Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook
By now, most avid technology readers are familiar with the O Reilly Cookbook series. Cookbook enthusiasts already know how these collections of programming tips and how-to s can be used to further deepen a developer s knowledge in the chosen subject matter. Given the fact that O Reilly published the well-received Visual Basic .NET Cookbook, the VB 2005 sequel was highly anticipated. Now that it has arrived, do the authors meet this expectation? Read on.
Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook delivers a total of 332 tips, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. The book is organized into 17 chapters, with each tip presented in the standard Problem, Solution, Discussion (and an occasional See Also, when relevant) format used in the O Reilly Cookbook line. The featured recipes are predominantly short, sweet, and to the point, and include code examples typically presented in 10 lines or fewer. Exceptions to this brevity are the more advanced tips that demonstrate foundational subjects, such as ways to properly construct a .NET class, the creation of controls, and complex graphic handling. Additionally, the chapters logically subdivide the tips categories; the book starts off simply enough with base VB 2005 and Visual Studio IDE samples, and quickly graduates to class construction tips and focused areas that span string and file handling, date/time, math, graphics, multimedia, printing, databases, exception handling, and Web programming.
Of all the suggestions, those that were aggregated into Chapter 14 on Special Programming Techniques were my favorite. These uncovered diamonds taught me a few VB 2005 nuances that made me say, huh, that s cool. According to the authors, this chapter includes some of the most interesting and tasty recipes in the entire book , and I wholeheartedly concur. These tips include listing all running processes capturing a console s output and creating a screensaver, with each technique clearly presented using a remarkably small amount of code.
The authors also included several VB6 to VB.NET migration tips for those dwindling pre-.NET VB developer holdouts. These include the changes in string insertion, date/time formatting, and substitute calls for obsolete graphic functions. They did miss an opportunity, though, in not following through this concept to a C# conclusion. In other words, the book lacked any tips for migrating from VB to C# syntax. Yes, the book is intended for die-hard VB ers, but the reality (especially in corporate markets) is that VB and C# syntax can and does intermingle in large projects. At the very least, the authors could have provided a tip on further resources for VB ers seeking to understand the differences between the two languages and how VB and C# co-mingle in the wild.
Overall, this will be a book that VB developers will want to at least pick up and skim through at their local bookstores. While it is best suited for Intermediate VB programmers (this is not a tutorial book for beginners), even advanced VB ers will be pleasantly surprised with some of the nuggets of knowledge delivered. Whether or not these recipes are worth the fifty dollar cover price versus a well constructed Web search phrase is really based on knowledge of VB and the time and patience of the individual seeking answers.
Title: Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook
Authors: Tim Patrick and John Clark Craig
Publisher: O Reilly Media
Page Count: 740