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The C# Programming Language Hardcover – 30 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (30 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321154916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321154910
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 4.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,131,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

C# is a simple, modern, object-oriented, and type-safe programming language that combines the high productivity of rapid application development languages with the raw power of C and C++. Written by the language's architect and design team members, The C# Programming Language is the definitive technical reference for C#. Moving beyond the online documentation, the book provides the complete specification of the language along with descriptions, reference materials, and code samples from the C# design team.

The first part of the book opens with an introduction to the language to bring readers quickly up to speed on the concepts of C#. Next follows a detailed and complete technical specification of the C# 1.0 language, as delivered in Visual Studio .NET 2002 and 2003. Topics covered include Lexical Structure, Types, Variables, Conversions, Expressions, Statements, Namespaces, Exceptions, Attributes, and Unsafe Code.

The second part of the book provides an introduction to and technical specification of the four major new features of C# 2.0: Generics, Anonymous Methods, Iterators, and Partial Types.

Reference tabs and an exhaustive print index allow readers to easily navigate the text and quickly find the topics that interest them most. An enhanced online index allows readers to quickly and easily search the entire text for specific topics.

With the recent acceptance of C# as a standard by both the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and ECMA, understanding the C# specification has become critical. The C# Programming Language is the definitive reference for programmers who want to acquire an in-depth knowledge of C#.


About the Author

Anders Hejlsberg is a programming legend. He is the architect of the C# language and a Microsoft Technical Fellow. He joined Microsoft Corporation in 1996, following a thirteen-year career at Borland, where he was the chief architect of Delphi and Turbo Pascal.

Scott Wiltamuth is General Manager for the Visual Studio Language and Data Tools team at Microsoft Corporation. In his thirteen years at Microsoft, he has worked on a wide range of development tools, including OLE Automation, Visual Basic for Applications, VBScript, JScript, Visual J++, and Visual C#.

Before leaving Microsoft Corporation, Peter Golde served as the lead developer of Microsoft's C# compiler. As the primary Microsoft representative on the ECMA committee that standardized C#, he led the implementation of the compiler and worked on the language design.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dara on 29 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Co-authored by Anders Hejlsberg a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft and the chief architect of Microsoft C# and .NET Framework (as well as the chief engineer of Borland Delphi and the man behind J++, WFC, Turbo Pascal,…) this book is the definitive and authoritative technical reference for the C# language and an essential read for developers who want to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the language.
In the book you’ll find a well-structured language specification for the C# 1.0 as delivered in VS .NET 2K2 and 2K3, which goes way beyond the online documentation and covers the main new features of the C# 2.0 including Generics, Anonymous Methods, Iterators and Partial Types. All these are accompanied by annotations, reference materials, and useful code samples.
It's not a light read in any way, however you don’t have to be an experienced C# developer to benefit from the book. As long as you want to acquire a solid understanding of the C# and how to write managed code, this is perhaps the best choice. Also an online index - in addition to comprehensive printed index and reference tabs - makes search and navigation for a required topic very easy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Drummond on 21 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stand by for a dry read - this is a reference manual for language lawyers, the equivalent of The ISO C++ Standard for C#, not an equivalent of The C Programming Language, The C++ Programming Language or The Java Programming Language which are useful tutorials to their respective languages. The annotations are sometimes good, sometimes a bit of a filler.
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Kunde on 9 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a difficult read, the book is written by the guys who also wrote the language and compiler. It is thorough and informative but it is dry and difficult to read. This is definitely not one for the beginner and even then the intermediate may have some difficulties, so stay away if you are one of these. Otherwise, this book covers the concepts in detail and depth, so if you need to understand these then go ahead this book will certainly educate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
So what is this really? 30 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think several of the previous reviews missed the gist of what this book is. It isn't "plagiarized", nor is it "classic" material - it simply IS a reprint of the current state of the Microsoft C# Language Specification in a snazzy new hard cover, thats all. You can download the C# Language Specification from the MSDN site if you want to take a look at precisely how the content of this book is organized. Microsoft Press first published the C# Language Specification back in 2001 based on the beta content. This is apparently just the current state of the specs, nothing fancy. Many of the examples used here are the same old examples used with the beta edition specs. This is pure techie reference material. Nothing more, nothing less.
So I gave it 3 stars. How do you rate a language specification document? It is what it is. Marketing hype about "destined to be a classic" (ya da ya da) is disingenuous, but charges of plagiarism are ill-considered also: its simply the same old spec document that Hejlsberg, et al, have been working on for the past four years. Just updated.
So if you want a nicely bound edition of the current spec buy the book...
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Great reference, but NOT a programming tutorial 6 Dec. 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've always held as a personal dictum that the best way to get complete, irrefutable information on something is to go straight to the source. And the new title "The C# Programming Language", co-authored by Anders Heljsberg, a Microsoft distinguished engineer and the creator of the C# language, is such a source.

