C# 4.0 in a Nutshell (4th Edition)

Author: Joseph and Ben Albahari
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2010
Pages: 1056
ISBN: 978-0596800956
Aimed at: All C# developers 
Rating: 4
Pros: A great reference to C#
Cons: Daunting for beginners
Reviewed by: Mike James

Despite being part of the “in a Nutshell series” this is a seriously thick book  and the latest edition covering C# 4.0 adds some 200 pages to an already overstuffed volume.

The reason it is so big for a reference work is that it doesn't constrain its coverage to what you might consider the core of C#. Indeed the basics of C# are covered in the first three chapters and Chapter Four is entitled Advanced C# - less than 200 pages in total.

From this point the book moves into increasingly general territory focused mainly on the framework. Subjects covered include - collections, three chapters on LINQ, Garbage collection, diagnostics, streams and I/O, networking, serialization, assemblies, reflection, dynamic types, security, threading, parallel programming, asynchronous methods, application domains, interop and regular expressions. One big and obvious omission is any discussion of the UI - either Windows Forms or WPF.

You can see that the order and topics are something of a mess. Given that one of the problems in reading this book is its huge size it might have been better to write a more focused book on C# and a couple of other books on additional topics.There is a very real problem in reading this book caused by its size. You either have to decide to fold the thick brick open and put something on it to hold it open or break its spine so that in time pages are almost certain to fall out.

There is also the small matter that some of the new C# 4.0 topics - dynamic variables in particular - are set in their own chapters away from material that they naturally integrate with, i.e. variable typing.

Each of the short sections on a particular topic is very terse and the examples are very short. In most cases if you don't already know something about the topic then this isn't going to help. However, if you are trying to use some feature then it does form a sufficient reference for you to make a start.  The book isn’t aimed at complete beginners and readers are expected to have some general programming experience.

This is a book C# programmers will find an useful addition to their bookshelves if they require a reference work on C# and the wider framework.

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HTML5 Cookbook

Author: Christopher Schmitt & Kyle Simpson
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 282
ISBN: 978-1449396794
Aimed at: JavaScript programmers new to HTML5
Rating: 3
Pros: Introduction to HTML5 for the programmer
Cons: Recipes too simple, lacks explanation
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

A cookbook on HTML5 sounds like a goo [ ... ]



The Art of Readable Code

Author: Dustin Boswell & Trevor Foucher
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 204
ISBN: 978-0596802295
Aimed at: All programmers
Rating: 5
Pros: Practical, thought-provoking, amusing cartoons
Cons: You may have encountered ideas before
Reviewed by: Mike James

 

If you only read one book this year - make it this [ ... ]


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 February 2012 )
 
 

   
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