The first thought that came to my mind when I got the book "Practical .Net2 and C#2: Harness the Platform, the Language, the Framework by Patrick Smacchia (MVP, author of NDepend)" was: "This one is huge". And it really is a huge book having nearly 900 pages. And this is both good and bad. The good side is that all of the pages are really useful and the bad one that it probably won't fit into your mailbox.
The book is divided into three parts:
- The .NET2 Platform
- C#2 Language
- The .NET2 Framework
The three parts cover what every C# developer should know (or any .NET developer if you neglect the second part and taking into consideration that the languge used is C#) before doing any coding. Especially the first part is of common interests to all .NET developers – it gives you the essential knowledge on how .NET works and what is going on behind the curtains. The second part deals with C# 2 language, and the third one describes the most common functionalities and uses of the framework.
It is not a book about boring syntax details. It is obvious that it was written by a programmer with the know-how and many years of experience – the word ‘practical’ in the title fits perfectly. I also liked the fact the Patrick mentions several (free) tools (i.e. Reflector) that are simply a must have.
I would say that this book is essential for beginners and a good read for skilled developers providing such a wide range of valuable information at hand in one place. Some chapters are really explained in details while others thoroughly cover the basics, leaving you with a good starting point.
All in all, I would say that this is a Swiss army knife kind of book and I warmly recommend it for anybody in .net (2) development.