Pro VB 2010 and the .NET 4.0 Platform

Author: Andrew Troelsen & Vidya Vrat Agarwal
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Pages: 1800
ISBN: 978-1430229858
Aimed at: VB.NET programmers, novice to expert
Rating: 4
Pros: Encyclopedic coverage, well organised
Cons: Size makes print book heavy
Reviewed by: Mike James

Updating existing books to the latest version tends to make them ever larger. Is this a problem in this case?

 

 

Author: Andrew Troelsen & Vidya Vrat Agarwal
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Pages: 1800
ISBN: 978-1430229858
Aimed at: VB.NET programmers, novice to expert
Rating: 4
Pros: Encyclopedic coverage, well organised
Cons: Size makes print book heavy
Reviewed by: Mike James

This is an obscenely large book! It's an update to Andrew Troelsen's earlier book on VB 2008 and the revision has simply made it bigger. There is no way any reasonable reader sits down and reads this book cover to cover - it would be like reading an encyclopedia from A to Z.

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The good news is that it is reasonably well organized. Chapters 1 through 9 forms a basic introduction to object oriented programming with VB 2010:

1 Introducing VB 2010

2 Building Visual Basic 2010 Applications

3 Core VB 2010 Programming Constructs, Part I

4 Core VB 2010 Programming Constructs, Part II

5 Defining Encapsulated Class Types

6 Understanding Inheritance and Polymorphism

7 Understanding Structured Exception Handling

8 Understanding Object Lifetime

9 Working with Interfaces

Then we have a few chapters on advanced features of the language:

10 Understanding Generics

11 Delegates, Events, and Lambdas

12 Advanced VB 2010 Language Features

13 LINQ to Objects

Then the book focuses on what you might call technical details of how .NET and Visual Basic interact:

14 Configuring .NET Assemblies

15 Type Reflection, Late Binding, and   Attribute-Based Programming

16 Processes, AppDomains, and Object Contexts

17 Understanding CIL and the Role of Dynamic Assemblies

18 Dynamic Types and the Dynamic Language Runtime

19 Multithreaded and Parallel Programming

The next big topic is data starting out with simple file I/O but then concentrating on ADO.NET with a rounding off of XML and LINQ:

20 File I/O and Object Serialization

21 ADO.NET Part I: The Connected Layer

22 ADO.NET Part II: The Disconnected Layer

23 ADO.NET Part III: The Entity Framework

24 Introducing LINQ to XML

Next we work our way though the main .NET APIs including a major section on WPF:

25 Introducing Windows Communication Foundation

26 Introducing Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0

27 Introducing Windows Presentation Foundation and XAML

28 Programming with WPF Controls

29 WPF Graphics Rendering Services

30 WPF Resources, Animations, and Styles

31 WPF Control Templates and UserControls

Finally we have an almost self contained book within a book on ASP.NET:

32 Building ASP.NET Web Pages

33 ASP.NET Web Controls, Master Pages, and Themes

34 ASP.NET State Management Techniques

The book then closes with two major appendices which might as well be regarded as chapters:

A Programming with Windows Forms

B Platform-Independent .NET Development with Mono

Notice that programming with Windows Forms is considered so last year that it isn't in the main body of the book. The appendix on Mono is actually a very far account of a topic that tends to frighten mainstream .NET programmers and well worth reading.

What can one say of the rest of the book? The first thing to say is that it would be entirely possible to split this huge volume into a number of more focused books. It ia also true that the depth of coverage varies from just stating what the facility is and how it works to reasonably long explanations and justifications. Overall thought the coverage is good. In most cases it wont solve difficult problems for you or take you into creative ways of using a facility but it will tell you the basics with a reasonable amount of explanation. And yes despite my complaining about the size of the book - just over 1700 pages - I have found it useful to have around and it will continue to warp my bookshelf and give me arm ache in the future.

If you need an encyclopedia on VB .NET and .NET 4. this is a good choice - and if you don't want arm-ache it is available in a Kindle edition.


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Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja

Author: John Resig & Bear Bibeault
Publisher: Manning
Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-1933988696
Audience: Competent JavaScript programmers
Rating: 4.8/5
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

Many think that JavaScript couldn't punch its way out of a paper bag? Is this just because they don't understand it?



Practical Android Projects

Author: Lucas Jordan & Pieter Greyling
Publisher: Apress, 2011
Pages: 424
ISBN: 978-1430232438
Aimed at: Intermediate developers
Rating: 3
Pros: Advanced topics
Cons: Too much attention to scripting, too little to practical projects
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead

A book of practical Android project sound [ ... ]


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