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"75 ways to improve Your C# and VB.NET Programs", that's what is written on the top of the cover of the book .NET Gotchas by Venkat Subramaniam. This book was first published in May 2005 by O'Reilly Media. ISBN 0-596-00909-7. Click here for the Table of Contents.

The author has taken 75 gotchas and documented them with code samples, explanation and if relevant work-arounds. What is a gotcha? According to the definition in Wikipedia a gotcha is a feature of a system, a program or a programming language that works in the way it is documented but is counter-intuitive and almost invites mistakes because it is both enticingly easy to invoke and completely unexpected and/or unreasonable in its outcome. So basically a gotcha is a pitfall. To give you an example did you know that if you divide a double value type by 0 that the exception DivideByZeroException will not be thrown, as a matter of fact no exception will be thrown at all. There are a lot of things about VB.NET that I didn't know although I must admit that I never had the "pleasure" to program in VB.NET.

This book has been written during the beta period of .NET Framework 2.0 so some gotchas are no longer relevant but most gotchas are directly related to the semantical behaviour of the .NET Framework and who might seem strange at first glance for developers coming from other environments.

The only disturbance with this book is that there is a lot of code in C# and VB.NET and for a lot of gotchas it would be sufficient to either show an example in C# or VB.NET. Also the author sometimes talks about a gotcha and then shows that gotcha code marked with an x, but then he shows a possible solution which is again a gotcha and finally he shows the correct solution. So now you have 3 solutions and each solution is in C# and VB.NET. If the author would instead directly show the correct solution and work where possible with either C# or VB.NET this book would have been an excellent pocket book.

It is a shame that I didn't hear about this book more than a year ago, nevertheless I still recommend this book to every .NET developer. I am looking forward for the 2nd edition.

Cross-posted from The .NET Aficionado Posted on Sunday, October 29, 2006 1:07 PM Books | Back to top

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