Visual Basic 2005: A Developer's Notebook


When Microsoft introduced the Visual Basic .NET programming language, as part of its move to the .NET Framework two years ago, many developers willingly made the switch. Millions of others, however, continued to stick with Visual Basic 6. They weren't ready for such a radical change, which included an object-oriented environment similar to Java. They liked the old Visual Basic just fine.

In an effort to win over those diehard VB6 developers, the company has included a new ...

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Visual Basic 2005: A Developer's Notebook: A Developer's Notebook

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When Microsoft introduced the Visual Basic .NET programming language, as part of its move to the .NET Framework two years ago, many developers willingly made the switch. Millions of others, however, continued to stick with Visual Basic 6. They weren't ready for such a radical change, which included an object-oriented environment similar to Java. They liked the old Visual Basic just fine.

In an effort to win over those diehard VB6 developers, the company has included a new version of VB.NET in its upcoming next generation release of the Visual Studio .NET development platform. Visual Basic 2005 comes with innovative language constructs, new compiler features, dramatically enhanced productivity and an improved debugging experience. The language's new version is now available in beta release, and Microsoft is encouraging developers to give it a test drive.

Visual Basic 2005: A Developer's Notebook provides the ideal test track. With nearly 50 hands-on projects, this practical introduction to VB 2005 will bring you up to speed on all the new features of this language by allowing you to work with them directly. The book summarizes the changes that VB 2005 brings, and tells you how to acquire, install and configure the beta version of VB 2005 SDK. Each project or experiment explores a different feature, with emphasis on changes that can increase productivity, simplify programming tasks, and help you add new functionality to your applications.

This one-of-a-kind book also offers suggestions for further experimentation, links to on-line documentation and other sources of information, and practical notes and warnings from the author.

The new Developer's Notebooks series from O'Reilly offers an in-depth first look at important new tools for software developers. Emphasizing example over explanation and practice over theory, they focus on learning by doing you'll get the goods straight from the masters, in an informal and code-intensive style. For those who want to get up speed with VB 2005 right away, this is the perfect all lab, no lecture guide.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Inquiring developers want to know: “What can I do with VB 2005 that I couldn’t do with VB.NET before?” Visual Basic 2005: A Developer's Notebook answers that question in a hurry, with bushels of sample code. As the authors say, it’s “all lab, no lecture.”

You’ll be thrilled to hear that the old VB6 “edit-and-continue” debugging engine is back: By page 5, you’ll be using it to fix live applications. You’ll walk through core language improvements, from operator overloading to generics. You’ll build software that correctly handles Windows XP themes and gain greater control over your window layouts. You’ll discover ASP.NET enhancements that dramatically reduce the amount of code you’ll have to write, as well as important improvements in file access and XML support. And you’ll do it all in just 240 extremely readable pages. Bill Camarda, from the July 2005 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596007263
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/15/2005
  • Series: Developer's Notebook Series
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew MacDonald is a developer, author, and educator in all things Visual Basic and .NET. He's worked with Visual Basic and ASP since their initial versions, and written over a dozen books on the subject, including The Book of VB .NET (No Starch Press) and Visual Basic 2005: A Developer's Notebook (O'Reilly). He has also written Excel 2007:The Missing Manual, Excel 2007 for Starters: The Missing Manual, Access 2007:The Missing Manual, and Access 2007 for Starters: The Missing Manual, all from O'Reilly. His web site is

