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A Programmer's Introduction to C# (Second Edition) 2nd Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1893115620
ISBN-10: 1893115623
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Editorial Reviews

Review

¿¿this introduction to the C# language and the .NET framework has the unmistakable stamp of inside knowledge and experience.¿ ¿MARTIN HELLER, BYTE.COM ¿¿at this point I want each reference I can get my hands on, and this one would be at the top of my list of recommendations. It is thorough, easy to read and refer to, and contains tons of examples. All of these things are necessary ingredients when learning a new programming language¿ ¿BOB TABOR, .NETBOOKS (WWW.DOTNETBOOKS.COM) ¿¿(Eric Gunnerson) is eminently qualified to explain not only how C# works, but also why it works that way. That will become evident as you read this book.¿ ¿ANDERS HEJLSBERG, MICROSOFT CORPORATION (FROM THE FOREWORD)

About the Author

Eric Gunnerson is a software developer working at Microsoft. He is a past C# Test Lead, C# Program Manager, and member of the C# Language Design Team. He s been a developer for longer than he cares to admit, and has worked on everything from microcontrollers to minicomputers. In his spare time, he enjoys writing about himself in the third person.
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Product Details

  • Series: Net Developer Series
  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2 edition (June 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893115623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893115620
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,799,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BCM on October 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I may have the dubious distinction of having read every published book on C# from cover to cover (well, almost). That said, this book was one of the first I encountered when I started learning C# (in its first edition, of course), and I still return to it several times weekly in its second edition (usually to clarify an exposition by another author).

For my money, this is as good as writing gets when the subject is THE LANGUAGE, PERIOD. The writing style is lean, focused, and rigorously accurate. While you might not take it to bed with you, you'll turn to it over and over when you're actively stuck on a concept and want to get it right and OWN IT.

A careful reader could gain all the confidence they need by reading this book first, and then Troelsen's *C# and the .NET Platform* (also an Apress book; no, I don't work for them). That's not to say that there aren't other gems out there (including Liberty (O'Reilly; download the latest version of the code!) and Robinson et al. (WROX; generally excellent, but some chapters are SO BAD, and the typos are EVERYWHERE). But if you have a limited budget and can stay focused, Gunnerson and Troelson (in that order) are all you need.
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Format: Paperback
While not the best tutorial out there for intermediate level programmers with a C++ or Java background (Liberty's book is better as a pure tutorial), this book is much better at explaining style and C# idioms than Liberty. I bought both books and am glad I did.
Gunnerson is very clear at what is good C# style and what is not and why you should choose one idiom rather than another. Also, unlike Liberty's book, Gunnerson leads you through the process involved in developing (including adding multithreading) a serious application where Liberty's samples are much smaller and much less interesting.
The downside is the order Gunnerson chose for his topics is strange whereas Liberty 's order is much more straightforward and traditional and I think easier to understand. Note that people coming from a VB background will have an even harder time with Gunnerson than Liberty. (People with this background should probably choose Archer's Inside C# book from Microsoft Press.)
Summing up: Buy both books if you can, if not buy Liberty's book for a pure tutorial and buy Gunnerson to learn C# style plus how to develop a serious multithreaded application.
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Format: Paperback
Gunnerson's on the C# design team and know the language as well as anybody - and his experience shows in this really really nice book. This isn't a "quickie book" which is a rehashed white paper, like the book by Wille from Sams! At this stage it is hard to imagine a better book on C#.
What about C# itself? First off you can get the language free as part of the .NET SDK from Microsoft's MSDN web site, it's a command line interpretor like the one in the JDK. Then use your favorite editor to create C# code.
Next, although C# certainly bears a family resemblence to Java it has some truly unique and exciting features that make it the best language yet. For example, it is the first language in the C/C++ family to handle versioning. (For experts the fragile base class problem is gone.) There's also cool stuff like automatic conversion of value types to objects and back again and little things like == doing what it should for strings.
All in all this is a great book that I highly recommend.
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Format: Paperback
In previous reviews I have read about this book, there have been many criticisms regarding the author's use of long examples (~ 100 lines) when 10 lines of code would have sufficed. The author would then make a minor change, and copy the entire code example again. Although this is very annoying, I have a far greater problem with this book:
The author does not have a strong grasp of Object Oriented programming. It is very clear that he has little understanding of interfaces, which are a vital part of C#. The reason I say this is that in every code example I see, he explicitly "casts" classes references to interface references, when one is not needed (He states that this is required on pg. 80 that you must make a "cast", which is incorrect. Amazingly, he contradicts himself on pg. 128 when he states the "cast" is not needed). There are so many errors in chapter 10 (Interfaces), that I would highly recommend that the chapter be skipped entirely. His section on problems with "name collisions" on pg. 86 is so wrong that it is pitiful. Perhaps at the time the book was published, interfaces in the language spec. were pitiful and the author's examples were correct, but I doubt it. These are just some of the many examples used in this book that are either completely wrong, or highly discouraged. Others include using the term "overload" when the author clearly meant "override" (big difference!).
Although I do like the author's style in trying to explain things, it doesn't help much when his understanding is incorrect. I have found that reading the "C# Language Specification" and "C# Programmer's Reference" (although dry) to be a much better use of my time. Note: I did read the 1st edition. I can only assume the author has fixed many of his mistakes in the 2nd edition, which might make this book a decent intro. to C#.
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