September 14, 2001

O'Reilly releases VB.NET Language in a Nutshell

Author: JT Smith

Sebastopol, CA--If all goes as Microsoft has planned, sometime in the
next year or so more than five million (and up to eight million) Visual
Basic developers will make the move to VB .NET. Visual Basic is
currently the most widely used programming language around, its success
owing to its simplicity and ease of use. The new VB, that is, Visual
Basic .NET, is a from-the-ground-up rewrite of the language that not
only adds a number of new features, but also differs dramatically from
previous versions of Visual Basic. According to Steven Roman, coauthor
of "VB .NET Language in a Nutshell" (Roman, Petrusha & Lomax, O'Reilly,
US $34.95), sooner or later all Visual Basic programmers are going to
have to wrestle with the decision to upgrade to VB .NET.

"I say sooner or later," Roman explains, "because you may be able to
postpone the decision for some time, perhaps even a year or more. But
the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you will put yourself
in the position of having to upgrade in a hurry." VB programmers,
facing the sharp learning curve associated with migrating to a new
language and programming environment, may have mixed feelings about the
change. Nevertheless, the authors of "VB .NET Language in a Nutshell"
maintain that there are compelling reasons to begin using VB .NET as
soon as possible.

VB .NET appears to offer many changes that VB programmers will welcome.
In addition to being a streamlined and modernized language, VB .NET is
fully object-oriented, with the long sought-after inclusion of class
inheritance and other OOP features. But as Roman, Petrusha an Lomax
explain, "The best news is that at long last Visual Basic is an 'equal
player' in the .NET Framework; Visual Basic programmers have full and
easy access to the features of the .NET platform, just a Visual C++ and
C# programmers do."

To ease the transition to the VB .NET, "VB .NET Language in a Nutshell"
goes beyond the bare details provided in the official documentation to
provide the inside information that programmers will need to solve
programming problems or use particular elements effectively. The book
provides complete documentation for the VB .NET language, including all
of the new language elements. Following a quick introduction, the first
part of the book focuses on the important areas of programming VB .NET,
including variables and data types, an introduction to object oriented
programming, .NET Framework general concepts, the .NET Framework Class
Library, delegates and events, and error handling. The bulk of the book
then consists of an alphabetical reference to the functions,
statements, directives, objects, and object members that make up the VB
.NET language.

Says Roman, "This is a detailed, professional reference to the VB .NET
language--a reference that you can turn to if you want to jog your
memory about a particular language element or a particular parameter.
It's also a reference that you can turn to when you're having
difficulty programming and need to review the rules for using a certain
language element, or when you want to check that there isn't some
'gotcha' you've overlooked that's associated with a particular

"VB .NET Language in a Nutshell" was written to serve as the main
reference for VB 6 programmers who are upgrading to VB. NET.
Considerable space has been devoted to the extensive language
differences between VB6 and VB .NET. The book will also be useful to
developers who are new to Visual Basic, but who have been developing
applications in other programming languages, such as C++, and those who
are learning VB .NET as their first language and would like to have a
definitive reference on their shelf. Regardless of the reason for their
interest in VB .NET, developers will find this to be a book to have
close by, both as a standard reference guide and as a tool for
troubleshooting and identifying programming problems.

An article by coauthor Steven Roman, "To VB .NET or Not to VB .NET" can
be found at:

"Appendix A, What's New and Different in VB .NET," is available free
online at:

For more information about the book, including Table of Contents,
index, author bio, and samples, see:

For a cover graphic in jpeg format, go to: 

VB .NET Language in a Nutshell
By Steven Roman, Ron Petrusha, and Paul Lomax
September, 2001
ISBN 0-596-00092-8, 636 pages, $34.95 (US)

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