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The C# Programming Language (Covering C# 4.0) (4th Edition) (Microsoft Windows Development Series) [Hardcover]

by Anders Hejlsberg, Mads Torgersen, Scott Wiltamuth, Peter Golde
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 10, 2010 0321741765 978-0321741769 4

“Based on my own experience, I can safely say that every .NET developer who reads this will have at least one ‘aha’ moment and will be a better developer for it.”

–From the Foreword by Don Box 

The popular C# programming language combines the high productivity of rapid application development languages with the raw power of C and C++. Updated to cover the new features of C# 4.0, including dynamic binding, named and optional parameters, and covariant and contravariant generic types, this release takes the language to the next level by adding the ability to cleanly write programs that don’t rely on static type definitions. This allows dynamic programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and JavaScript to feel native to C#. The C# Programming Language, Fourth Edition, continues to be the authoritative and annotated technical reference for C# 4.0.


Written by Anders Hejlsberg, the language’s architect, and his colleagues, Mads Torgersen, Scott Wiltamuth, and Peter Golde, this volume has been completely updated for C# 4.0. The book provides the complete specification of the language, along with descriptions, reference materials, code samples, and annotations from twelve prominent C# gurus.


The many annotations bring a depth and breadth of understanding rarely found in any programming book. As the main text of the book introduces the concepts of the C# language, cogent annotations explain why they are important, how they are used, how they relate to other languages, and even how they evolved.


This book is the definitive, must-have reference for any developer who wants to understand C#. With annotations from: Brad Abrams, Joseph Albahari, Krzysztof Cwalina, Jesse Liberty, Eric Lippert, Christian Nagel, Vladimir Reshetnikov, Marek Safar, Chris Sells, Peter Sestoft, Jon Skeet, and Bill Wagner.



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The C# Programming Language (Covering C# 4.0) (4th Edition) (Microsoft Windows Development Series) + Essential C# 4.0 (3rd Edition) (Microsoft Windows Development Series)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anders Hejlsberg is a programming legend. He is the architect of the C# language and a Microsoft Technical Fellow. He joined Microsoft Corporation in 1996, following a thirteen-year career at Borland, where he was the chief architect of Delphi and Turbo Pascal.


Mads Torgersen is the Program Manager for the C# language at Microsoft, where he runs the day-to-day language design process and maintains the language specification.


Scott Wiltamuth is Director of Program Management for the Visual Studio Professional team at Microsoft Corporation. At Microsoft, he has worked on a wide range of development tools, including OLE Automation, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications, VBScript, JScript, Visual J++, and Visual C#.


Peter Golde was the lead developer of the original Microsoft C# compiler. As the primary Microsoft representative on the ECMA committee that standardized C#, he led the implementation of the compiler and worked on the language design. He is currently an architect at Microsoft working on compilers.

Product Details

  • Series: Microsoft Windows Development Series
  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 4 edition (November 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321741765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321741769
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.7 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid book on C#, but... June 14, 2011
By Björn
I have 1e, 3e, 4e of this book, 1e was a classic, but from 3e, the format changed and a dozen or so annotators joined to contribute to the somewhat dry language description. This was certainly a good thing. However, it would have been better if someone more carefully reviewed the text.

I found two obvious errors in the first 50 pages:

p38: the classes Student and Employee should derive from Person.

p48: "Unfortunately, with the event keyword, Completed is just a public field of type delegate,
which can be stepped on by anyone who wants to"
which should read "..., without the event keyword...".

These might be minor details to an experienced reader, but for someone new to C#, it's very confusing.

What's more annoying is the lack of a place to submit errata so that new printings can correct these defects.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book July 10, 2013
Many people that already have Visual Studio may be surprised to learn that they already have this book. It is located at: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\VC#\Specifications\1033\CSharp Language Specification.doc.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three stars February 23, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I code in C# but do not yet have a great reference or a primer on the architecture of the language such as I have for Java. After getting this book, I am no better off. I wanted to just browse through and learn, but gave up on that quickly. The book has four main authors and fourteen others who contribute little boxes - the effect is something like reading some code that began with somewhat random structure that has been patched by eighteen people.
I thought about how vast the topic of collections and arrays is. Hejlsberg et. al. provide only an 8 page chapter on "Arrays" which hits some of the high points but to me was mostly fluff. Nothing on collections, nothing on what types and categories of collections exist by function, or even by name. There is a similar chapter on Delegates.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read if you want to really understand C# July 23, 2012
I read the reviews that complain the book is too technical. Honestly, what do you expect when you buy the definitive reference written by the author and chief architect of the language? For those who want to truly understand C#, this book is an absolute must-have. Don't use it to learn C#. There are many primers on the language. Use it to study C# if you really want to take your understanding to the next level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible of C# April 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This sits on the shelf and comes out when I find myself not comfortable with my understanding. When it does come out, I find my self reading and re-reading many chapters. This is my definitive C# manual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent December 3, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book, but I recommend reading a "getting started with C#" before start reading this book if you are a new C# developer. I really like the annotations, they are really helpful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good information but wow
If you are an experienced programmer then look no further, this book has what you need to know about C# I'm pretty sure. Albeit i don't really understand most of it. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Randy Clayton
3.0 out of 5 stars This is just the C# Language Specification available free from...
This is just the official C# Language Specification that is available for free from Microsoft. (If you have a paid version of Visual Studio, a copy of it in Word format is... Read more
Published 10 months ago by J. Thomas Graham
3.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough book
I used this book to explain delegates and lambda functions which were confusing to me at the time since C# doesn't lend itself well to using lambda's like python (which I didn't... Read more
Published 13 months ago by finalfantasyfreak15
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was disappointed about the format. This is the Language reference, it should be written definitively and concisely. The C Language reference is concise and well written. Read more
Published 13 months ago by John Kountz
5.0 out of 5 stars A Question not asked is a door not opened.
You can find a lot of "question not asked" from here.
and Hejlsbers written.
the man who is ralated with C# must have item.
Published 24 months ago by Joe
2.0 out of 5 stars Too intense
I am seasoned programmer with over 16+ years of programming experience. I have been working as a .Net programmer for the last 8+ years now. I mainly code in VB.Net and ASP.Net. Read more
Published on April 3, 2012 by DaGmen
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