This book contains 24 chapters, which are to be taken as one-hour lessons. It assumes no existing knowledge. In part one, 'getting started', chapter 1 introduces such topics as 'what is a program', 'what is a bug', 'choosing a language', 'where to get the JDK and how to install it', etc. Moving on, in chapter twowe have 'creating a program', 'saving it to a file', then compiling and executing it. Chapter 3 takes a quick tour of the web looking at Java based systems, i.e. to see the sort of applications being implemented on-line by Java developers. Chapter 4 briefly discusses applications and applets and where they used.
Part two covers programming basics starting with types, expressions and variables, moving on through conditional statements and loops. Part three introduces objects starting with arrays and then describing how to create and use objects (up to inheritance and where to use it). Part four covers applets in some details (creating threads, playing sounds, using fonts and colour) moving on in part five to graphics and interaction using Swing (the JDK 1.0 event model is not covered). Part six presents some simple case studies implementing the techniques covered, e.g. creating a game to run on the web, improving web pages, creating a calculator component, etc. This is a fairly short book by today's standard with each chapter being typically between 10 and 20 pages which can be read in an hour possibly with some follow up work. There are plenty of examples programs with almost line by line explanations in the text. Each chapter finishes with a summary reviewing what has been covered, a Q&A session and suggestions for further work.
Many topics (such as streams) are covered briefly or not even mentioned (such as networking) and a second level book would soon be required. However, it is a good introductory text for a beginner to programming and would be useful as a supplementary text to back up a more academic book on a programming course.