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March 24, 2003

Building a Richer User Interface for Windows: O'Reilly Releases ".NET Windows Forms in a Nutshell"

Sebastopol, CA--"Despite the advent of web services, there's still plenty of demand for standalone Windows applications, and plenty of developers who build nothing else. At least half of these developers are expected to move to Microsoft's .NET platform this year, and when they do," says Ian Griffiths, coauthor of .NET Windows Forms in a Nutshell (Griffiths and Adams, O'Reilly, US $44.95). "They'll discover a simpler and cleaner programming model for creating graphic user interfaces much richer than anything they've built in the past."

".NET Windows Forms are the best technology for building a large class of applications for the Windows platform today," Griffiths says. "They offer almost the same power and flexibility of classic Win32 development, but for a fraction of the effort. A whole load of tedious details that developers used to have to deal with day in and day out are now dealt with automatically by the platform."

".NET Windows Forms in a Nutshell" offers an accelerated introduction to this new user interface development tool, with plenty of advice and practical information. Along with a compact yet complete reference to the .NET Framework Class Library (FCL) Windows Forms namespaces and types, the book explains the rationale behind the new forms design and .NET in general. "Understanding the thinking behind the framework enhances your productivity substantially," Griffiths explains. "It enables you to guess correctly what 'the right way' to do things is the majority of the time, even if you have never tried to do it before. No more digging around in documentation for days trying to find information you need for using one particular feature."

".NET Windows Forms in a Nutshell" provides coverage of the fundamental building blocks, such as Controls, Forms, Menus, and GDI+, and helps developers build their own fully featured reusable visual components, so they can write visual component libraries as well as applications. Included is a CD for integrating the book's reference section directly into the help files of Visual Studio .NET.

As the book points out, .NET Windows Forms employs many new Microsoft technologies, including a common application framework, managed execution environment, integrated security, and object-oriented design using the new C# and Visual Basic .NET programming languages. Microsoft's GDI+ allows developers to create richer, more complex graphics. "GDI+ is the most significant leap forward we've seen in ages," Griffiths says. "We're approaching the point where computers can have the same quality of presentation expected in television and print media."

The book will appeal to anyone who develops non-web rich client applications for Windows, even those with little or no specific knowledge of .NET. Developers who currently write intranet-based web applications for the enterprise should be interested as well. "Because Windows Forms is a rich client technology--as opposed to thin client--they can present an application that takes full advantage of the user's machine, rather than being restricted to what can be done in a web browser," Griffiths says. "Web technologies have traditionally offered much easier deployment models, but .NET offers technology that can bring this flexibility and control to rich client applications."

Additional Resources:

.NET Windows Forms in a Nutshell
By Ian Griffiths, Matthew Adams
0-596-00338-2, Order Number: 3382
896 pages, $44.95 US, $69.95 CA
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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