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Professional .NET 2.0 Generics Paperback – Oct 17 2005

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For many programmers, generics will be an entirely new language feature. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A really fun, informative read April 4 2006
By William G. Ryan - Published on
Format: Paperback
I just got a copy of this book earlier today and am comfortable reviewing it already. That's because I've read through it already. After I got started, I didn't want to put it down and although I spent most of today reading it, it was very informative and a lot of fun to read.

The first chapter is your standard first chapter and lays the groundwork for the rest of the book. It moves forward into the subject of Generics and new .NET 2.0 Framework featurews , briefly discusses the difference between templates and generics and them moves full steam into generics. To of the last chapters discuss J# and C++ in particular, as opposed more specific generics topics but they are definitely appropriate and don't come at the expense of anything else.

The main thing that this book does is explain why you want to use generics and shows how to use them. The author knows the subject matter well and does a very good job of explaining each objective. by the time you move into the middle of the book, you'll thoroughly understand how to create and manage generic types and you'll learn quite a bit about the performance implications and benefits. Chapters 4-8 walk you through just about every aspect of using generics (as opposed to the previous 1.x way of doing things).

Chapter 8 moves onto the BCL implementations and ties together everything before it. By the time you complete chapter 8, you'll be comfortable in your ability to handle just about anything you'd ever want to accomplish with generics.

Chapter 9 discusses Serialization, Reflection and Remoting. This chapter was ostensibly my favorite but is also the one I have the biggest complaint with. Don't get me wrong, it's excellent. However I really wish the discussion on remoting was a little longer. NOt because it's not in depth enough, nothing after all was left out or short changed. However the Remoting section has a really cool example and explanation, but it's so cool that I could have read 5 more chapters on generics and remoting without getting bored. I'm not really criticizing it though, my only point is that I liked it so much I wish there was more of it because I couldn't get enough.

After chapter 9, Generics guidelines are covered and then generics "under the hood" are discussed. The things that make chatper 11 really good are quite technical in nature and I couldn't possibly go into it in a book review but suffice to say that it's very well done.

C++ and J# are discussed next which are well done but nothing to get excited about compared to the rest of the material. Then th ebook wraps up with "Power collections" which is a perfect finally.

I've never read anything from Mr Golding before but I got his other 2.0 Framework book today too and I really look forward to reading it. Generics are an important subject and definitely warrant having an entire book dedicated to them, and Mr Golding does a great job expalining the ins and outs of them.

Concise and easy to understand, I totally understand why the book has the ratings it does - it's definitely a 5 star book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent coverage of an important new feature in 2.0 Dec 1 2005
By Sredni Vashtar - Published on
Format: Paperback
Generics are one of the biggest advances introduced in .NET 2.0, and this book provides excellent coverage of the topic. As a diehard fan of C++ templates, I especially appreciated the careful discussion of the differences between templates and generics. There is plenty of introductory material here to help the reader unfamiliar with the basic concepts; but more advanced readers can also dig in to the chapters on the "inner workings" of generics, and on how C++ templates can interact with them. The book also provides a concise reference on the template classes supplied with the framework. Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The BIG Addition in .NET 2.0 Nov. 14 2005
By John Matlock - Published on
Format: Paperback
The most important changes in the new .NET 2.0 is the inclusion of Generics. Note the word 'Professional' in the title. This book is for Professional VB.NET and C# programmers and architects who may be new to generics but have strong Microsoft coding skills.

The book begins on page 1 with a section labeled 'Why Generics.' After three introductory paragraphs he starts off with a couple of sample programs. The two programs do the same thing, but one is written in VB and the other in C#. After a few pages he modifies these two programs to show the benefit to the coding that using Generics provides. As I said earlier, this is by no means a beginners book, it's one professional programmer writing for another.

I don't knwo for sure, but his book probably has more space showing programs than text. This doesn't make for the easiest book to read, but when you get through it, you see exactly what Generics provide. You see the strengths, you see the limitations. You see exactly how to use them in your code.

Finally in the last chapter, which is 77 pages long, deals with the Power Collections generic libraries and how to use them. One thing he does not give is a web address for the collections. Here are some that may be of help:

Power Collections -- [...]

C5 -- [...]

NCollection --

NGenLib --
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
finally available in .NET Nov. 14 2005
By W Boudville - Published on
Format: Paperback
Generics is [sic] one of the most compelling ideas in any object oriented language. The puzzle is that it was not present in the first versions of .NET and Java. It is only now (2004-5) that both languages comes with this. A little strange, considering that C++ has had templates for several years, and these are roughly equivalent to the implementations of Generics in .NET and Java.

Anyhow, Golding focuses on explaining the use of Generics within .NET. The latter encompasses several Microsoft languages that now have this facility - VB, C# and J#. The book makes a practice of giving code examples in pairs; written in VB and C#. To broaden its appeal to practitioners in both.

He shows how Generics can be succinctly thought of as parametric polymorphism. It takes the elementary idea of polymorphism that every object oriented language has, and extends it to parameterising the input types to a class's methods or constructors.

The book gives a pretty thorough rundown on Generics. Including explaining the differences with C++ templates. The biggest being crucially that .NET Generics are instantiated at runtime, while the latter are at compile time. [Golding devotes an entire chapter to the consequences of this.]

You can get an appreciation for the extra type safety and generalisations possible in your code.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Compelling information about a compelling new feature in .Net Nov. 20 2005
By Michael Cohn - Published on
Format: Paperback
Until reading this book, I had been nervous about the introduction of generics into .Net. First, I wasn't sure how well they would be implemented equivalently across multiple languages. Second, I had been an early C++ programmer and lived through how complicated the introduction of templates made that language. This book has convinced me that generics will work equally well in C++, C#, and even Visual Basic.

As a long-time C++ programmer, my favorite chapter was Chapter 3, which presented very cogent arguments as to why generics are not the same as templates. Another favorite is Chapter 10, which presents 23 very specific guidelines for all generics programmers to be mindful of. The book benefits greatly from always showing each example in both VB and then in C#.

I'm sure you could pick up a more general "Programming in .Net" book and read its one chapter on generics. However, since generics are probably the most significant addition to .Net, you will miss out on learning many of the powerful new ways to take advantage of generics that Golding presents in this book.