Welcome to the Big Java/Java Concepts FAQ!

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Question: What is the difference between Big Java 3nd ed.,Java Concepts 5th ed., and the AP edition?

Answer: Big Java has everything (24 chapters) in the printed book.

Java Concepts has the first 15 chapters in the printed book. However, most of the advanced topics and random facts are accessed through the Web, not the printed book. Chapters 16 - 18 are also available on the web. The result is a thinner and less expensive book.

The AP edition contains the first 16 chapters of Big Java with no change, i.e. all material is in the printed book. It is a hardcover book.

Question: What are the most important changes in the new edition?


Question: Which ISBN should I use?

The publisher is packaging different book versions with the same enthusiasm as the vendors of toothpaste and breakfast cereals. Here are the most important variations:

Without Wiley PLUS With Wiley PLUS
Big Java 9780470105542 9780470112090
Java Concepts 9780470105559 9780470112106
AP Edition 9780470181607

If you have a special need (such as a bundle that includes the BlueJ manual or the AP study guide), please contact your Wiley sales representative.

Question: What is Wiley PLUS?

Answer: Wiley PLUS is Wiley's course management system. It comes with an online version of the book, a test bank, and a system for checking programming assignments.

The publisher tells me that there is no additional cost for students to use Wiley PLUS, but that the bookstore needs to order the right ISBN of the book so that it comes bundled with a registration code.

You would want to use Wiley PLUS if you want to do any of these:

My personal opinion is that Wiley PLUS has become good enough that I recommend it if you aren't already a happy user of another system such as Moodle or WebCT.

Whether or not you choose Wiley PLUS for your students, you can always get a free Wiley PLUS instructor account. and copy any of the resources for your own course.

Question: Can I use the AP edition for the AB course?

Answer: Yes. The AP edition is suitable for an AP A or AB level course. Check out this sample syllabus. AP programs should also consider the AP Study Guide by Fran Trees.

Question: How do I get a review copy?

Answer: Please go to the request page for college instructors or for high school instructors.

Question: How can I get the solutions to the exercises?

Answer: If you are a student, please ask your instructor. If you are an instructor, please visit http://www.wiley.com/college/horstmann and select "Instructor Resources". You will need to fill out a form and obtain a password to see the solutions to all exercises. If you are neither, we apologize—the book was designed as a part of a college-level course, not for self-study.

Question: Are there solutions to the programming projects?

Answer: Unfortunately, you are on your own. The projects are intended as a starting point for instructors, to be fleshed out and modified as desired. No solutions have been prepared.

Question: Is there an electronic version of the book?

Answer: Yes. You can either get a desktop edition or purchase the Wiley PLUS course.

Question: What version of Java does the book use?

Answer: You need Java 5.0 or later.

Question: Does the book code work with J++ or C#?

Answer: No. Microsoft J++ and C# are not compatible with Java 5.0.

Question: Does the book use standard Java only, or do I need to use an additional library?

Answer: The book uses only standard Java. No additional libraries are required. 

Question: I want to teach programming concepts, not graphics. Can I skip the graphics sections?

Answer: Yes, you can. The book has been designed so that the graphics sections can be safely skipped without disrupting the remainder of the course. Of course, there are quite a few exercises that use graphics, and you won't be able to assign them. They are clearly marked with a G icon.

Question: Why do you use a capital L for liter in Appendix G?

Answer: That is the preferred abbreviation in the United States; see http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/outside.html.