Press Room

Press Release: September 16, 2003

"C# in a Nutshell, Second Edition": The Programmer's Companion to the C# Language

Sebastopol, CA--Designed with the best elements from several programming languages, C# has become one of the most widely used languages for building applications on the Microsoft .NET platform. The new edition of C# in a Nutshell (O'Reilly, US $44.95) by Peter Drayton, Ben Albahari, and Ted Neward provides C# programmers with a concise and thorough reference to the language in one straightforward and accessible volume. Designed as a handbook for daily use, this book is an essential guide to the C# language and the base class APIs of the .NET Framework. Programmers will want to keep this book next to their keyboards for years to come.

Neither a "how-to" book nor a rehash of Microsoft's documentation, "C# in a Nutshell, Second Edition" goes to the source of the language and APIs to present content in a way that professional programmers will value. And, because all programmers who come to C# are migrating to an entirely new platform and new language, they'll appreciate a guide to the language that they can trust. "Programmers will want somebody to point out the new and interesting stuff, and they'll need careful guidance to avoid the 'gotchas' in this brave, new world," says coauthor Neward.

And, according to the authors, "C# in a Nutshell" will shorten the learning curve for developers who want to come to grips with the C# language and .NET platform without delay. Coauthor Drayton says, "We believe this book will help programmers to feel completely comfortable sitting down and whipping out a few thousand lines of C# code, taking full advantage of the classes in the .NET Framework, without spending hours poring through reams of online documentation."

The heart of the book is a succinct but detailed reference to the C# language and the .NET types most essential to C# programmers. Each chapter in the API reference begins with an overview of a .NET namespace and a diagram of its types, including a quick-reference entry for each type, with name, assembly, category, description, member availability, class hierarchy, and other relevant information, such as whether the type is part of the ECMA CLI specification. Newly updated for .NET Framework version 1.1, the second edition Of "C# in a Nutshell" also adds a CD that allows programmers to integrate the book's contents directly into the help files of Visual Studio .NET 2002 & 2003, giving them direct access to this valuable information via their own computers.

In addition to the API reference section, this book includes:

  • An accelerated introduction to the C# language and the .NET Common Language Runtime

  • A tutorial section on using C# with the core classes of the .NET Framework Class Library to perform common tasks such as manipulating strings, I/O, and interacting with legacy components

  • Comprehensive language and tool reference chapters, including a C# syntax summary, a list of XML documentation tags, and a guide to command-line tools that ship with Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework

  • Appendixes with reference tables for regular expression syntax, format specifiers, a C# keyword glossary, namespace/assembly cross-reference, and a type and member index for determining in which type a method or field is defined

Every once in a while, a book becomes the standard for a technology, operating system, or programming language--which is exactly what "C# in a Nutshell" has done in a single straightforward and easy to use volume. There is no more complete, up-to-date reference to the C# Language available.

Praise for the first edition:

"'C# in a Nutshell' is the most complete reference manual of the C# language and the .NET framework that I have come across...If you have anything to do with the C# language or the .NET framework, I highly recommend adding this book to your library."
--Salt Lake ColdFusion User's Group, April 2003

"The quick reference section on the Framework classes, which takes up the majority of the book, is a guide that many developers will turn to over and over. So this is a book that belongs on many desktops, right by the computer. No matter what language you choose for .NET, you're likely to find this book useful."
--Craig Utley,, July 2002

"Java. Perl. VB. Whatever the language, developers have come to rely on O'Reilly's 'In a Nutshell' guides for concise, expert tutorials combined with fast-access, reliable reference information. A programming language hasn't really come of age until there's an 'In a Nutshell' for it--and there's now an excellent one for Microsoft's C#...Put simply, 'C# in a Nutshell' is authoritative."
--Bill Camarda, Barnes &

Additional Resources:

C# in a Nutshell, Second Edition
Peter Drayton, Ben Albahari, and Ted Neward
ISBN 0-596-00526-1, 987 pages, $44.95 US, $69.95 CA, 31.95 UK
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

For almost 40 years, O’Reilly Media has provided technology and business training, knowledge, and insight to help companies succeed. Our unique network of experts and innovators share their knowledge and expertise through the company’s Safari training and learning platform and at O’Reilly conferences. As a SaaS learning platform, Safari delivers highly topical and comprehensive technology and business learning solutions to millions of users across enterprise, consumer, and university channels. For more information visit

Return to: O'Reilly Press Room

Press Contacts

Media Relations – Corporate & North America

Fama PR

Media Relations – Japan

Fumi Yamakawa
+81 3-3356-5227

Media Relations – United Kingdom

Helen Codling
+44 (0) 1252 721284