Book Review: Visual Basic 2005 Cookbook
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by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Inside the book

The book contains 17 chapters of high quality content. It begins with a short coverage about the creation of Windows Forms, Console and ASP.NET applications. I feel that the creation of console applications should be discussed first. The next chapter examines the various factors associated with the Visual Basic 2005 development environment such as creation of code snippets, accessing environment variables and registry in addition to a brief coverage about obfuscating an application. It would have been great if the authors had also examined some recipes targeting Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition.

While chapter 3 examines classes and namespaces, Chapter 4 provides comprehensive coverage of Forms, Menus, usage of Timers, creation of shortcut menus and much more. The remaining chapters provide a detailed coverage of Strings, Numbers, Arrays and Collections, Graphics, Multimedia, Printing, Files and Databases in addition to the usage of Math, Date and Time classes. I am impressed by the efforts put up by the authors to provide a high quality programming book in a comprehensive manner.

Among other recipes you will also learn about the creation of a Graph paper, Thumbnails and many other interesting topics.  I wonder why the authors have included the Graph paper creation in Chapter 11 – Printing. From my point of view, the recipe should be accommodated in Chapter 9 – Graphics. You will also learn some of the advanced tips and tricks such as accessing XML files, verifying a credit card number and rebooting the system in Chapter 14.

While chapter 15 examines Exception handling, Chapter 16 provides a detailed coverage of Cryptography and Compression. The book wraps up with an exhaustive coverage of web development and it includes recipes for pinging an IP Address, Calling a Web service, Sending Email using SMTP, Sending a message to another computer and much more.

The writing style followed by the author is very lucid and each chapter has been presented in a systematic format such as Problem, Solution and Discussion. The problem section specifies the purpose of each recipe. The Solution section provides answers to solve the specific recipe and also specifies the folder in which the relevant source code is located. The Discussion section includes a detailed explanation along with complete source code and relevant screenshot(s). I hope the screenshot(s) will surely help readers to view the output before attempting to run it on their system. The See Also section provides references to other useful resources for learning more about the discussed recipe.

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