To paraphrase my favorite quote from the Matrix series, "He IS the architect."

However, the key element to understanding why you should get this book is understanding what it is...and perhaps more importantly, what it is not. The main focus of the book is to provide centralized documentation for the C# language specification. It's not intended to be a comprehensive tutorial to C# development; it's a programmer's reference, profiling the internal mechanics behind the world's most rapidly-adopted programming language.

So, it's not a book where developers can copy out code, find out how to better design classes, or lookup methods and properties within the .NET Framework - it's a valuable reference guide for the experienced developer. As such, I find it to be a fantastic resource for upper-level computer science students (a market Addison-Wesley very adeptly serves anyway), or those professional developers moving over from other languages and/or platforms, and I highly recommend it to those who would make buying decisions for such classes.

People looking to buy it as a programming guide will be disappointed, I'm sad to say, as it's simply not that type of book. This would be akin to be getting lost trying to read the U.S. Constitution to find out how to create a law. It's applicable...but not directly.

However, I enjoyed reading it, for the academic and conceptual benefits it provided. And yes, I did learn a lot, most of which I didn't realize prior. A very, very helpful collection of appendices make this book a great addition to any development team's library. A hale and hearty section is also dedicated to introducing to the new features inherent to C# 2.0 - generics, anonymous methods, iterators, and partial classes.

In my opinion, the book's one major flaw is the misnomer is gives off to the buyer, which unfairly at this point in the .NET game, implies the de facto expectation for a self-help book on learning various aspects of Microsoft development. The true purpose of the book could have been better promoted with the inclusion of a subtitle, something like "The C# Programming Language - An Architect's Guide to the Specification", or something making the true purpose a bit more obvious.

That having been said, the book is a fantastic deal, priced cheap (a great bargain at US$29.95), so buy it if you're an experienced developer who's curious. You'll grow as a developer by increasing your own programming acumen by becoming more intimately familiar with how the C# language does what it does in the background.

The title is beautifully bound, being a hardcover book with one of those little page-placeholder ribbon thingys, the name of which I obviously don't know, but a nice touch nonetheless.

I'm not sure how I should rank this book, as it's a specification, and therefore inherently comprehensive, and likewise subject to standardization prior to publication. But, I did get a lot out of it, so that says something.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Great book, but... 12 Sept. 2004
By David Douglass - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All the raves about this book are correct, but Microsoft rushed it to press too early. It goes up to chapter 23, but Microsoft has already posted chapters 24 and 25 on their web site. Also, some of the material is inaccurate due to Microsoft changing their mind about the 2.0 implementation.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Older, and not free 27 Nov. 2006
By Kana - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Chapter 1 of this book is a short and nice introduction to C# for programming language experts. However, the following chapters are not easy to understand even for experts. You can download a newer version of "C# Language Specification" (a standard from ECMA but whose content is mostly the same as this book) free. Do you still want to buy this book?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A great reference book 23 Feb. 2004
By William G. Ryan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Well, let me warn you, if you think this is a How To book, or something you pick up and read cover to cover, It's not! This book is essentially the technical documentation of the C# spec (covering the new framework enhancements like Generics), written by the guy that wrote it (and he writes books about as well as he creates languages). There are plenty of good examples, but since it's a reference book more than anything else, you're not going to get 10 pages of examples on the more 'complex' subjects. What you will get is clear and relevant information on how C# really works and and example or two to get you through it.
This is a lot different than the rest of the A-W Series, but it's a class act through and through. And if you are a C# programmer or want to be one, this is a must have reference.
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