VB.NET Language in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition
By Steven Roman, PhD, Ron Petrusha, Paul Lomax
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: April 2002
Pages: 688

With the release of the Microsoft .NET platform comes a new version of Visual Basic dramatically unlike its predecessors. So extensive are the changes, in fact, that some VB programmers argue that Visual Basic .NET is an entirely new programming language. In the updated second edition of this popular book, you will find complete documentation for the Visual Basic .NET language.

Beginning with a brief overview of the language, VB.NET Language in a Nutshell covers basic programming concepts, and introduces the .NET Framework Class Library and programming with attributes. The bulk of the book consists of an alphabetical reference to Visual Basic .NET statements, procedures, functions, and objects. Each entry has a standardized listing containing the following information:

  • Its syntax, using standard coding conventions
                                                          <li type>Differences in the operation of the keyword in Visual Basic .NET
  and in VB 6.0</li>
  <li>A list of arguments accepted by the function or procedure</li>
  <li>A description of the data type returned by a function</li>
  <li>The finer points of a language element?s usage that are often
  omitted from or blurred over by other sources</li>
  <li>Tips and warnings that include undocumented behaviors and practical
  applications for particular language elements</li>
  <li>An invaluable section for diagnosing or avoiding potential
  programming problems</li>
  <li>A cross-reference to related keywords</li></ul>
<p>

                                                    

On the CD-ROM (included with print edition of the book) is a plug-in that adds a copy of the book's language reference to the dynamic help within Visual Studio .NET. The plug-in requires any edition of Visual Basic .NET or Visual Studio .NET.

                                                        <p>No matter how much experience you have programming with VB, you want this book
close by, both as a standard reference guide and as a tool for troubleshooting and
identifying programming problems.</p>

                                                    
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VB.NET Language in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition Review

By jrichins

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Comments about O'Reilly Media VB.NET Language in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition:

I can't believe you let Mr. Roman write another book...

Although I received this book as a gift, I likely would have purchased it myself, as I am very excited about the prospects of .NET, and am anxious to begin using .NET technologies.

It took no time at all to discern the portions of the text written by Mr. Roman. The degree of superfluity increases exponentially in his sections, and in some instances, borders on inaccuracy. In particular, having spent a great deal of time in ASP and web-based user interfaces myself, the frequent characterizations of VB6 as a technology inadequate for web development struck me as ill-considered.

The perfect example of Mr. Romans nascent desire to display his technological prowess can be found on page 36 of my first edition - the formal, mathematical definition of an array. The section is set off by itself, is not referred to again in the text, and is even qualified with the following:

"Many authors of programming books misuse the terms associated with arrays, so let's begin by establishing the correct terminology. In fact, if you will indulge us, we would like to begin with a formal definition of the term array."

Since I've been misusing the terms associated with arrays for all of these years, maybe I'll just be better off if I skip VB.NET, and try C# instead.

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