Pro VB 2010 and the .NET 4.0 Platform (Expert's Voice in .NET) Paperback – 20 Oct 2010
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About the Author
Andrew Troelsen is a partner, trainer, and consultant at Intertech Inc., and is a leading authority on both .NET and COM. His book Pro C# 2005 and the .NET 2.0 Platform won the prestigious 2003 Referenceware Excellence Award and is in its third edition. Also of note are his earlier five-star treatment of traditional COM in the bestselling Developer's Workshop to COM and ATL mirrored in his book, COM and .NET Interoperability, and his top-notch investigation of VB .NET in Visual Basic .NET and the .NET Platform: An Advanced Guide. Troelsen has a degree in mathematical linguistics and South Asian studies from the University of Minnesota, and is a frequent speaker at numerous .NET-related conferences. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Amanda, and spends his free time investigating .NET and waiting for the Wild to win the Stanley Cup. You can check out his blog at AndrewTroelsen.blogspot.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
None of my books are complete, and they tend to concentrate on a selection of topics. This one covers the most ground, and is well written. But be advised - a number of chapters cover some (quite/very) advanced topics. The first few chapters in particular are, though, well written and easy to follow.
The thing that continues to bug me is the discussions of OOP which constantly switch between Car, MotorCycle, Person, Employee etc. I appreciate that some classes seem more natural/ suited to introducing Inheritance, Polymorphism, etc. But I am also sure that it is possible to stick with similar classes (Person, Employee, Manager, Customer) to discuss all OOP topics.
Some content is repeated word for word - even across a couple of pages. This might be preferable to overly cross-referencing, but still niggles;
There are frequent very simple code samples, which are immediately expanded upon. This sometimes seems unnecessary and contributes to the overall size of the book.
Well written, quality product - hasn't fallen apart yet!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I want to start this review by going over all my criticisms. First, the book was delayed by about a month (so I waited for my preorder much longer than I anticipated), and to be completely blunt, it should have been delayed by the publisher for a little longer to allow for more polish by the author. To be specific, there are many places in the book with horrible grammar. For example, Chapter 3 of the book is a polished, generally well written chapter. Chapter 25, on the other hand, has grammar that progressively gets worse throughout the chapter.
The code samples could have used some polish too. There are a couple of the predictable spell-checker errors in code (Eg: "For Each I As Integer in myInts" when the author meant "For Each i As Integer In myInts" -- p.138). Also, some of the code samples have awful (unintended by the author) formatting (Eg: The location of "For i=0 To 5" in the sample on p.185).
Finally, the author commits, a couple times, the most annoying error possible in a VB.NET book (in my opinion). The error is to copy/paste C# remarks and code into a VB.NET book, but not convert them to VB. A good example of this egregious error occurs on p.232 regarding inheritance in VB. The author says:
"As you would guess, there are many more details to inheritance that you will come to know during the remainder of this chapter. For now, simply keep in mind that the colon operator allows you to establish base/derived class relationships..."
Hmm, no colon operator in VB for inheritance....
Having said everything above, a reader of this review might think I hate the book. Absolutely not! To the contrary, I love the book, and I am giving it a full five stars. While I find grammar errors annoying, I didn't buy the book to be a fine piece of literature. The book description clearly states it is intended for an audience with some experience in programming, and such an audience will easily recognize and easily overcome any of the small coding and formatting errors in the examples. Finally, the occurrences of C# in the book are exceedingly rare, and I suspect they will be easily recognized by the intended audience.
I did buy this book for content, and it is with the content that this book absolutely shines. The content of the book is well planned, and proceeds in a logical fashion. The explanations given in the book are excellent, and the purpose of the code samples are always clear (and there are tons of code samples). Above, I mentioned the poor grammar of Chapter 25. Nonetheless, the chapter, which introduces the reader to WCF, gives the best and clearest introduction to WCF from a VB standpoint that I have read anywhere, and I truly appreciate the chapter (I would have even loved to see more on WCF).
I would absolutely recommend this book to any programmer serious in VB.NET. I consider it an invaluable resource, and I always have it handy as I am programming. I also consider it an absolute steal for less than $40 on Amazon.
Does the book cover everything? At about 1800 pages, it gets close - check the book contents for yourself. There are inevitably things that are left out. One of my favorite features in VB.NET 2010 is XML literals (this is not a feature of C#). Combining XML literals with Linq is very briefly mentioned in the book, and at that, the book does not address the really cool advantages of this VB only language feature. Rather, the author approaches XML and Linq in a fasion similar to what would be done in C#, which is a shame. Nonetheless, the book would definitely leave the reader prepared to learn more about this feature (for example, see the video "How Do I: Get Started with LINQ to XML?" at the Visual Basic Developer Center), and for that I give the book credit.
Bottom line is this: The book is fantastic, and in my opinion, it is the best VB book out there. It isn't perfect - no book could be, and the imperfections of this book are easily overlooked. I think the book is a steal for its price, and it is the book I think a VB 2010 programmer should have handy and at his/her side.
I do like that the topics include information that would not be intrinsically obvious from just running Visual Studio, unfortunately I find the attention to be excessively focused on "another way to do this is..." rather than on "the most productive way to do this is..."
For example the first chapter on WPF: The authors explain two different ways to write WPF applications, in some considerable detail, before arriving at "the recommended way". Just not my cup of tea to read through two different "you aren't going to do it this way" subchapters before getting around to "and here is what you will use".
And what is with all of the console application examples? Not that console apps aren't useful, but they aren't what someone would seek out _Visual_ Basic for.
Which brings me to: Perhaps it was the intent of the authors to write a nice reference manual on how the technology works rather than on using the technology to accomplish things?
The coverage of the technology appears to be well above average, I encourage anyone wanting to brush up on how the technology works to give this book a try. I would not encourage anyone who wants a book showing how to put the harness on the beast and have it put in a productive day's work to seek out this book first, or exclusively.
If you need to renew your base with NET, this is the book. If your new to the NET framework this book is comprehensive, and will be the one with the dog eared pages after a short while.
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