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Learning Visual Basic.Net Through Applications
Author: Clayton E. Crooks II
Publisher: Charles River Media
ISBN: 1-58450-242-8
Purchasing: [Amazon.Com] - RRP US$49.95
Reviewed: 11th September 2002

Front Cover Shot:

Overview

Visual Basic.Net, as part of Visual Studio.Net, was formally released in February of this year. VB.Net aka VB7 is the latest incarnation of a 10-year old language and heralds some quite significant changes to previous versions.

It's way beyond the scope of this review to discuss individual changes, but suffice to say that it isn't always an easy ride migrating from VB5/VB6 to VB.Net; certainly not as easy as v5 to v6. With this in mind, it may be useful to some developers to get a refresher course in the language. This book serves as a learn-by-example method for learning VB.Net.

Content

The book is aimed at beginner / intermediate level developers - hence there's a distinct lack of dense text and/or complex tables and principles, replacing this is a heavy dependence on graphics. The writing style is clear and effective - it's easy to follow what's going on. 

Some of the programs are very trivial in nature - the majority of VB6 programmers will stroll through 90% of this book with little difficulty, in which case it's possibly not the best long-term investment. However, this isn't a my-first-programming book, you do need to know how to write a computer program, even if it's only a simple one.

There are a total of 24 applications to be developed throughout this book, apart from the first few they're all real-world applicable applications: sending emails to collecting data about the users computer.

Too Simple

The last chapter / tutorial in the book is also one of the shortest, yet covering one of the most complex single entities available - the Direct3D graphics API. I'll assume that most people reading this review at least know of D3D (given the nature of this sites content) and that it is a truly mammoth subject that deserves (and has) books written only about it. The coverage in this book is a mere 11 pages long. I'd be very impressed if anyone learned anything useful from those 11 pages with respect to D3D8 programming...

The other issue that many people should be aware of - if you're even a 1/2 decent VB6 programmer then this book is probably of little use to you; any serious programmer would probably suffice with a decent .Net manual and a guide to the language changes for VB - much of this stuff would only prove to be an afternoons 'familiarization' session.

In Conclusion

Consider this book for a beginners-introduction to VB.Net, but definitely not a long-term resource/reference for the language. For it's asking price, there's not much to it for even the intermediate VB programmers in this world.

Good Things Bad Things
• good first-contact/introduction book. • Very short for the price it asks
• Complete source code included on the CD • Not very good for a long-term reference / resource
• Shows some actually useful applications as examples An extremely weak section on D3D8 graphics
• very clear and easy-to-read writing style  

 

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