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3.8 out of 5 stars
Open Source .NET Development: Programming with NAnt, NUnit, NDoc, and More
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
Nantz states in his introduction to Chapter 12, ".Net Open Source code is not just some ideal; it is real and useable today." A well written and informitive book covering the intergration of Open Source and .NET tools and programming philosophy. Subjects covered are licenses and standards, the importance of the .NET CLR and its application in Open Source applications like Mono, which seek to blend .NET/Open Source applications.

Nantz also stresses throughout the text the importance of the C# language in Open Source development and testing, testing, testing using various Open Source/.NET tools. A large portion of the book examines build tools like NAnt, XML and C# documentation, the use of NUnit testing and other test tools. Other areas Nantz looks at are application logging, integration with ASP.NET, databases like MSDE and MySQL, and web development.

There are lots of code examples (mostly written in C#) which make Nantz's statements triable, provable, and useable. The book comes with a CD full of code listings, source code, examples, and the tools mentioned so the reader can try the tools (with MS or Unix/Linux OS's) and code for him or her self. Out of 480+ pages Nantz devotes over 100 pages to references like NAnt tasks, mkisofs, Log4NET Appender configurations and security issues. This is a valuable text for those interested in Open Source/.NET applications.

I would recommend this book if for nothing more than getting one's feet wet with the many OS/.NET possibilities available for today's programmers .
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
While I had expected to see a concise treatment to the use of NUnit, NAnt, NDoc; instead I was treated to a 74 page treatise on the glories of open-source, and how Microsoft is going to have to ponny up to the realization that Open Source is the wave of the future. The author then briefly discusses the various topics; making this 484 page book a 70 page booklet on using testing tools, and 414 pages of fluff and philosophy.

The first quarter of the book was a briefing of the author's philosophy, and his editorial views on various 'open source' products, as well as different liscense models and how to select one.

If you are looking for a book that treats NUnit, NAnt, NDoc, and the other testing suite tools, although this book has a fair discussion on them, it's not really adequate.

Instead of the 1 star that this book may truly deserve (for false advertising), I gave it a two star because it has become a reference book on other open-source tools that I might find useful. Even though this is why I am so critical of the book, it's also why I give it a higher ranking.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
A quiet revolution is happening with Microsoft's flagship .NET. By putting the ownership of key parts into ECMA and ISO, Microsoft has enabled the rise of an open source movement that can build projects within C# or even Java, and have these compiled or cross compiled to Intermediate Language bytecode, which can then be run on Microsoft or linux boxes.

What the book shows is that enthusiasts in open source have seized this chance. They have built tools like NUnit and NAnt, which correspond to their Java precursors, JUnit and Ant. Functionally, NUnit and NAnt do just what you'd expect. Which eases the transition form Java programming, if that is where you are coming from.

The book covers far more than these packages. It describes an entire development and coding process, living entirely in a .NET environment. Complete with detailed examples to make it real for you. It also describes ongoing open source efforts like Mono and Portable.NET.

The book does not goes into the depth of detail about IL that a similar book, "Cross Platform .NET Development", does. But it is broader in its scope of coverage of the overall development process.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Brian Nantz's latest book, "Open Source .NET Development", strikes to me as a controversial title. On one hand, it's a fantastic tour for getting to know what tools you've got at your disposal when journeying into open source development using .NET. However, the depth of many of the chapters on a given tool or topic is a bit too far from what the back cover implies.

There are some very good chapters (the overview chapters, NAnt, NDoc, Log4NET) and some that I felt disappointed with (NUnit, Continuous Integration, DB development, Web development). The chapters that I liked, I really liked. They gave me as a newbie to .NET development a very good handle on how the things I've learned to do with the Java counterparts work in the other side of the fence. On the other hand, the chapters I felt to be too superficial did too much talking and failed to give answers to many questions that came to me while reading. Then again, some of the topics covered are simply too big to even attempt to cover with a single chapter.

I won't hesitate to recommend "Open Source .NET Development" to anyone looking for a picture of what's out there. For a reference, this title alone is not enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent resource book for .NET developers. Properly testing, integrating, and documenting code has always been an afterthought of the development process. The majority of the these tools (NAnt, NUnit, NDoc, CruiseControl.NET,, etc.) are all free, and they greatly improve the development process. The author even reviews different source control systems (for those of you still using Visual Source Safe, there are other options).

This is by far the most comprehensive .NET book dealing with tools for team development.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is basically an incomplete listing of some popular open source tools available for .NET. These tools are often ports of well known Java tools, but if you have been living exclusively in the Microsoft world then a lot of this may be news to you. If so, you owe it to yourself to get acquanted with the valuable tools that are available for free, and this book is a good starting point.

I have been using some of the tools mentioned in this book for several years now, and having ordered it I looked forward to reading up on features and other tools I may have missed. Having received it, the first thing I noted was that although this book is 484 pages long, it effectively stops at page 307. After that it presents partial references for some of the tools covered in the book. I feel that there is something dishonest about books that do this since these references are often freely available on the Internet. Another revelation was that it omitted any coverage of ORM (object-relational mapping) tools such as nHibernate. How could anyone write a book like this and not cover ORM tools?!

Overall I think this will be a good book for any .NET professionals who are completely unfamiliar with the open source tools mentioned in it. However, overall coverage of the tools is cursory, so you should consider it as an introduction and no more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Excerpt from C# Online.NET Review (wiki.CSharp-Online.NET):
"This book is a general survey of Open Source tools for .NET development. While most of these tools are already familiar to active Open Source community members, the book concentrates the information into a single resource book....Although the scope of the book is quite broad, it does not attempt an exhaustive list of Open Source .NET projects. Instead, it focus on the most popular and productive tools available--most of which are free! NAnt, NDoc, and NUnit from the title are well covered."
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This book is a general survey of open source tools for .NET development. It covers a lot of ground without going too deep on any one topic. As such I think it has benefit for those that want to see what's available. Fully a quarter of the book is spent in the appendices, specifically on in-depth coverage of NAnt tasks, which is one of the best parts of the book.

I recommend that anyone doing .NET development have a look at this book to see if they can get useful information out of it. It's well written, the code samples are of a manageable size, and graphics are used effectively.
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on February 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in hope of learning NAnt as a newbie, since a good portion is for NAnt. However, after reading less than 10 pages in Chap. 4 Build Automation, I started looking for alternative. This book is for people who already have some experience on Nant, but certainly not for beginner.
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on November 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book has a great overview of available open source utilities. It is a good reference for developers with little start up capital.

On the other hand, aside from nAnt, it lacked on the specifics of the how to use each of the tools.
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