C# is Microsoft s first component-oriented language in the C/C++ family. It s a modern, simple object-oriented, and type-safe programming language. In brief, it s intended to be as productive as Visual Basic and as powerful as C++.
Building on his 18 years of industry experience as a C/C++ and J++ programmer, Tom Archer guides the reader through a well laid out curriculum, covering the information a person might need to consider when learning a new language. He takes a bottom-up approach, starting in the first chapter with a very simple program that shows how C# looks on paper.
Part 2 deals with the fundamentals of C# syntax. The roughly 126 pages include sections on the C# type system, classes, methods, properties, arrays, attributes, and interfaces. Having introduced the reader to the fundamentals of C#, Archer proceeds to illustrate their proper use when writing code, covering such topics as operator assignment, flow control, error handling using exceptions, operator overloading, and event handlers.
If your programming background includes Java or C/C++, I imagine adapting to C# will be a breeze. Not so for Visual Basic programmers; it ll be something of a stretch. To be certain, many VB programmers will attempt to switch to C#, a testament to the appeal and relative simplicity of the language. However, most will be better served working in Visual Basic .NET before switching to C#.
The last section of Inside C# deals with such advanced topics as multi-threading, reflection, interoperating with unmanaged code, and working with assemblies. I would imagine that interoperating with unmanaged code may be the most interesting aspect to many of us. Unmanaged code is a term used to describe anything that has been created outside the .NET Framework, which of course means all COM components. As Archer illustrates through the use of a small COM sample, the designers of .NET have made provisions for a .NET application to call COM objects (and vice versa). I wish there would have been a little bit more discussion in this section; at the same time this book may not be the appropriate place for it, because the interoperability with COM objects is something the Framework is responsible for, not C# the language.
If you re interested in a good basic book that takes you through the fundamentals of C# syntax, Inside C# is worth your consideration. Please keep in mind that the language hasn t been available long enough for anyone to write books that include many real-life application examples. Most publications on the market right now deal more or less with the syntax and basics of this new language. Tom Archer does a good job of taking the reader through a very readable curriculum.
Inside C# by Tom Archer, Microsoft Press, http://www.microsoft.com/mspress.
Cover Price: $49.99