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March 5, 2002

Liberty's Programming C# Tuned for the Next Generation of .NET

Sebastopol, CA--Jesse Liberty, the author of the new edition of Programming C# (O'Reilly, US $39.95), describes C# (pronounced C Sharp) as a language that draws on the lessons of the past three decades. He says: "In much the way that you can see in young children the features and personalities of their parents and grandparents, you can easily see in C# the influence of Java, C++, Visual Basic, and other languages."

Announced by Microsoft more than a year ago as part of the unveiling of the .NET platform, C# was designed to combine the high performance of C, the object-oriented structure of C++, the security of Java, and the rapid development of Visual Basic in a language especially for .NET development.

"Microsoft did a radical thing with .NET," says Liberty. "Rather than starting with a language, they started with a Common Language Specification (CLS). Any language that complies with the CLS is able to run on the .NET platform. What is more, if you comply with the CLS and you use only types defined by the Common Type System (CTS) then your objects can interoperate with (and derive from and be derived from) any other CLS language. That means that you can create a class in VB.NET, derive from it in C#, and then derive from that C# class back in VB.NET! To accomplish this, they created a whole new language, and then implemented that language with two syntaxes. One syntax is C# and it looks a lot like C++ and Java. The other syntax is VB.NET and it looks a lot like VB. In essence, both C# and VB.NET are the same language with different syntactic sugar."

Liberty doesn't attempt to duplicate the extensive documentation already available from Microsoft. Programming C# was written for programmers who want to develop applications for the .NET platform and assumes some previous programming experience, most likely C++, Java, or VB. This new book teaches C# in a way that experienced programmers will appreciate--by grounding its applications firmly in the context of Microsoft's .NET platform and the development of desktop and Internet applications.

As Liberty explains: "You learn C# specifically to create .NET applications. Pretending otherwise would miss the point of the language. This book does not consider C# in a vacuum but places the language in the context of Microsoft's .NET platform. Microsoft says it is devoting eighty percent of its research and development budget to .NET and its associated technologies--that is a few billion dollars of R&D every year. The results of this commitment are impressive, to say the least. .NET is huge. Frankly, I think C# is one of the most important developments in ten years. I expect C# to become the development language of choice for Windows development, and one of the two most important languages (alongside Java) for web development."

What the critics said about the first edition:

"A well-written book that gets straight to the point of all the topics it covers."
--Computer Shopper, December 2001

"An adept and extremely well conceived guide to C#...Liberty's wide experience in computers and general writing skill shows, as he is able to draw on a wealth of examples to move his text forward...it's an excellent language tutorial, certainly one of the smartest and best available guides to C# as a language. The author's sure hand here in navigating the difficult waters of C# and .NET makes for a relatively concise text that is chock-full of useful information on C#. Filled with notably clever and inventive examples, this book is possibly this veteran computer author's best title to date, and it's sure to be a noteworthy resource as experienced developers tackle C# for the first time."
--Richard Dragan, amazon.com, October 2001

"Excellent C# coverage and examples. Best C# book so far. Must read!"
--Daniel W. Maltes, .NET Best Picks, amazon.com November 2001

"C# is something that all .NET developers should get familiar with and this book is the best."
--dotnet-evangelist, Pure ASP.NET, amazon.com

"Written in the usual readable and informative O'Reilly style...knowledge of C# is likely to be one of those requires resume checkmarks for programmers who wish to work in the Microsoft operating system world. Grab it if you're in that business, or if you simply want to understand a new language which may computers will speak in the future."
--Netsurfer Digest August 1, 2001

"More than just about any other writer, Jesse Liberty is brilliant at communicating what it's really like to work on a programming project...If you're ready to start learning C#, your timing is perfect. Liberty--who, we're convinced, could teach programming to chimpanzees--has just completed his new introduction to the language. You can't beat Liberty for clarity and simplicity, and you can't beat his Programming C# for thoroughness, either."
--Barnes & Noble

Online Resources:

Programming C#, 2nd Edition
By Jesse Liberty
0-596-00309-9, Order Number: 3099
656 pages, $39.95 (US) $59.95 (CA)
800-998-9938; 707-827-7000
order@oreilly.com

About O'Reilly

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