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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get up to date with VB 2008
I have been involved with Visual Basic since the first versions and VB development has been the larger part of my professional life since VB3. The .NET Framework now represents the leading edge for Windows developers and Visual Basic 2008 is the richest and most productive .NET language.

This book (like the others in the Programmer's Reference series by Wrox )...
Published on 29 May 2008 by Mr. Michael Pe Griffiths

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but leaves you having to refer to MSDN
The first thing that struck me on starting to read this book is how clearly it is written, with straightforward sentence structure and short paragraphs. I got the book because I'm having to prototype a GUI for a tool to configure industrial safety controllers and resorted to VB after a false start with wxPython.

The main snag is that VB is now far too large to...
Published 8 months ago by Gareth Greenwood


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get up to date with VB 2008, 29 May 2008
This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
I have been involved with Visual Basic since the first versions and VB development has been the larger part of my professional life since VB3. The .NET Framework now represents the leading edge for Windows developers and Visual Basic 2008 is the richest and most productive .NET language.

This book (like the others in the Programmer's Reference series by Wrox ) is intended to be read by programmers looking to update their knowledge or transfer their skills from other environments. A particularly enthusiastic beginner could probably use this book and the accompanying code samples (available on line) as an introductory text but space is not wasted on basic programming concepts.

This book wisely sticks to mainstream programming by first covering this latest release of the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and then largely concentrating on Windows Forms development and VB language elements - backed up by an effective treatment of the mysteries of .NET printing and a very important section on graphics. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is well introduced but in reality needs a book of it's own to cover in any real depth. Anyone looking to develop ASP.NET web sites will need to find an alternative text although newcomers to VB would not be wasting their time in learning the intricacies of the language here before proceeding to a specialised book on that topic.

For those looking to get to grips with the latest in VB there are chapters on Generics and LINQ together with sections on the latest addition to error handling, new language syntax such as the ternary If() , Lambda functions, anonymous types, nullable types, operator overloading and extension methods.

The style of the book is involving yet authoritative. Rod Stephens has clearly thought through each language and framework feature and has provide considered views on their application and utility. It seems to me that where he offers advice it is based upon personal experience tackling real world problems.

The book ends with what is nowadays a customary lengthy section of appendices but in this instance they represent a genuinely useful quick reference as the author has been selective with regard to content and perceptive in his commentaries.

The author remarks in the introduction that it was possible for someone to know all there was to know about VB3. It was just also about possible to know all of VB6. However, VB.NET 2008 is altogether more vast and it is exceedingly difficult to define the point where the language ends and the .NET Framework begins. This book is a great foundation for anyone looking to explore the rich functionality of the .NET development environment and for those seeking to get bang up to date with Visual Basic.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent VB 2008 introduction, 22 Mar 2008
By 
W. Roberts "Bill" (South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
An excellent introduction to the new Visual Studio 2008. Plenty of code examples available for download from the book's website as well. The appendices in particular are very good for reference - often a lot easier and quicker than using the VS help files, which can be quite slow and difficult to find what you want.

I've been using VB.Net since the version 1 beta release, and so know it quite well, but there's still a lot of stuff covered in the book that I either didn't know or had forgotten about. All in all, well worth the money, and should be a useful reference for a few years to come.

And as a bonus, it also increases your upper-body strength as well - quite large and heavy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference bbok, 19 July 2009
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C. HODGES "Oggieben" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
I bought this book to act as a reference aid for a Home Learning Course that I am doing as I found it difficult to find answers on the web. So far in the last few weeks it has saved me hours of trawling through sites. I would definitely recommend it for someone in the early and middle learning stages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference, 1 Nov 2008
This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
This is an excellet reference to have by the keyboard. It has a great index and the samples are clear and comprehensive. It and its predecessor (VB 2007, by the same author) were my only reference material as I progressed from VB6 through simple .net apps to full blown client/server apps.

It is clear, comprehensive and easy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but not for beginners!, 15 Feb 2009
By 
Adrian Foot "Ady7970" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
I've used Rod Stephen's books for some time now and find him to be an excellent author.

This book is another of his superb Programmer's Reference series where he takes us through the intricacies of the new version of Microsoft Visual Basic.

The book has covers MANY of the detailed aspects of VB programming. Whilst it starts off slow it ramps things up VERY quickly and I was sometimes left feeling stranded as the book rode off into the distance without me. To that end I would definitely not recommend it to those beginning life as VB programmers. I would recommend it to those more seasoned coders who want to brush up on the advanced side of VB programming.
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5.0 out of 5 stars VB 2008 Programmer's Reference review, 20 Aug 2009
By 
Gary Lyons ""Climber/Skier"" (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
Excellent. Very good depth and breadth of material covered. I had intermediate programming skills in VB6 and wished to upgrade to Visual Studio - VB/VB.net
Much bigger step than expected! The book covers a good chunk of what is obviously a huge topic with very practical examples with good application basis.
I had the added advantage of being able to access some profeshional programmers that were able to introduce me to concepts such as delegates and much stronger use of classes and the like. I was then very pleased to find these were covered in the book to a level that I have been able to employ them to great success in some fairly complex projects.

The book also includes a very good quick reference appendix to many of the key VB 2008 areas.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but leaves you having to refer to MSDN, 21 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
The first thing that struck me on starting to read this book is how clearly it is written, with straightforward sentence structure and short paragraphs. I got the book because I'm having to prototype a GUI for a tool to configure industrial safety controllers and resorted to VB after a false start with wxPython.

The main snag is that VB is now far too large to cover even in a doorstep-thick tome like this. In fact quite early in the book the author says that with the advent of VB.Net, VB has become too large for any single person to understand fully. (Quite what is the point of a language that the programmer cannot fully understand, I fail to grasp but this may simply be the bigoted view of someone who has spent the last 25 years working on safety-critical system written in more sensible languages.)

Being almost completely new to VB I have found the book helpful to get started but nevertheless have always to refer to MS web sites for missing details. Having looked around, however, I suspect that most current offerings of books on VB will have the same problem and this may well be the best of the bunch.

It's about time those buffoons at Redmond learned how to design better languages.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good to get you started with .net, 4 Dec 2013
By 
Mr. R. G. Moore (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
Interestingly, the number of mistakes in the written code examples encourage a bit of extra thought, ramming home the lesson in a way that won't be forgotten! It got me over the hurdle of moving from VB6 to VB.NET, now I just need a similar item to teach me about programming database front ends. Overall a good reference book to get you kickstarted again when you are stuck and the ideas have dried out.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly organised, full of gaps, 18 Oct 2011
By 
Marcus W "M" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
This book starts well enough with a tour of the IDE but soon loses its way. Windows Forms and WPF are presented but there is no attempt to explain which approach to use in different circumstances; the OOP sections feel like an afterthought and are academic, general, and vague; programming examples are either trivial or absent; the index is weak and the reference section is virtually unusable. I could go on but I won't. Avoid.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Programming Book I've Seen, 3 Sep 2011
This review is from: Visual Basic 2008 Programmer's Reference (Programmer to Programmer) (Paperback)
I've put off upgrading my knowledge from VB6 to VB.Net until now and it's been a somewhat daunting plunge. However Rod Stephens's organisation of topics, straightforward style and accuracy are taking most of the pain out of it.

It needs to be a large tome because there is potentially so much to learn, however the excellent index makes things easy to find.

I have a lot of software books on shelves in my office and I can honestly say that this one is the best.
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