Programming Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Version 2003 ... - doc serve

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Programming Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Version 2003 ... - doc serve

xxviii Introduction

Why a Book This Large

Granted, I could have written two or three books with the material you can find in

these pages—for example, a book on Visual Basic .NET, another on Win32 applications

and database applications, and a third on Web Forms, Web services, and other Internetrelated

topics. I even suspect that smaller books might have been a wiser decision from

a business perspective. Why didn’t I do that then?

In my opinion, the revolutionary aspect of the .NET initiative is that it lets developers

adopt a unified programming paradigm, regardless of the language they’re using or the

type of application they’re building. All the objects in the .NET class library are closely

interrelated, and you can’t create great applications by focusing on a small portion of

the Framework and ignoring the rest. For example, programmers working on clientside

solutions should learn about the Windows Forms portion of the Framework, but

also about multithreading and GDI+. Programmers working on Web Forms should

know about .NET data types, collections, and regular expressions. XML Web services

programs require familiarity with object serialization and asynchronous delegates.

Finally, you must master class inheritance, interfaces, assembly binding, and low-level

details on memory management and garbage collection to write any type of .NET

application.

For all these reasons, I believe that a single volume can cover all the many facets of

.NET programming better than many smaller books, which would inevitably overlap in

their explanations of .NET fundamentals. And only a book from a single author can

ensure that there are neither repetitions nor glaring omissions as it provides the big

.NET picture.

By the way, those of you who already own the first edition of Programming Microsoft

Visual Basic .NET might notice that this edition has fewer pages than its predecessor,

and then conclude that the new edition doesn’t cover topics in the same depth. That

isn’t the case; the page count is different only because the publisher used a different

layout style for the text. The word count command in Microsoft Word doesn’t lie: both

editions contain about 3 million characters.

To make room for new material in this edition, I moved some topics from the previous

edition to separate files and made them available on the companion CD. You’ll find a

mention of this extra material where appropriate.

Check Out the E-Book, Too

Many readers asked me why the first edition of Programming Microsoft Visual Basic

.NET wasn’t provided in electronic format on the companion CD, unlike its Programming

Microsoft Visual Basic 6 predecessor. I had to make this decision when I realized

that the Visual Basic 6 e-book was freely available for download on several Web sites.

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