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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Visual C# .NET A Guide for VB6 Developers
Author:
Brad Maiani et al.
ISBN:
1 861007 17 5
Publisher:
Wrox Press
Pages:
530pp
Price:
£28-99
Reviewer:
Sue Heathcote
Subject:
C#;.NET
Appeared in:
15-4
This is a typical Wrox press book that has been written by a collaboration of authors (in this case 5). The writing style does not appear to have suffered as a result and is consistent throughout the book, being a style that is easy to read. This is a book written specifically for Visual Basic programmers who wish to migrate to C# quickly.

Covers .NET v1.0 and you will need Visual Studio.NET professional or higher with either SQL server or an MSDE database server in order to work through the examples. (Visual C#.NET standard edition can be used but not all the projects in the book can be run using this edition). All the code is available to download from the Wrox press web site, along with any updates to the book. (This is not a facility that I have tried).

The book assumes the user has a good working knowledge of Visual Basic and Windows programming in general, so it does not attempt to teach the basics. This means that example programs are being created from the opening chapters of the book with little explanation of how things work.

Chapter 1 is an overview of the .NET environment and how Visual Basic.Net fits in. This is rather a heavy topic if you have no prior knowledge of the .NET environment. Chapter 2 jumps straight in with a working Windows program of the classic Mastermind board game, which provides a little more meat than the average 'hello world' program. Many topics are introduced briefly with the explanation that 'we will explain this later', which can be a little frustrating if you are itching to get under the hood.

Chapter 2 delves into the C# language itself. Describing all the basic constructs and detailing the differences between C# and Visual Basic. This is well done and gives a good understanding of the differences. Some of the language constructs are very similar to Visual Basic and should be well known to any Visual Basic programmer and in this case the descriptions can be a little too detailed, but it is easy to skip over these to the next sections.

The middle sections of the book are devoted to Object Oriented programming. This covers classes, constructors, inheritance, overloading, abstract classes, interfaces, static members, delegates, events and much more. If you are new to OO programming then there is sufficient detail to get a good overview of the subject and its use in C#. If you have used OO (say in C++ programming) then there is nothing new in this section, except how the concepts are dealt with in C#.

The later chapters cover the .Net framework, Active X controls, data access with ADO, integrating VB6 and C# and deployment of applications. The .NET framework is mentioned about half way through the book, but not in very much detail. If you are looking for a book showing how to use the .NET framework then this is not a book for you.

This book is aimed directly at the Visual Basic programmer who has been using VB to develop user interfaces and simple programs and has never really delved into the concepts of classes and objects. For this type of programmer it gives a good introduction to the C# language and its differences to VB and explains how these new concepts work. If you are an experienced OO programmer, or a VB programmer who has extensively used the class and interface features of VB, then I do not believe that this book is for you. It would provide a good introduction to C# programming, but would leave you wanting more information.