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on October 2, 2002
Finally WROX has produced a complete book that satisfies and is not so thick if you drop it on your foot it will break your toes. It is dirt cheap considering the wealth and quality of information. If you are a beginning to Intermediate programmer run do not walk to store and get it! The biggest omission is attributes - they should have been in this book.
WROX books are often oversized and incomplete or part of a family of books that means you have to figure out which of many books to learn one thing* and even if you buy ALL the books surprisingly you will be missing some vital commands as their editors allow much overlap and rarely check if they covered all relevant commands.
* Fast Track, Beginning, Beginning w/, Beginning .NET Web Services with VB.NET, Professional ASP.NET Web Services with VB.NET, Professional, Namespace Reference, professional w/, Beginning ASP.NET Databases using VB.NET, ad nauseum
I usually hate the first chapter in every WROX book. It is usually unsatisfying fluff. This Chapter 1: Defining Types is an awesome chapter. Insightful, useful, easy to read and concise. Great way to start!
Chapter 2: Type Members
Chapter 3: Methods
are also great chapters. Easy to read, no fluff, code samples and plenty of insight.
Chapter 4: Constructors and the Object Life Cycle
very thorough and clear. The Singleton and factory basics were nice touch. It is a shame they did not cover garbage collection and serialization better. These are very incomplete explanations.
Chapter 5: properties
Chapter 6: Events
are just nicely done. I have 47 books next to my desk on and they all have lousy code samples and over wrought explanations of delegates. The Events and delegate code samples and explanations are what I wish I had months ago.
Chapter 7: Inheritance and Polymorphism
this is a decent chapter and easy to read. It however should probably point people to other sources to follow through (WROX should really start including bibliographies with their books) since even if people mechanically can use Inheritance and Interfaces they need be pointed to relevant pattern design, Refactoring and UML books to gain wisdom since this chapter is all knowledge and no wisdom.
Design Patterns Explained
are my recommend reading for anyone doing OO in any language.
Chapter 8: Code Organization and MetaData
anther winner! GAC and Reflection are nice touch.
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I had to write this because I get sick of some of the reviewers just slamming stuff for the wrong reasons. First of all, the book definitely does a good job of teaching those who are new to .NET, and more specifically those coming from VB 6 or other non-OO languages, how to design OO classes in VB.NET. It is more of a design book for YOUR classes and not how to derive from forms. Just about EVERY .NET book I've picked up has shown me that, so thank GOD this one came from an angle that I may want to design a class. I would imagine that if you're a C++ programmer you wouldn't want to pickup this book because it says Visual Basic .NET Class Design. If you come from a C++ background, I have to assume that you probably want to use C# since A: it is obviously closer to home with what you've been using and B: there are some features that it implements that VB.NET has been left out in the dark on once again. If you want to get a handle on VB.NET class design, especially if you're coming from VB 6, you should start with this book. The main reason is that it just covers the OO facets that will be very new to you in .NET. Instead of being overwhelmed by some other books that hit you with a lot at once, this book will help you with the new adventure into OO programming. You will definitely need to pickup a couple other books, but this book is a GREAT starter book. To give this book 1 star for errata or for saying it talks to you like you're stupid is absurd. Take these with a grain of salt as they don't even post what they do for a living in their profile. I have developed business applications for 4 years and they are crazy for knocking this book in that fashion.
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on October 3, 2002
This is the 2nd book in the Wrox Handbook series I have read. The series is AWESOME - all meat and no bones. This book managed to take OOP concepts that illuded me in my college C++ text book (1000+ pages) and make them all very simple and usable in around 350 pages.
For moving from VB6 to VB.NET, this book is essential. The book covers as much about concepts as it does about VB.NET's specific syntax, so C# programmers might enjoy the read as well. C# translates to VB.NET almost line for line in my experience (I'm reading a book on GDI+ for C# now and writing all of the examples in VB.NET with no problems).
Another nice thing is that the book breaks down the compiled code and shows you how it runs behind the scenes. They explain everything with no knowledge of MISL required, and these examples made me realize that EVERYTHING is just a realy cool shortcut to a method or a memory address.
The book also made quick and EASY work of more difficult topics (or at least I used to find them difficult) such as Deligates and Polymorphism. These topics make perfect sense now and I'm finding ways to make use of them to save me dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of lines of code.
They had a few places where I felt a slightly better example could have been presented or felt that they left out an important 1-line best practices snippet but those places were very few (maybe 3 places - so, once every 112 pages). Frankly this would be the case in any book on OOP.
Honestly, Wrox's book on OOP far exceeds anything I have ever read before and I feel that it took my programming up not just one but two levels. I feel that I'm now a FAR more capable and compitent programmer for having read it.
5 Stars for a VERY complete book on OOP in an easy-to-read, compact form.
I'm glad to see that there are now 7 handbooks out with more on the way. These handbooks are great for the VB.NET programmer. Way to go Wrox!
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on June 1, 2002
I'm only a few chapters into this book and I'm already finding it to be very good. I really like the writing style. As an experienced VB 6 developer I have struggled with some of the new terms in .NET. I think this book is doing a good job explaining the terms and giving some practical explanation about their use.
Most of all the book is highly focused on Class Design and the specific details of the .NET world.
Its also not a big book, so won't be hard to read in a short period of time.
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on May 25, 2002
As an experienced VB6 developer I was always frustrated by the lack of OO capabilities. .NET fixes this. This book provides the right balance of reference material and tutorial material. It serves well for wanting a quick answer and equally as well as a general OOP guide specific to VB.NET. I particularly like the 'best practice' feel of this book. .NET as a whole is quite daunting for VB6 developers; we almost have too many options now available. Learning VB.NET from a VB6 background can be confusing because it's difficult to know where to use all of these new techniques now available. This book goes a very long way to showing us how to write VB.NET classes in a pragmatic way.
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VINE VOICEon September 28, 2003
This is one of the better Wrox Handbooks and I really liked it. This isn't exactly a guide beginners guide on class design, nor is it an experts book..but it does one thing very well, if you are new to VB.NET or .NET and you know what you want your classes to do, this book will show you how to accomplish it. Moreover, there are some good examples and it can get you thinking in different directions.
They were a little skimpy on issues like using Properties vs. Public Variables (and if you move to .NET, you will have to fight VB6 programmers clinging on to bad habits of the past), but overall, I think the book does a great job at what it advertises itself to be.
Also, the discussion on Delegates and event handling was particularly helpful if that's your interest.
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on September 9, 2002
This book is fantastic. If you are a VB6 developer and you want to understand this monster called .NET, then you need to check out this book. This book covers reference types vs. value types, properties, methods, garbage collection, proper OO design, and .NET class design best practices. Many VB developers have never really taken to the concept of Object Oriented development. If you are one that has never needed to learn Object Oriented programming then you NEED to check this book out. This book will show you many of things that you have been missing and how they can make your life easier.
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on July 7, 2002
I think this is a great VB.NET book; especially for those coming from VB6 or earlier versions. There are a lot of bugs in the code sample. Most are simple things like variables sharing names with properties or no idea which namespace to import. Good read overall though.
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on August 28, 2003
Complete and very detailed. This book could be a text book for teaching a course of class design. I am very satisfied with the verbose approach as it is more understandable (sorry, my english is not as good as I wish). There are some minor bugs in code but I made my own apps following the written code examples, not the downloaded ones and corrected this bugs.
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on December 31, 2002
This book taught me a great deal on how choosing the correct .NET type can affect your application performance. The book covers delegates (single-cast, multicast and events) in great details. No matter what your skill set level is, this book will teach you a lot. I highly recommend this book.
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