Sebastopol, CA--On the eve of the release of Visual Studio .NET, the full implementation of Microsoft's .NET strategy approaches with the inevitability of tax day. As Dave Grundgeiger, author of Programming Visual Basic .NET (O'Reilly, US $39.95) says, "In a year or two, .NET languages will be the only game in town on the Windows platform." Millions of Visual Basic programmers, comfortable until now in their mastery of the world's most popular programming language, anticipate the shift to Visual Basic .NET with mixed feelings. Although coming to grips with a new technology that is dramatically different from the old is not an easy feat, the new Visual Basic .NET promises to be a better language and, more importantly, an equal player in the .NET world.
"Visual Basic .NET is critically important," says Grundgeiger, who has used Visual Basic since Version 4. "It really is a beautiful, intuitive, and powerful language. Applications that in the past were difficult and cumbersome to write, such as web services, are trivially easy using Visual Basic .NET."
At first glance, experienced Visual Basic 6 developers will feel comfortable with the Visual Basic .NET code and will recognize most of its constructs. But Grundgeiger explains that with its release for the .NET platform, the Visual Basic language has undergone significant changes. The language is now fully object-oriented. Applications and components written in Visual Basic .NET have full access to the .NET Framework, and extensive class library that provides system and application services. And finally, all applications developed using Visual Basic .NET run within a managed runtime environment, the .NET Common Language Runtime.
Programming Visual Basic .NET is a programmer's complete guide to the new VB. The book begins with a discussion of the two basic building blocks of any .NET application built with Visual Basic--the Visual Basic .NET programming language itself, and the .NET Framework. Grundgeiger covers the Visual Basic language elements, its object-oriented features, programming with attributes, the Common Language Runtime, and programmatically reading from and writing to the .NET configuration files.
The remainder of the book focuses on the three major kinds of applications that can be developed with the .NET Framework: Windows forms applications, ASP.NET applications, and web services. In each case, Programming Visual Basic .NET shows how to build an application using Visual Studio .NET as well as using a text editor and the Visual Basic command-line compiler.
"The fact is that there is no single most important thing to learn about .NET or about Visual Basic .NET," Grundgeiger says. "This technology is broad and deep, and has taken hundreds of designers and developers years to invent. The challenge in writing a book like Programming Visual Basic .NET is finding the right mix of material to teach the developer how to do ninety-nine percent of her job and pointing her in the right direction for the other one percent, all the while trying not to produce a thousand-page brick."
Programming Visual Basic .NET will provide experienced software developers with the means to quickly become productive in Microsoft's Visual Basic .NET development environment. Targeted at developers with prior programming experience, particularly in Visual Basic, the book will be a key component of developers' .NET libraries.
Visual Basic .NET
By Dave Grundgeiger
ISBN 0-596-00093-6, 446 pages, $39.95 (US), $59.95 (CAN)
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