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C# 3.0 in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) Third Edition Edition

45 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596527570
ISBN-10: 0596527578
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

The Definitive Guide to C# and the Core .NET Framework

About the Author

Joe Albahari is the developer of LINQPad ( and other C# tools, and he writes about C# at He is the former core C# design architect at Egton Services and coauthor of the fourth edition of C# in a Nutshell. He has been developing large-scale enterprise applications for more than 17 years.

Ben Albahari is a former Program Manager at Microsoft, where he worked on several projects, including the .NET Compact Framework and ADO.NET. He was the cofounder of Genamics, a provider of tools for C# and J++ programmers, as well as software for DNA and protein sequence analysis. He is a coauthor of C# Essentials, the first C# book from O'Reilly, and of previous editions of C# in a Nutshell. He is the founder of TakeOnIt, a website for comparing opinions of experts, leaders and organizations


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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Third Edition edition (October 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527570
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Scott Guthrie on December 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought a copy of this book earlier in the week, and have been extremely impressed with it. It is one of the few books I keep on my desk as a quick reference.

What I like about the book is that it packs a lot of content, yet is structured in a way that is easy to read and lookup. Previous Nutshell series books I've used were more of an API reference (and contributed little over what you can lookup online in MSDN). This book doesn't focus on API listings (although it does include some tables of them), instead it quickly explains the relevant concepts in each chapter and provides real world code snippets showing how to use them.

Although called C# 3.0 in a Nutshell, the book covers much more than just C# as a language. The last 600 pages covers much of the core .NET Framework Base Class library - and has good chapters and samples on LINQ, XML, Streams, Regular Expressions, Threading, Collections, Serialization, etc. There is enough on each subject to be useful, while still being a quick read and easy to quickly look things up.

All in all, a book I recommend.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is for those who may have no prior knowledge of C#, but some general programming experience is necessary. If you're already familiar with C# 2.0, you'll find more than a hundred pages dedicated to LINQ and other new C# 3.0 features. In addition, many other chapters are designed to add to your existing knowledge of C# and the core Framework. If you're looking for a book that skims every NET Framework technology, this is not for you.

The first three chapters after the introduction are solely about C#. This section starts with syntax, types, and variables. It concludes with advanced topics such as unsafe code and preprocessor directives. Sections that apply only to C# 3.0 are clearly marked as such. If you're new to the language, you should read these chapters sequentially, with the exception of Chapter 4, whose sections can be read in any order. The remaining chapters cover the core NET Framework, which includes such topics as collections, LINQ, XML, streams, networking, reflection, security, threading, application domains, working with native DLLs, and diagnostics. You can read most of these chapters randomly, except for Chapter 6, Chapter 7, and Chapter 13, which lay a foundation for subsequent topics. The three chapters on LINQ are also best read in sequence.

The examples in this book require a C# 3.0 (or 2.0) compiler in conjunction with the Microsoft NET Framework 3.5 (or 3.0/2.0). You will also require Microsoft's NET documentation. The easiest way to get all three along with an integrated development environment is to install Microsoft Visual Studio. Any edition is suitable for what's taught in this book, including Visual Studio Express, which is currently a free download.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George on April 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Own both this book and C# 3.0 Pocket Reference by the same authors. Pocket Reference is a great little book, it is short on detail and in depth information on the subject. In the Pocket Reference that is fine, but for more detail and in depth information C# 3.0 in a Nutshell is a good quality book. It is not one of the books that I have read cover to cover, but C# in a Nutshell is one of the first books I pull off the book shelf when I need to look up a concept. As stated in the title, it is a reference book and does that job very well. If the reader has a background in programming and just needs a reference book on C# concepts this is a solid book.

As one reviewer stated the book does have excess material which is not directly related to C#. That doesn't mean the information isn't important or valuable to anyone writing C# code.

If you want a quick overview of a concept and a peak at a code example, the Pocket Reference will do. If on the other hand you want a better understanding of the concept, choose C# In a Nutshell.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nikola Stjelja on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
C# 3.0 in a Nutshell is an excellent manual and reference book if you are an experienced developer looking to learn the latest version of the C# language.
This book can be separated in three parts. The first part is the C# language syntax which is covered extensevily with a lot of short and medium sized examples you can write in 10-15 minutes to see and test all the important language concepts.
The second part is LINQ. The book will first introduce you to LINQ by using Extension methods on general collections, and then it will show you the syntax followed by an extensive reference to all possible LINQ statements.
The third part is reserved to common programming operations in the .NET framework (IO, Networking, Threading etc. )
In short , if you are an experienced programmer and this is not your first object oriented programming language this book will teach you everything you need to know to be a productive C# developer.
What it will not teach you is a specific .NET framework (Win.Forms, ASP.NET or WPF).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mo' Data on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommend it for people who have already been programming in C# for a while and finally want to get all their facts straight. Also highly recommended for beginners to C#. This is however, not a programming tutorial.
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