|Programming Microsoft Visual C# 2008: The Language|
Thursday, 11 March 2010 12:44
Written by Donis Marshall, its intent is to help developers master the new features released with the latest version of Microsoft’s .NET Framework. Every release of the .NET Framework provides developers with new features and functionality, and often delving into the MSDN articles isn’t necessarily the easiest way to learn about these new feature sets.
The book is divided into five parts, all ranging in complexity and functionality. I found the layout to be progressive, leading you from the more simple elements of the C# language to the more complex topics.
The immediate thing that caught my attention while reading the first chapter was how much I didn’t know was possible with the language. As a developer that has commercial experience as an intermediate C# developer for banks, I was amazed that the first chapter had such a wealth of knowledge. However, as you read through each chapter, you sometimes get the feeling that the author is trying to get his point across in the shortest, fastest way. His sentences are structured in short, concise sentences that don’t necessarily convey understanding in his meaning, so sometimes you’re stuck re-reading small snippets of text.
Marshall sometimes delves more into the “whats new” features of the language, rather than being an overall guide to the C# programming language, especially when you consider it is meant to be focusing on the professional aspects of the language. Heavily LINQ-focused, he goes so far as to praise it in the first chapter. Then again, once you become familiar with LINQ, and its ability to target multiple resources, you kind of wonder why it wasn’t introduced earlier!
Where I’m quite happy with the book is that it doesn’t spend the first few chapters covering what the .NET Framework is, and how it runs. Most programming books I’ve read on C# always seem to ‘waste’ a couple of chapters (or at least the very first chapter) outlining information that is already well known. If you’re an intermediate or professional programmer with a focus on C#, it would be pointless delving into information that you should already know.
The book also spends a lot of time focusing around the Visual Studio IDE, with two chapters focusing on the IDE. Since a lot of people would most probably be using the Express editions of the IDE, or the open source SharpDevelop alternative, it seems a little out of place – especially since the book’s focus is meant to be the C# language.
Apart from the few negative points I’ve discussed, the book isn’t ultimately bad. The code reviews are concise and well thought out, and I can genuinely say that I’ve learnt something new and interesting from the book. It’s expanded my knowledge on concepts like Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) programming, and its threading and memory management go far beyond the traditional methods of tutoring presented in other books.
Recommended reading for intermediate to advanced developers, beginners could find many of the topics beyond them. While I have no doubt a beginner would eventually find their way through the book, this isn’t recommended reading for them. To me, it feels like it’s a hardcore manual for programming, not intended for beginners to C# programming.
Contents of the Book
Introduction to Microsoft Visual C#
Introduction to Visual Studio 2008
Arrays and Collections
Introduction to LINQ
More C# Language
Delegates and Events
Metadata and Reflection
Debugging with Visual Studio 2008
Programming Microsoft Visual C#: The Language is available from www.intersoft.co.za
Buy Now for R447.97
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