Comprehensiveness rating: 5 read less
The textbook includes the material that is typically covered in a college-level CS1 course. Using an “early objects” approach and Java as the programming language, the authors go over problem-solving techniques based on object-oriented programming principles. In addition to an Index of terms towards the end of the text, each chapter summary includes the technical terms used, along with a bulleted-list of important points discussed in that chapter.
Accuracy rating: 3
The computer science concepts and the accompanying sample code are accurate and error-free; however, the only issue is the fact that the URLs that make references to various aspects of Java, such as API documentation, JDK, and the Java Language Specification, have not been updated to reflect the fact that Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle back in 2010.
Relevance/Longevity rating: 4
Like other software systems, Java is updated on a regular basis; nonetheless, the computer science concepts discussed in the textbook are based on standard undergraduate curriculum taught in a CS1 course. Therefore, any updates to the textbook would need to be with regard to the version of Java with minimal effort.
Clarity rating: 4
The authors deliver clear explanations of the computer science concepts and the accompanying Java language features.
Consistency rating: 5
There is a consistent theme throughout much of the text: A topic is introduced and discussed within the context of a problem. Its solution is then designed and explained using UML diagrams; finally, Java is used to illustrate how the solution is implemented on the computer.
Modularity rating: 5
Each chapter is divided into sections that can easily be identified within the table of contents. Therefore, it’s fairly easy for a student to pick and choose a section in a chapter and work on the other sections later. Throughout each chapter, there are self-study exercises to incrementally test understanding of the covered material. Solutions to those self-study exercises are then provided towards the end of the chapter. In addition, each chapter includes end-of-chapter exercises that can be used to assess one’s understanding of the computer science concepts as well as the various features of Java.
Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5
The book consists of seventeen chapters; however, a typical CS1 course would need the material in the first ten chapters only, and those chapters are set up in a logical manner, allowing one to go through the material sequentially. Depending on how fast he first ten chapters are covered during the course of a semester, an instructor may choose from the last seven chapters in the text to introduce more advanced topics in computer science and/or Java.
Interface rating: 1
The textbook can be accessed online or opened using Acrobat Reader with no problem. There are no issues, as long as navigation is done one page after another manually. However, when browsing through the table of contents (TOC) or the Index, the entries are not set up using any live links. That is, you cannot click on a page number associated with an item within the TOC or the Index to go directly to that page.
Grammatical Errors rating: 3
This reviewer did not come across any such issues, while going through the text.
Cultural Relevance rating: 5
This is a computing textbook, where the contents are presented using technical terms. Culturally, the textbook is completely neutral and unbiased in terms of how the material is presented.