Sebastopol, CA--If your cooking skills are passable to average, you won't necessarily dazzle those you feed, but you can nevertheless feed them. Most people don't expect to be dazzled by the food on their daily plates. But in the programming world, things are different. Users have high expectations when it comes to software quality, and if all you can deliver is the mundane, then you're sure to get an earful.
This is one of the challenges of Visual Basic 2005, according to Tim Patrick and John Clark Craig, the authors of Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook (O'Reilly, US $49.99). Visual Basic 2005 is a good tool for writing great programs, but it's also very good at letting people write ordinary software. "Ordinary cooking usually only results in ordinary food," they observe, "but ordinary programming can lead to something much worse: bugs." Their new book is the key to taking programming to the "master chef" level.
"The .NET Framework is powerful and full featured, but finding the right functionality is often a challenge," explains Craig. "Even some of the simplest programming tasks can seem daunting, simply because there's so much to the Framework. Microsoft's documentation is good at documenting specific tasks, but it's seriously deficient at helping you find the right approach to solving programming tasks. This book provides an invaluable, timesaving shortcut to efficient coding for many common tasks. Not only does this save the user a lot of time, it also serves as a great learning tool to become more proficient with the language and the .NET Framework."
"Many new and intermediate programmers struggle for lack of good examples," adds Patrick. "They know that a specific task can be accomplished in Visual Basic, but either they lack the understanding or documentation to implement the feature, or they have limitations on their time that prevent them from implementing the feature quickly or correctly. The ready-made code in this book will help them."
The Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook contains more than 300 recipes dealing with common and no-so-common tasks that Visual Basic programmers encounter regularly. The recipes cover a wide range of programming topics, from simple string and number manipulation to advanced topics involving animations and matrix transformations. With hundreds of downloadable code snippets, examples, and complete solutions, each recipe is designed to help readers understand a problem, learn how to solve it, and anticipate potential tradeoffs or ramifications.
Other useful features of the book include VB6 updates to alert VB6 programmers to code-braking changes in Visual Basic 2005, recipes that target new VB 2005 features, advanced projects focusing on multimedia and mathematical transformations using linear algebraic methods, and specialized topics covering files and file systems, printing, and databases. In addition, there are chapters on cryptography and compression, graphics, and special programming techniques.
The book was written to meet the needs of a wide range of software developers, from novices to full time professionals. In selecting the recipes, the authors kept three primary types of readers in mind. According to Craig, these were: "Visual Basic programmers upgrading their skills from VB6 to the .NET Framework for the first time, students new to programming who are getting started with the free Visual Basic Express product, and long-time professional programmers wanting to save time and be more efficient at their coding tasks." Beginners and experts alike will find Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook a valuable timesaver, serving up the code they need when they need it.
Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook
Tim Patrick and John Clark Craig
ISBN: 0-596-10177-5, 713 pages, $49.99 US
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