This book is not a reference. That needs to be said right off the bat. It was written to be read cover to cover; it tells a story. It's an interwoven tale about object-oriented programming in the .NET world: building objects, moving them, and using them around the world. This is not just a how-to book; it's a why-to and a when-to book as well.
You will encounter many twists and turns ahead. Expect to learn the unexpected, but do not expect Visual Studio .NET. It didn't come out until a year after I got the .NET beta for the first time. Everything in this book is very hands-on, so if you're afraid you might chip a nail, turn back now. If you like being under the hood, though, you will feel right at home.
I started preparing for this book so long ago that it's not even funny. I actually have some old, crusty .doc files that refer to "Cool." That's what they were going to call C# before they called it C#. I'm not joking. This book began its life when most of the other .NET books began theirs—shortly after the Microsoft Professional Developer's Conference in 2000. Now, two years later, someone is finally reading it. Hopefully, you will see that it wasn't rushed to market. I have thought about everything in this book very carefully and have spent about a year and a half of my free time putting it together.
Why? I'm on a mission. Several, in fact. My main purpose is to provide an alternative to the big, fat reference book (especially the ones written by more than one author). ...