboard and screen rather than via signals to and from electronic equipment or to a drawing surface.
Chapter Five completes the presentation of basic language features you need for working with objects in your programs. At this point you can construct a complete string-based simulation of the electronic equipment you worked with in earlier chapters. A case study on networks lets you see the interaction of all of the object-oriented concepts and most of the language features applied in another context. The situation that the networking material describes is key to many important real-life problems. The analysis and solution of some of these problems can be quite complex; it is the subject of more advanced courses in computer science. But the discussion here is quite elementary.
Chapter Six expands your arsenal of basic types of values to include characters and numbers with decimal points (heretofore you only had the whole-number and true-false kinds of values). It also gives you a full set of methods for dealing with strings of characters. These language features are introduced in the context of software to schedule work orders at a car repair shop using the Model/View/Controller approach and several kinds of objects at once.
Chapter Seven gives you the tools you need to work with large masses of data. This is in the context of software to handle a database of people working for a particular company. A re-implementation of a simulation of the electronic-equipment software from Chapters Two and Three helps you solidify your understanding of the key concept of arrays.
The first seven chapters present the features of Java most frequently used in this book, together with a moderate number of examples. Many of the concepts, especially the various uses of arrays, cannot be learned well enough without a great deal of practice. The remaining eleven chapters give you that practice. Their primary purpose is to (a) improve your understanding of principles and techniques of software design and development, and (b) reinforce the concepts in the basic first seven chapters.
Each of the next twelve chapters presents a different software design and development situation. The emphasis is on techniques for creating quality software...

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