VB.Net Language in a Nutshell

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With the release of the Microsoft .NET platform comes a new version of Visual Basic dramatically unlike its predecessors. So extensive are the changes, in fact, that some VB programmers argue that Visual Basic .NET is an entirely new programming language. In the updated second edition of this popular book, you will find complete documentation for the Visual Basic .NET language.

Beginning with a brief overview ...

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With the release of the Microsoft .NET platform comes a new version of Visual Basic dramatically unlike its predecessors. So extensive are the changes, in fact, that some VB programmers argue that Visual Basic .NET is an entirely new programming language. In the updated second edition of this popular book, you will find complete documentation for the Visual Basic .NET language.

Beginning with a brief overview of the language, VB.NET Language in a
covers basic programming concepts, and introduces the .NET Framework
Class Library and programming with attributes. The bulk of the book consists of an alphabetical reference to Visual Basic .NET statements, procedures, functions, and objects. Each entry has a standardized listing containing the following information:

  • Its syntax, using standard coding conventions

  • Differences in the operation of the keyword in Visual Basic .NET
    and in VB 6.0
  • A list of arguments accepted by the function or procedure
  • A description of the data type returned by a function
  • The finer points of a language element?s usage that are often omitted from or blurred over by other sources
  • Tips and warnings that include undocumented behaviors and practical applications for particular language elements
  • An invaluable section for diagnosing or avoiding potential programming problems
  • A cross-reference to related keywords

On the CD-ROM (included with print edition of the book) is a plug-in that adds a copy of the book's language reference to the dynamic help within Visual Studio .NET.
The plug-in requires any edition of Visual Basic .NET or Visual Studio .NET.

No matter how much experience you have programming with VB, you want this book close by, both as a standard reference guide and as a tool for troubleshooting and identifying programming problems.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
An alphabetical reference to Visual Basic .NET statements, procedures, functions, classes, and objects. Written for Visual Basic 6 programmers, each entry describes syntax and rules of usage exercised in the latest version of the language. New to the 2nd edition, the CD-ROM contains an electronic version of the reference that can be plugged into the .NET help system. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596003081
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly) Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 688
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Roman, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of mathematics at the California State University, Fullerton. His previous books with O'Reilly include "Access Database Design and Programming", "Writing Excel Macros with VBA", and "Win32 API Programming with Visual Basic".

Ron Petrusha is an editor for O'Reilly and is the author/coauthor of many books, including VBScript in a Nutshell. Ron has a background in quantitative labor history, specializing in Russian labor history, and holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Columbia University. He began working with computers in the mid 1970s, programming in SPSS (a programmable statistical package) and FORTRAN on the IBM 370 family. Since then, he has been a computer book buyer, an editor of a number of books on Windows and Unix, and a consultant on projects written in dBASE, Clipper, and Visual Basic.

Paul Lomax, author of O'Reilly's VB & VBA in a Nutshell and a coauthor of VBScript in a Nutshell, is an experienced VB programmer with a passion for sharing his knowledge—and his collection of programming tips and techniques gathered from real-world experience.

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Table of Contents


The Basics

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Program Structure

Chapter 3: Variables and Data Types

Chapter 4: Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

Chapter 5: The .NET Framework: General Concepts

Chapter 6: The .NET Framework Class Library

Chapter 7: Delegates and Events

Chapter 8: Attributes

Chapter 9: Error Handling in VB.NET



What’s New and Different in VB.NET

Language Elements by Category


Constants and Enumerations

The VB.NET Command-Line Compiler

VB 6 Language Elements Not Supported by VB.NET


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2002

    VB.Net Language In A Nutshell (2nd Edition)

    My experiences with 'Nutshell' books have been both bad and good. I wasn't sure which I would get with VB.Net Language in a Nutshell. After reviewing this book I am happy to say this is a good one. Not only good, superb. I have used this book about 20 times in the last 2 weeks when I needed to look something up quickly. The funny thing was that the pile of books I usually keep close by on my computer table seemed to diminish the more I used it. I have really only used the VB and VBScript languages (no C or C++, and just a tiny bit of Java), so going with VB.Net was definitely the path of least resistance when starting to work with ASP.Net. This book will be a great asset to someone who wants to stay in the VB world. Through out the book you will find VB.Net / VB 6 differences pointed out. These tips will really help during the transition to VB.Net. Chapter by Chapter Summary: Chapter 1: Introduction This very short chapter gives a little background on VB and VB.Net. It is very brief, and I do not know if it is really needed. Most VB people will know the history of VB, and anyone getting this book will probably have heard all the info on VB.Net that is given. That being said it may just be in for the non-VB people getting the book. Chapter 2: Program Structure This chapter goes in to the details and nuts-n-bolts of what the structure of a VB program is. It also gives quick overviews of functions, sub procedures, property procedures, events, console apps and window forms apps. Chapter 3: Variables and Data Types This is a good chapter. It talks about everything from variable properties and scope to arrays and passing objects. VB data types, binding, and arguments are among the other things covered. All topics have very concise definitions and meaningful examples. No extraneous fluff. Chapter 4: Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming The chapter title pretty well says what this chapter is about. Encapsulation, Inheritance, Interfaces, Polymorphism, etc. are all discussed with a VB.Net twist. In reality this chapter and chapter 1 could have been integrated together, but I won't bust them too bad on this since I really liked their information on Garbage Collection. Chapter 5: The .Net Framework: General Concepts This is a short 6-page chapter on general .Net Framework information. Briefly touches on Namespaces, Assemblies, and the CLR. Chapter 6: The .Net Framework Class Library This is another very brief chapter that highlights just a few of the more than 90 Namespaces in the .Net Framework Class Library. Chapter 7: Delegates and Events This chapter is an 8-page brief on delegates, events, and event binding. Not much more to really say. Chapter 8: Attributes This 10-page chapter goes into Attributes. Their use and syntax, as well as instruction on using custom attributes is covered. Chapter 9: Error Handling in VB.Net This chapter does a great job of explaining Error Handling in VB.Net. The difference between error detection and error handling is defined. Structured (Try, Catch, Finally) and unstructured error handling are discussed. Exception classes, logical errors, and error constants are also briefly talked about. This is a great overview chapter. Chapter 10: The Language Reference This is THE chapter. This almost 450-page chapter alone is worth the $45 price tag. It is a listing of the VB.Net language elements. There are many things I really like about the way that they cover the language elements. Besides return values and descriptions of the elements, they also have included 'Rules at a glance', which quickly informs you of all the important information as to the usage of the element. Another thing I like is the 'Programming tips and gotchas' section that some of the elements have. All are full of useful information that will save you time. The thing I probably like the mos

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