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C# Essentials Ben Albahari, Peter Drayton and Brad Merrill
Published by O'Reilly and Associates
216 pages
£ 13.95
Published: 21st February 2001
reviewed by Peter Waller
   in the December 2001 issue (pdf), (html)

O'Reilly has attempted to produce a concise and compact text that teaches anyone wishing to learn Microsoft's new C# language. This book is by no means a tutorial to teach C# as a first language, so I suggest you look elsewhere. But will this book teach the competent programmer the necessities to help them get to grips with C#? Let's find out shall we? At first glance, C# looks just like C++ with a hint of Java; I found all the samples very familiar and quickly wrote several programs of my own using Microsoft's C# SDK (which you may download from for free, although I believe it only supports WINNT based systems.) You are right to assume that some knowledge of Object Oriented Programming is required for you to understand the language. The book itself does a good job at feeding you the syntax; I found all the explanations very clear and concise. I don't think there was anything left unanswered. The structure of the book is simple, after a quick introduction of the language; the book quickly dives into the language reference, then teaches you about the .NET Framework and then an overview of the Base Class Library. After the appendices you'll find a complete index which is usually a let down in books of this kind. I'm certainly not slow to admit that this book is a worthy buy, C# looks like an exciting new language that builds on other O-O language's, and with the .NET Framework you can quickly build and deploy web based applications as well as traditional client/server programs. Any programmer wishing to get into this new language may want to pick up this book for definite. Priced at 13.95 it's certainly cheap and doesn't take up half your shelf space as other massive volumes tend to. If you're at all interested in learning a great new Object-Oriented language, then I recommend you give this book a go. O'Reilly also have another book that gives the .NET Framework the same treatment, this may be a worthy edition so you can use Microsoft's new .NET technology to its full potential.

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