Where to start with Java.


I'm an intermediate vb developer with an MCP.
I want to start to develop with Java 2 so I'd like some
advice on the best approach (perhaps from the VB perspective).
I have seen the following book on the net:
'The Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Java'

Is this any good?
Are there better alternatives?
What are the best books on all levels of Java?
What development tools should I use(JBuilder, SE , Enterprise)?

If anyone can answer any of these questions and give me a few tips that would be great.
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 The best way to start is the Sun's Java tutorial:


  With regards to the rest of your questions

>Is this any good?

  Sorry never read it actually.

>Are there better alternatives?

  Not sure again :-(

>What are the best books on all levels of Java?

  My personal *favourite* (not the best) is "Java how to program" by Deitel & Deitel 3rd edition. It covers all you need to know. Of course there are specialized books on Java (on Threads, Sockets etc) but the "Java, how to program" covers more or less everything.

> What development tools should I use(JBuilder, SE , Enterprise)?

  A simple notepad would do for the beginning, although I suggest JCreator (http://www.jcreator.com). Easy to use and navigate.

  You can leave the enterprise IDE's for later (tbh I never use them.. everything I write I do it manually).

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the first thing you''l find out is that in java you can't just mix all data types together in statements as you can in vb, also the syntax is a bit abstract (actually pretty much like in c)
the next thing is that everything must be a class, so you should get a good look at OOP

a beginner book is

Computing Concepts with Java Essentials
by Cay S. Horstmann (Author)

it describes all the basic things about programming in general and introduces java as a language.
may be a bit boring, since you are not a beginner (even though i would not call vb-programming programming)

then there is  O'Reilly's

Java in a Nutshell

which is quite popular, but considered more as a reference.
but you'll need such a thing, since there are hundreds of classes for almost everything and it's hard to get an overwiew at first.

the most important thing however is sun's java api documentation at


which lists all the classes that are included in the standard edition.
also, there are a few free eBooks on the net, though i haven't looked at any. might be worth a look.

as for the IDEs i would recomend to write one or two pograms in the text editor to get familiar with the language and the compiler. i think IDEs like JBuilder won't help you much at first, but when you're comfortable with the language it is a must have. especially the code completion is essential. forget sun's forte or the other lightweight-for-free ide's.
JBuilder is all you need.
ah, and don't ever use a microsoft java ide, all you gain by that is that you lose platform indepedency.

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