REVIEW - User Interfaces in C# - Windows Forms and Custom Controls


User Interfaces in C# - Windows Forms and Custom Controls


Matthew MacDonald




Apress (2002)




Andrew Murphy


August 2004



This book is great at taking MSDN, summarising it and providing a general overview. It is also easy to read and gives attention to other issues that surround a good user interface, giving you some pointers for how you should do things. However, if regurgitated MSDN offends you; you do not like lame arguments for why three-tiered architecture is bad; or you actually expected to find examples of slightly more complex subjects such as implementing localisation successfully, then this is not the title for you.

Chapter 1 is in my opinion the best chapter of this book. It attempts to get programmers to stop and think before they create another ill-designed "wow" interface. It tries to get us to do things in a way that users have come to expect, meaning our users can use the interface without training and with confidence. Fantastic!

On the bad side, this book is meant to be targeted at experienced C# developers, so why does it spend the first half of chapter 2 trying to explain what a C# structure is? After this, most of the rest of the book is taken up with brief descriptions and MSDN method listings. Although it does give some useful tips and a CD full of examples, these examples are very simple and fall way short of being advanced.

Overall the book is easy to read and MSDN style informative but lacks substance where it is needed. At£35.00 I would not buy it, at£5.00 for reading on a train I would, but I would not expect to use it as a reference book later.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.