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Programming C# (2nd Edition) Paperback – February, 2002

210 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920003090 ISBN-10: 0596003099 Edition: Second Edition

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Editorial Reviews Review

Jesse Liberty's Programming C#, 2nd Edition provides an adept and extremely well-conceived guide to the C# language and is written for the developer with some previous C++, Java, and/or Visual Basic experience. This second edition brings the book up to date, with examples that are guaranteed to run on the shipping version of Visual C# .NET.

It's no secret that many computer books are pretty much devoid of an authorial personality. This title is a winning exception. The author is able to weave in clever examples (using such topics as his own long experience in computing, his dog, Star Trek, etc.) without being coy or getting in the way of presenting real technical information. 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.

These are a couple of goals at work in Programming C#. First, it's an excellent language tutorial, certainly one of the smartest and best available guides to C# as a language. Early chapters explore basic and obscure language options using inheritance, delegation, interface, and the conventions in C# used to implement these techniques. The middle part of the book turns toward the .NET Framework itself, with two useful (and somewhat introductory) chapters on both Windows Forms and Web Forms, for standalone and Web-based applications, respectively.

Later sections crank up the technical knowledge again with several advanced topics on understanding .NET assemblies and deployment in detail, as well as "reflection" APIs that allow .NET programs to essentially modify their code at run time. (One technique, reflection emit, which literally writes bytecodes, will definitely interest expert readers, though it's unlikely most programmers will need to do this.) Final sections look at the .NET stream classes (rivaled only by Java's for complexity). Liberty looks at basic file and network I/O as well as how objects get serialized and marshaled both for SOAP and Web services and "normal" .NET remoting.

The author's sure hand 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 for experienced developers, as they tackle C# for the first time. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to C# and the .NET platform
  • A "Hello World" example in C#
  • Tutorial to C# as an object-oriented programming language (types and variables, operators, namespaces, and preprocessor directives)
  • Defining classes in C# (including static members, finalizers, overloading, and read-only fields)
  • Inheritance and polymorphism implemented in C#
  • Operator overloading
  • Structures in C#, interfaces, arrays, and indexers
  • Built-in .NET collections, strings, and regular expression support
  • Structured exception handling
  • Delegate and events
  • Introduction to programming with Windows Forms
  • ADO.NET database APIs (including basic XML support)
  • Quick introduction to Web Forms and ASP.NET used with C#
  • Introduction to Web services (SOAP, WSDL, and Discover services described)
  • In-depth guide to .NET assemblies (including metadata, versioning, private and shared assemblies)
  • C# support for attributes and reflection (including reflection emit techniques)
  • Marshaling and remoting (with and without SOAP)
  • Threads and synchronization
  • Tutorial to C#/.NET streams (including basic I/O techniques, Web streams, and serialization)
  • COM and .NET interoperability (including importing ActiveX controls in .NET projects)


'A well-written book that gets straight to the point of all the topics it covers.' Computer Shopper, Dec (HIT!) 'Overall, I'd say the book is a valuable resource to refer to for anyone learning, or wanting to learn more about C SHARP.' - Drew Durkin, new@UK, December 2001 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003098
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jesse Liberty is a Master Consultant for Falafel Software, a Microsoft MVP, an author, and he creates courses for Pluralsight.

Liberty hosts the popular Yet Another Podcast and his blog is considered required reading. He was a Senior Evangelist for Microsoft, a XAML Evangelist for Telerik, a Distinguished Software Engineer at AT&T; Software Architect for PBS and Vice President of Information Technology at Citibank.

