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LINQ in Action Paperback – February 14, 2008
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About the Author
Fabrice Marguerie is a software architect and developer based in Paris, France. Fabrice is a C# MVP has been working with LINQ from the first prototypes.
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- Nice balance of prose with many code snippets.
- Good pacing of the material, although I might like a bit more detail in some spots, less in others. Occasionally there's a little too much non-Linq content, such as explaining practices that are well known to most professional developers. There is also too much finishing one section by saying what's coming in the next section - unnecessary because it's obvious what's next - the next section's header is staring right at you. At times I found myself mentally editing the prose, and removing superfluous clauses and sentences unrelated to Linq. Fortunately the amount of this is not that annoying, but it could be tighter.
- Snippets often have short annotations physically next to the relevant lines of code (yay!), making it easy to see what's going on. When the explanation is lengthy, it follows the snippet, instead of sitting next to it, which is harder to understand. I'd like to see side-by-side, code with annotations throughout, which is understandably not easy to do.
- Code snippets are also in the downloadable projects - they mostly work. I couldn't get either Visual Studio or SqlMetal to recognize the stored procedures in the book's database, owing to some kind of protection/login problem using SqlExpress. No biggie, as I'm sure I can get these tools to recognize SPs in my own databases.
- Support website is good, I posted a comment and got a reply from the authors within a day or so.
- DoublePlusGood: Authors include many links to supporting articles, downloadable goodies, etc.
- I feel like I gained a good grasp of the material, and am well positioned to start doing serious work with it.
- While I saw dozens of lambda expressions, I still don't think I could explain to someone what they are, in a sentence or two. Maybe I missed it, but I expect a book to provide a lucid explanation here, especially on such a key concept, instead of having me infer what's going on by seeing examples.
- The section on Linq-To-Sql is probably the most turgid/dense of the whole book. The author obviously knows his stuff, but there were a few paragraphs in this section I reread numerous times, and still could not get what he was trying to say. The rest of the book is relatively lucid, which is no small thing, given the complexity of the subject.
At times I wondered what I missed by not buying the Apress alternative ("Pro Linq" by Rattz). It's a longer book, has more Amazon ratings, and I like the TOC. I also like the fact that it's written by one author, although "Linq In Action" doesn't suffer a whole lot by having had several people contribute to it. If I get into a jam with Linq, and can't get help from the usual sources, I may purchase Rattz as well.
The book presents both VB.NET and C# code examples. This is definitely cool. It is something that has been lost with many publishers. I guess the publishers know they can possibly sell 2 of the same book if they make one for each language. Yeah, yeah, I know... you should be able to easily bounce back and forth between languages with no effort. Well since I don't allow VB.NET on any of my projects, I rarely get to see it since books no longer present both languages. So this is a refreshing change. I still have to deal with inherited projects, so it is nice to have a book that contains my language of choice, but makes available the VB.NET syntax incase I need it.
The book has an awesome introduction covering the history of LINQ, which also presents all the problems that LINQ solves and the design goals of linq.
The book covers ever new feature in the .NET 3.5 languages (C# and VB.NET) that were needed in order to implement LINQ. They include Implicitly typed local variables, Object initializers, Lambda expressions, Extension methods, and Anonymous types.
The book covers LINQ to XML, LINQ to SQL, and LINQ to Objects in great detail. They also offer a bonus chapter from the Manning Site for LINQ to Datasets.
One of my favorite sections was Performance Considerations. They do a great job covering tradeoffs.
The book winds down with a chapter on extending LINQ and how link fits into an n-tier architecture.
The downloadable code is very well organized and is very usable. The authors have a great support site.
I highly recommend any developer moving into .NET 3.5 add this book to their library. It will arm you with everything you need to produce production level code.
I started following the LINQ development while it was in beta stage and I was trying to find bits and pieces, here and there to make sense out of this technology. LINQ is something different than other technologies when it comes to learning it. It's like walking down a slope. If you don't follow the proper path, you can slip, in any moment. What do I mean by that? For MSFT to develop and build LINQ, they had to build and evolve a series of other technologies that will be used in LINQ. LINQ is developed on the top of a series of other technologies within .Net framework and the C# (VB also) language to be able to do what it does.
The sequence you learn these other technologies is as important as learning LINQ in the first place. By properly learning the foundation correctly, you will then see how sweet and powerful LINQ can and will be.
Now, why this book? Among all the materials and books I've read on this subject, this is the only book that truly follow this path. You follow the book, you learn LINQ. It's as simple as this!
I was involve with the "Early Access" program on this book and I saw how these three authors worked to make it better and better. They listened to readers and made it better. I wish other authors would take the time to write their book as well as this book. I give it Five stars!!!
Most recent customer reviews
"ALL CODE EXAMPLES IN BOTH C# and VB.NET"