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Mono: A Developer's Notebook Paperback – Jul 30 2004

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"The writing style is clear and concise with plenty of code examples all of which will compile and run. The examples are well explained and as the book is logically set out, helping those wanting to develop under Mono to get going... Highly recommended." -Paul F Johnson, CVu - October 2004

About the Author

Edd Dumbill is Managing Editor of He also writes free software, and packages Bluetooth-related software for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Edd is the creator of XMLhack and WriteTheWeb, and has a weblog called Behind the Times.

Niel M. Bornstein , with over ten years' experience in software development, has worked in diverse areas such as corporate information systems, client-server application development, and web-hosted applications. Clear and engaging, Niel wrote .NET & XML and co-authored Mono: A Developer's Notebook.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Exactly right Aug. 14 2004
By Jan Moren - Published on
Format: Paperback
For the user of the Mono environment, this is a great resource. The "lab notebook"-style allows the authors to clearly and concisely bring together material in a few pages, rather than having to draw it out for an entire chapter. The pitfall is of course that it can become too concise, to the point where it is no longer understandable for the reader. The present authors have made an excellent job avoiding this.

This is not complete enough to fully replace other resources on C# and GTK# - and it's not meant to be. Instead it is a great desktop reference, so you can avoid all those verbose tomes for your day-to-day work. It is also a grat companion when reading reference documentation, as this shows you how to use the stuff in practice.

I would say that Dumbill and Bornstein did an excellent job on this book, and that O'Reilly has created a very promising new format for this kind of material.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Coverage of C# specific to Mono Sept. 25 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on
Format: Paperback
Turns out there is more to making C# cross platform than I thought. Turns out the majority of the core of .NET is cross-platform when you use Mono, but the UI portion is not. So the book mainly concentrates on the use of GTK#, spending about 80 out of 250 pages on it. Other sections include XML processing, networking, core .NET, and installation.

The well written, concise, and focused. This is a strength, and a weakness. The book may be too focused by design. Which leaves you in a situation where you don't have enough book to be valuable on it's own. You will still need O'Reilly's Programming C# book to start learning C#.

I recommend this book to anyone looking to start with GTK#, or who is interested in porting their C# code off the Windows platform. I do not recommend this book for someone just starting out with C#.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Very fast reading (which is good) Sept. 29 2004
By Marcelix - Published on
Format: Paperback
All I wanted was to know how (difficult) would a .NET to Mono migration be. So - from a perspective of someone who has used .NET for a while and is curious about Mono - this book is a great read: concise, well written and sufficient. Not crusted with boring details - thank God! So, this certainly is not the only book on C# and Mono a newby needs.. It shouldn't be. To summarise - this book is a fast read and .NET-to-Mono migration much smoother than expected.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great style, but content is severely out-of-date April 13 2009
By Steve Love - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's been about five years since this book was published. You'd think it would have been updated since then.

The most obvious sign that this content is too out-of-date to be very useful is that it was written for Mono 1.0 and the Mono project is currently at version 2.4. By Chapter 2, I'd already come across several instances where the information written about Mono 1.0 no longer applies to Mono 2.x. While I liked the style and presentation, the content appears to be too unreliable at this point to be of any help to developers starting out with Mono.

I'm surprised O'Reilly is still publishing this book and selling it at full price.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A good introduction to Mono development for experienced programmers. March 22 2006
By Daniel Hanks - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mono: A Developer's Notebook is an addition to O'Reilly's Developer's Notebook series, aimed at helping experienced programmers come quickly up speed on a new technologies and platforms. These books are heavy on code and examples, and light on theory. This book lives up to this mission well.

From the opening pages of the book, we learn that "Mono is an open source cross-platform, implementation of the .NET development framework." If you're an experienced programmer looking to take a dip into the .NET world, but not so eager to enter the Microsoft end of the pool, you're probably in for a treat with Mono: A Developer's Notebook.

This book gets going very quickly. The first chapter takes you through getting Mono up and running on your machine, with instructions provided for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Although as Mono is such a moving target, much of what's there is likely already outdated. Even shortly after the book was released, I found discrepancies and differences in the process of getting Mono up and running on my own machine while following the book. Your mileage may vary. If you're the sharp arrow this book targets, that probably wont stand in your way. This chapter is followed by a whirlwind introduction to C#, aimed squarely at folks who already have a language or two under their belt.

The rest of the book provides examples of using Mono to accomplish common tasks such as working with files, strings, and regular expressions, GUI programming with GTK#, processing XML, and network programming. Each chapter has a number of "labs", in which a given task is explored, and sample code is provided to illustrate common ways to handle each task. The book is rather fast paced, and assumes a lot of its reader. Each chapter provides pointers to further resources about the given topic if you find yourself wanting to know more.

All in all, if you're the type who can skim over the basics and take it from there, then this book is likely to please. It gives you just enough information to get you on your way, but doesn't belabor the point with endless details. If, on the other hand, you enjoy probing through obscure corners of language references and exploring the nuances of syntax and expression, then this book is likely to leave you somewhat hungry.

The book is well written and easy to follow for an experienced programmer. Example code is plentiful, and clearly written. The code certainly takes center stage in the book. I did, however, notice a lot of typos and 'bugs' in the text. Perhaps that enhances the feel of a "developer's notebook", but even still the book could stand to have a little better proof-reading. One final nit-pick. Each page in the book is made to look like the page of a lab notebook, complete with a grid as the page background. A nice design touch, but a little hard on the eyes to comfortably read.

Bottom line, if you're an experienced developer looking to quickly come up to speed on C# and .NET development in the Mono environment, then this book will likely be a valuable investment.