Jesse can be followed on twitter at @JesseLiberty

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Geoff T. Moller on August 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Direct and Intuitive...these are my two words to describe this book. Jesse has exceeded an already high O'Reilly standard with this offering.
I have a basic web background (HTML, XML, JavaScript, CSS, Graphics) and was looking for the one (hopefully) book to help me catch on to C# and the many advanced object oriented concepts that come along with it.
Jesse knows exactly what the object oriented newbie is going to ask, and lets you know exactly what is happening. He knows what will confuse you (me), and clarifies IMMEDIATELY. Having this kind of foresight makes it possible to read this book cover to cover without jumping back to re-learn something that was explained poorly in the first place. The layout in this book is top-shelf.
As C# is completely dependent on the .NET Base Class Libraries, any text on the matter is incomplete without examples of and references to Windows and Web Forms. This book covers Windows Forms, Web forms, Web Services and ADO.NET. (The ADO.NET section is OUTSTANDING)
(If you are ever in doubt about an O'Reilly book, they have the table of contents listed for every item at their site)
I have yet to find a more efficient and easy to read text. Every time I think O'Reilly can't do any better, they come up with something like this.
Your money is well spent here.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dan Dill on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Yesterday I bit the bullet and installed VisualStudio.NET beta 2. Bringing up the IDE, I thought, "I guess its time to finally buy a C# book." Inside C# (Archer) reads very well, but it is more of an over view than an in depth treatment. Professional C# (Wrox authors) seems to cover *a lot* of ground, but because of its breadth, depth is not uniform. C# and the .NET Platform (Troelsen) seems exceptionally good, and has been my leading choice.
Today, though, I came across Programming C# (Liberty). From Liberty's other books, I know that he is a careful, thoughtful author, and that he is able to explain things well. His skill is clearly evident in this book. Programming C# goes into even more detail and depth than Troelsen's book. I also appreciate that Liberty puts C# and .NET in the context of other development tools, for such touchstones make the going easier. It is a welcoming book for many classes of readers. Reading various parts of Programming C#, it is clear Liberty has worked hard and effectively to craft an exceptional text. I'm grateful to have waited and to be able to begin my journey into this new programming model with such a helpful, pleasant guide.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I purchased this book I had little knowledge of C#. After reading the book and building all of the samples, I discovered that my lack of knowledge was something I had in common with the text. A bold statement, so let me explain.
Teaching effectively requires a deep understanding of the material, so what is important is emphasized at the expense of the trivial. In this book, everything is given equal importance, so the important material is lost in the trivial.
The text is frequently written "out of order", that is, statements are made, and then a later statement includes something you needed to understand the previous one. This is evident in the line by line code samples, where the author frequently describes line 3 of the code, and then says "but before we do that, we need to do line 2". This is confusing and not helpful.
While on the subject of the code samples, the samples frequently include a lot of useless code that just confuses the point. I ended up stripping the samples to the basics myself, and in virtually every case I ended up with a 50% or more reduction in lines of code, and a much clearer sample. Even worse, the samples could be done in much better ways, so in addition to being confusing they teach bad usage of the language.
The main problem with the samples is that many of them are taken directly from the SDK. The SDK samples are not designed to teach programming, they are designed to demonstrate how to solve a specific problem. This makes them inappropriate for teaching a language. The ones on ADO, for example, contain complex table joins, which are SQL constructs and have nothing to do with ADO or C#. The reflection API samples includes one where it writes IL directly, certainly not something that most programmers are going to do. And the text never explains the IL that is written.
I own dozens of O'Reilly books, and most are excellent. Unfortunately this one and UML In A Nutshell are the exceptions.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful By F. P. G. Geerlings on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
As with most other O'Reilly titles, "Programming C#" functions as both a good read and an in-depth work of top quality information.
Programming C# gives an in-depth first look into the C# language that, according to Microsoft, is going to be a very important part of it's .Net strategy, and thus the future of software development. The first part of the book introduces all important concepts that can be found in the C# language. Syntax and object oriented design principles behind the language are explained. (and really, with it's garbage collection, type safety etc. etc. it is almost a 100% Java copy). Part II focusses on some common programming areas where C# is supposed to become big: web-applications, (relational) database handling, and next-generation Windows applications. Special attention is given to topics like and ADO. Maybe this chapter could have included some more real-world examples, but as it is it's still quite a realistic look at these areas for C# usage. The last part introduces you to C# and it's hooks to the rest of .Net. This again is a typical example of why you should spend some money on a book by O'reilly and not run out and buy the first "Jumbo 4000 pages .Net Resource Kit" you encounter in a local bookshop from Microsoft Press. You'll get non-bloated information on C#, without all the marketing blah blah Microsoft is surrounding it's new puppy-language with these days. Basic object-oriented principles should be familiar to the reader, since these are not really explained. (but of course, we don't even want that, since we already know all about that, don't we?)
Currently this is without a doubt the best C# book on the market. If now only Bruce Eckel could start with a Thinking in C#...
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