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Table of Contents

The Developer's Notebook Series;
Notebooks Are...;
Notebooks Aren't...;
Who This Book Is For;
What You Need to Use This Book;
About This Book;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Using Code Examples;
Safari® Enabled;
How to Contact Us;
Chapter 1: Visual Studio;
1.1 How do I do that?;
1.2 Code, Debug, and Continue Without Restarting Your Application;
1.3 Look Inside an Object While Debugging;
1.4 Diagnose and Correct Errorson the Fly;
1.5 Rename All Instances of Any Program Element;
1.6 Use IntelliSense Filteringand AutoCorrect;
1.7 Edit Control Properties in Place;
1.8 Call Methods at Design Time;
1.9 Insert Boilerplate CodeUsing Snippets;
1.10 Create XML Documentation for Your Code;
Chapter 2: The Visual Basic Language;
2.1 Use the My Objects to Program Common Tasks;
2.2 Get Application Information;
2.3 Use Strongly Typed Resources;
2.4 Use Strongly Typed Configuration Settings;
2.5 Build Typesafe Generic Classes;
2.6 Make Simple Data Types Nullable;
2.7 Use Operators with Custom Objects;
2.8 Split a Class into Multiple Files;
2.9 Extend the My Namespace;
2.10 Skip to the Next Iteration of a Loop;
2.11 Dispose of Objects Automatically;
2.12 Safeguard Properties with Split Accessibility;
2.13 Evaluate Conditions Separately with Short-Circuit Logic;
Chapter 3: Windows Applications;
3.1 Use Office-Style Toolbars;
3.2 Add Any Control to a ToolStrip;
3.3 Add Icons to Your Menu;
3.4 Put the Web in a Window;
3.5 Validate Input While the User Types;
3.6 Create Text Boxes thatAuto-Complete;
3.7 Play a Windows System Sound;
3.8 Play Simple WAV Audio;
3.9 Create a Windows Explorer-like Split Window;
3.10 Take Control of Window Layout;
3.11 Control When Your Application Shuts Down;
3.12 Prevent Your Application from Starting Twice;
3.13 Communicate Between Forms;
3.14 Improve Redraw Speeds for GDI+;
3.15 Handle Asynchronous Tasks Safely;
3.16 Use a Better Data-Bound Grid;
3.17 Format the DataGridView;
3.18 Add Images and Controls to the DataGridView;
Chapter 4: Web Applications;
4.1 Create a Web Application in Visual Studio 2005;
4.2 Administer a Web Application;
4.3 Bind to Data Without Writing Code;
4.4 Bind Web Controls to a Custom Class;
4.5 Display Interactive Tables Without Writing Code;
4.6 Display Records One at a Time;
4.7 Achieve a Consistent Look and Feel with Master Pages;
4.8 Add Navigation to Your Site;
4.9 Easily Authenticate Users;
4.10 Determine How Many People Are Currently Using Your Web Site;
4.11 Use Role-Based Authorization;
4.12 Store Personalized Information;
Chapter 5: Files, Databases, and XML;
5.1 Get Drive Information;
5.2 Get File and Directory Information;
5.3 Copy, Move, and Delete Files;
5.4 Read and Write Files;
5.5 Compress and Decompress Data;
5.6 Collect Statistics on Your Data Connections;
5.7 Batch DataAdapter Commands for Better Performance;
5.8 Bulk-Copy Rows from One Table to Another;
5.9 Write Database-Agnostic Code;
5.10 Use the New XPathDocument and XPathNavigator;
5.11 Edit an XML Document with XPathNavigator;
Chapter 6: .NET 2.0 Platform Services;
6.1 Easily Log Events;
6.2 Ping Another Computer;
6.3 Get Information About a Network Connection;
6.4 Upload and Download Files with FTP;
6.5 Test Group Membership of the Current User;
6.6 Encrypt Secrets for the Current User;
6.7 Unleash the Console;
6.8 Time Your Code;
6.9 Deploy Your Application with ClickOnce;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2005

    numerous improvements

    MacDonald describes what amounts to an apologia from Microsoft for VB2005. Though he does not couch it in those terms, and Microsoft would certainly not put it that way, that is how it could be regarded by a frustrated Visual Basic 6 programmer. When VB.NET was released, the attraction to programmers was the access it gave to the entire .NET platform. But many VB6 programmers found that a massive incompatibility emerged. Plus, VB6 was a very mature product, with many optimised features that were lacking in the migration. The good news in the book is how Microsoft has striven to answer many of these issues. More generally, the book describes refinements that should make your life easier. Not just in VB. A lot of the text delves into ASP.NET. Which is a corollary expertise you should cultivate. I think the title should make some reference to ASP.NET, so extensive is its discussion. Purely as one improvement, there is now a Web Site Administration Tool that lets you configure your ASP.NET web parameters. In the past, you had to hand edit the XML file. Very error prone. Overall, the book is like this. Talks about numerous improvements.

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