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Pro .NET 1.1 Network Programming, Second Edition Paperback – September 28, 2004
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Top customer reviews
Well, this .NET book reminds me very much of that series. To good approximation, the authors have covered the same functionality. But now using the .NET environment as a development platform. The language is fully object oriented, unlike C. Much of the book is taken up with showing how the default libraries/classes that deal with networking.
If you have indeed used C and Comer and Stevens for networking, then you should appreciate what this book does. It gives a far richer vocabulary of prebuilt functionality, to handle those tedious and error prone low level manipulations. These libraries mimic what Java also offers for network programming. So if you are migrating from Java, there is much common ground here.
The book takes you back to the basics of network understanding. No pretty but vapid GUI to obscure the concepts. The UI, so to speak, is stdout and stdin and the filesystem. Before the Web and the browser metaphor became prevalent, this is how most of us programmed.
Another merit of the book is its coverage of IPv6. Still fairly new. But you can start familiarising yourself here. The authors also find space for brief explanations of cryptographic methods in .NET.
Put it this way - I'm a lifelong web dev who's been doing more and more client/server work, and I got a ton of useful information for my projects in this work. Even as the book starts to get into material for which there is no easy way of describing, the authors don't deviate from using simple English and practical, plainclothes, repetitive examples to ensure the readers gets it before progressing to more in-depth topics. <br/><br/>
Principal author Christian Nagel (whose writing I've long appreciated) starts out with a very thorough rundown of basic networking concept, the OSI model and the TCP/IP protocol stack, that any IT professional should peruse as a primer. He then presents the particulars of network programming in .NET, such as working with streams and sockets, and then drills down into individual protocols, devoting a chapter each to the major forms of network communication. The major protocols for communicating over networks and the Internet are all examined and expanded upon - SNMP, TCP, UDP, SMTP, HTTP, with helpful code samples. The book also briefs the reader on the importance of .NET Remoting on more than one occasion. <br/><br/>
The book isn't one that's filled to the brim with code snippets you can instantly plug into your applications, but there are several very nice demonstrations and couple good sample apps (an FTP client, a multicast chat app, a simple e-mail utility, a picture viewer, etc.) that demonstrate the high-level concepts in the book's latter chapters. <br/><br/>
In criticism, I found Chapter 5 - "Raw Socket Programming" was obviously written by a different author and uses a slightly different coding convention. While it's not an incriminating factor that should detract one from buying this book, it is something I would hope the editors would look to change for the next version, as the difference between the book's majority voicing and this one chapter - namely in its use of grammar and syntactical layout is a little too painfully obvious. <br/><br/>
I also enjoyed the chapter introducing the reader to working with IPv6, although I thought it might have been better suited for placement further into the book or as an appendix, and not in Chapter 6. Additionally, I would have wished for more samples featuring using peer-to-peer networking architecture (there was one, I think), and a bit more meat to the discussion of .NET Remoting, perhaps in its own chapter. <br/><br/>
But semantics notwithstanding, this is an outstanding title, being well-written and covering all the major considerations of .NET network programming with. This is easily a 5/5 work.
So to be fair to the author's I waited a couple of months hoping for some errata fixes or new source code posted on the website. Nothing, nada, zilch, perhaps I was still expecting too much. Not wanting to wait any longer, I fixed the 58 of 59 errors in the one piece of source code I was interested in only to find there was actually a whole section of code missing. Again should'nt somebody have test compiled this crap before publishing the book? I know I thouroughly test all my code before I send it to any big bad end user, shouldn't we as programmers expect the same?
I am giving this book one star for the amount I did read, which did seem quite good. Perhaps if you can get past the pathetic source code you could make some use of this book.