Visual Basic 2005 in a Nutshell, 3<sup> rd</sup> Edition

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Visual Basic 2005 in a Nutshell, 3 rd Edition

Ah, the O Reilly Nutshell books: the status symbol of programmers who are serious about the computer languages they use. If a language achieves Nutshell status, discerning developers everywhere have demanded to know more than just keywords and brief descriptions. Visual Basic 2005 in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition achieves this goal with aplomb and deserves to be on the shelf of any serious VB2005 developer. In fact, this book is so well presented that Microsoft should consider licensing the electronic edition to accompany its own online documentation.

 

Compared to other Nutshell references, this book is identically structured with the most pertinent information developers have come to expect in this format. Beginning with a brief introduction to the history of Visual Basic and the .NET Framework, the authors rapidly move to a crash-course summary of object-oriented programming (OOP) principles now so truly crucial for developers to be comfortable with when working in VB2005. The chapter on OOP is not intended as a tutorial by any means. Rather, just like the rest of the book, it is a matter-of-fact summary of key OOP concepts, accompanied by a working code example demonstrating the principles.

 

Following the OOP overview, language syntax and basic VB2005 programming concepts (including variables, types, structures, attributes, error handling, and generics) are discussed in another short chapter.

 

The bulk of the book (more than 300 pages) is devoted to The Language Reference itself (more than 500 pages if you count the My namespace reference section). This section explores every key attribute for every key assembly in the .NET Framework, as well as how to invoke the various objects using VB2005 syntax. The format for each entry is the element name, the class from which it is derived, the object s instantiation syntax, a detailed description of the object and (if applicable) its parameters, usage at a glance (this provides excellent, insightful tips on the object s attributes, operation, and any notable limitations or obtuse details that will undoubtedly save a considerable amount of time for the reader), version differences (this is especially useful for developers upgrading from VB.NET to VB2005), and see also cross references. Attributes listed in the reference have additional data on the respective constructor, properties, and fields; all are presented with the same need-to-know detail as the other element aspects. This section is what the book is all about, offering some tremendously valuable information on every important aspect of Visual Basic 2005. Without being superfluous, each entry clearly details what developers need to know.

 

The book also contains eight appendixes that summarize all the language elements by category, namespace hierarchies, constants, and enumerations. Developers migrating from older versions of VB.NET will find helpful the appendix on new features per each version since the original 2002 release, and VB6 developers will appreciate the appendix on elements that are no longer supported in VB2005. The last appendix, which covers working with the VB command-line compiler, is useful for developers seeking to know everything about the product.

 

Overall, Visual Basic 2005 in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition provides invaluable information in a well conceived, suitably designed package that no VB2005 programmer should be without.

 

Mike Riley

 

Rating:

Title: Visual Basic 2005 in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition

Authors: Tim Patrick, Steven Roman, Ron Petrusha, and Paul Lomax

Publisher: O Reilly

ISBN: 0-596-10152-X

Web Site: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/vb2005ian3/index.html

Price: US$49.99

Page Count: 766

 

 

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