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Windows Forms in Action

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Windows Forms in Action, 9781932394658 (1932394656), Manning Publications, 2006
Using many examples all on a common theme, this second edition of Windows Forms Programming with C# presents Windows application development in a step-by-step, easy to follow format. Written for beginner and intermediate programmers eager to get their hands dirty, the text covers fundamentals like labels, buttons, and tool strips, as well as advanced concepts like owner-drawn lists, custom controls, and two-way data binding.

The book is a tutorial, leading the reader through Windows application development using C# and Visual Studio .NET. It illustrates how the classes in the .NET Framework interact in a fully functional application. Material added for the second edition includes coverage of the .NET 2.0 Framework, extender providers, cryptographic classes, and application deployment.

In my younger days at school and later working with various startup companies, I thought Unix ruled the world and never expected to find myself working with “the dark side” of the computer industry: that is, Microsoft Corporation. So I find it amusing that here I am publishing not a first but a second book in support of Microsoft technologies. I guess you go where the road leads, and my paths have carried me fully into the depths of Windows-based development. Fortunately, I am happy with my conversion, which I suppose is the way of the dark side.

As to this publishing idea, it is a very curious thing. The excitement of writing wears off after a while, and you realize that you not only want to write a book, you want to write a good book. This changes your approach and mentality, in that you put in the extra effort and time to make it “good.” Then one day you have another revelation: you not only want to write a good book, you want to write a book people actually like and are willing to purchase.

Such was my journey for both the first and the second editions of this book. The first edition was reasonably well received, and a second edition for .NET 2.0 seemed apparent. Unfortunately, those clever folks at Microsoft added and changed so much of the Windows Forms namespace that I found myself rewriting pretty much the entire book.

While the book is not specifically about C# and Visual Studio, the text does attempt to introduce and explain the syntax and usage of C# as well as the features and functionality of Visual Studio. These topics are presented “along-the-way” by introducing relevant concepts and features as they are used in the examples. An overview of C# is also provided in appendix A at the back of the book.

The .NET Framework is composed of such a large range of topics that it is impossible to cover all of them in a single book of any depth. This section introduces the focus of this book, and provides an overview of the contents and conventions used in the text. The end of this section describes the online forum available for any questions or comments on the book, and explains how the source code used in the book can be downloaded from the Internet.

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