Visual Basic .NET is one of the major programming languages in the .NET Framework., used by millions of developers worldwide. History of the language goes behind decades and it has gone through major evolution during that time. However, the idea behind the language has been the same all the time. Keywords in language design have been simplicity, straightforwardness and ease of use. "The Visual Basic .NET Programming Language" is the latest VB book written by Paul Vick, one of the VB.NET's lead architects, published by Addison-Wesley. Paul Vick is also author of the language's specification.
Some time ago I reviewed similarly named C# related book, "The C# Programming Language", which can be thought as companion book of this one, however, the target audience as well as the writing style is different. "The Visual Basic .NET Programming Language" is aimed to be definitive reference and guide to VB.NET language, but approach used is not so technical and does not rely on scientific background. Therefore the book suits well for beginners as well as for advanced users.
It is important to understand that this book does not cover topics unrelated to the language itself. Topics outside the language are covered to the degree that is necessary to understand design aspects of the language. The book corresponds to Visual Studio .NET 2003 and version 1.1 of the .NET Framework.
The book has 407 pages in 16 chapters and 2 appendixes including the index.
1. Language Overview
2. Basic Concepts
3. Fundamental Types
4. Arrays and Enumerations
8. Modules and Namespaces
9. Classes and Structures
11. Fields and Properties
12. Events and Delegates
A. Runtime Functions
B. Making the Transition from COM to the CLR
The publisher, Addison-Wesley maintains a web site for the book at:
Authors do not have a direct web site for the book, but an interesting resource is the Visual Basic Developer Center at MSDN:
This book is what it promises to be. It is a great guide to VB.NET for beginners as well as users of VB 6.0 transitioning to VB.NET. Concepts are arranged logically starting with an introduction and then deepening discussion to the more specific level. It tells all things in very practical and concise manner. Object oriented related concepts are brought to the picture while discussion of the language advances so after reading the book completely, it should be clear for even complete novice what VB.NET in .NET Framework is all about. The book also contains details and tips about VB.NET which are useful for advanced users.
The downside of the book is maybe that it does not cover the future of the language at all. Visual Studio 2005 as well the next version of Framework including the new features in VB.NET are not described or explained at all. There would have been plenty of space for a few extra chapters or at least for an appendix related to the new features.
I also suspect that the book suits better for beginners than advanced users. It is useful read for everyone but if reader is already familiar with VB.NET, this book might be one-time read because the things covered extensively are probably familiar already.
I strongly recommend this book if you are a beginner user or transitioning from previous version of VB. It covers all you need to know to get started with the language.