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on 23 June 2008
I've just counted, it's the fifth book I've read on C# this year (not to mention a dozen books on .NET) and this is by far the best. It's not just very good technically, useful and enjoyable to read, it's flawless. In fact, I didn't find as single typo, a single sentence that was slightly misleading or incomplete which, in my experience, is extremely rare for a first edition. On top of being a highly competent developer, Jon is clearly a gifted writer and a born teacher. Every term is always used appropriately and in the right context, every example is spot on and contains the least amount of code that shows the full extent of the feature... this is a rare treat.
So, forget about reading the C# Specification. If you want to know all the useful stuff without going through pages and pages of boring and tedious text, read `C# in depth' instead! (I've made the mistake of doing it the other way round).
To sum up, if you are a good C# developer and you want to become a very good C# developer, there are 3 books you can't afford not to read: Framework Design Guidelines by Cwalina/Abrams, CLR via C# by Jeff Richter and this one!
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on 6 May 2008
Most "C#" books are actually books about the .NET framework (and the various core classes) using C# as the language for examples. Not this book; instead, this is truly a book about C# itself, touching on the framework only where necessary to explain the language design.

There are a lot of language features introduced in C# 2 and C# 3, and the simple fact is that many of these generally aren't fully understood by most developers. This book could truly change that. I consider myself an experienced C# developer, yet C# in Depth showed me depths (*useful* depths) I simply didn't know - even in the C# 2 areas that I thought I understood well. It also covers a lot of the language specifics surrounding LINQ (that being the main goal of C# 3), which I would consider essential for anyone serious about .NET 3.5 / VS2008.

A deeper understanding of the language is incredibly useful; especially when trying to understand why something isn't behaving as you expected (a prime example being the subtleties of "captured variables"). But equally, knowing how to work *with* the language (rather than against it) is key to robust and reusable designs. For example, the ability to use a more functional programming style in C# 3 (and what that means...).

And yet somehow, Jon manages to cover this technical vista while keeping the tone easily approachable, engaging, and even entertaining. Not a small challenge.

All in all, highly recommended: it will make you a better C# developer.
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on 27 May 2008
Anyone that has ever Googled for anything threading related in C# will have come across the writing of Jon Skeet. Indeed, I have yet to meet a .Net developer that hasn't read and benefited from his writing on his "Yoda" blog. His writing has the very rare magic of being both concise and compelling.
Unlike most books within the current proliferation of .Net tomes, C# in Depth has a narrow focus. This allows the book to go into exquisite depth whilst maintaining a physical size that means it never leaves my backpack. I cannot stress enough that Jons expert writing means that although the subject matter is deep, you never feel "out of your depth". The chapter on Generics left me with the same feeling I got when I first read Don Boxes Essential .Net book. Excited. Stunned by what I thought I knew before but infact didnt. And most importantly, I actually felt more expert in my field.
Cant recommend this book enough.
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on 18 July 2008
This book has a very specific agenda: the features of the C# language introduced in versions 2 and 3 with minimal discussion of the .NET framework. As such, it concentrates on generics, delegates, nullable types, lambda expressions, extension methods and LINQ.

It has minimal discussion of syntax and features already available in version 1 and as such, this is not a book for learning C#: those who don't already know C# version 1 are better off with the numerous other books aimed at this reader.

But for those familiar with version 1 interested in the new features, it's excellent; the narrow focus allows as much depth as we're likely to want without going to the standard itself.

The author has a conversation style with numerous asides and anecdotes which I sometimes found distracting but it's not excessive as for example in the Head First series.

He often compares C# syntax and capability to Java and C++ which I found immensely useful.

All sections are explained clearly with economical but sufficient use of examples. Overall, it's well above average for a computer text.
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2009
This book is a rare example of a fantastic technical book. I can think of only one other I have ever read which made me think the author knew his subject as well as Jon Skeet (I refer to "The Switch Book" by Rich Seifert). The best thing about C# in depth is its historical approach which takes you through the evolution of C#1 through C#2 to C#3. It explains each new feature and more importantly why it was done this way and what it aimed to achieve. This results in you acquiring a genuine understanding of the language, which means that you will be able to use these features when the right time comes. Before reading this book, I had 12 years of Java experience, I'd read a couple of professional C# books and written a multi threaded server product in C#. This book has taught me many things about the language I didn't even know existed. It's explained features that I had dismissed as "complex fluff" in ways which empowered me to go and make use of these features. It really is a brilliant book that will help you to "think in C#". There are only two caveats: 1) don't buy this if you don't know C# at all and 2) Don't expect to be able to skim read the book and take it all in quickly. You have to read it carefully, but if you do, you will be thoroughly rewarded.
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on 21 January 2009
The book focuses on the changes introduced with C#2 and C#3, without the overhead of the other C#1 stuff, and so gains the space to really go into them in depth, and you're not having to scan thru a vast tome to search for the new stuff. I'd call it a Delta Series book (if only I could now copyright that term!)

Its Excellent and outstanding, and the examples are all short and to the point and they all work!

I really liked Jon Skeet's writing style. It felt you were with a work colleague taking you thru a topic rather than a pedantic and impersonal text. It made reading it lot easier, enjoyable and relaxed.

At one point I came across something that I couldn't quite follow, so I posted a note on the book's website. To my amazement I got a response from Jon within 15 minutes explaining it with a code example, and he'd also added the explanation note to the book's website, and I was still only two pages further along! A follow on point also got a similar prompt and clear reply. Amazing!

So I definitely recommend it and hope you too enjoy reading and learning from it.
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on 18 April 2009
I am one of those who enjoy knowing what goes on under the hood. You can, without a doubt, be a good C# programmer without knowing all the nitty-gritty details in every corner of the language. However, you may also be missing out on some opportunities where your code could have been more concise by using a feature you may not know exists.

"C# in Depth" does a fabulous job of presenting the details of the features that are new to C#2 and C#3, including pointers to where these features are applicable. I can't imagine anyone reading this book from cover to cover without learning anything.

If you're a C# programmer and enjoy knowing the details of the language you're working with, this book is a must-read.
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on 21 January 2009
This book starts off with the most simple additions to the language, and then builds up your knowledge step by step until you are finally reading how to implement a LINQ provider.

I think Jon explains this stuff very clearly, in great depth, and in a very progressive and logical way. If you want to learn about extension methods, type inference, lambdas, expression trees, LINQ provider implementation, then buy this book!

I've just read a book on LINQ (LINQ in Action). Having read Jon's book I was really disappointed with it, Jon's book taught me much more about LINQ than this entire other book does.
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on 18 February 2009
I can't say enough about this book. It is not only great technically but also the writing is quite good. The subjects can get a little deep sometimes but Jon Skeet's writing keeps you involved. Definitely worth the read.
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on 27 July 2009
I needed to get up to speed on the new features of C# without all of the fluff of the previous versions, how .NET works, and what the Internet is. This book catered for all of my requirements and more. I'd recommend it to anyone who is reasonably familiar with "vanilla" C# and needs to learn about lambda expressions, LINQ, anonymous methods, extensions, and all the whizz-bang new features. The only complaint I have is that if I read "syntactic sugar" again - anywhere - I'll end up running round in circles screaming. But well done Jon, you're now my C# hero...
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