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 »  Home  »  Reviews  »  Book Reviews  »  Book Review: Visual Basic 2005 Programmer’s Reference  »  Summary
Book Review: Visual Basic 2005 Programmer’s Reference
by Ged Mead | Published  03/31/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:
Ged Mead

Ged Mead (XTab) is a Microsoft Visual Basic MVP who has been working on computer software and design for more than 25 years. His journey has taken him through many different facets of IT. These include training as a Systems Analyst, working in a mainframe software development environment, creating financial management systems and a short time spent on military laptop systems in the days when it took two strong men to carry a 'mobile' system.

Based in an idyllic lochside location in the West of Scotland, he is currently involved in an ever-widening range of VB.NET, WPF and Silverlight development projects. Now working in a consultancy environment, his passion however still remains helping students and professional developers to take advantage of the ever increasing range of sophisticated tools available to them.

Ged is a regular contributor to forums on vbCity and authors articles for DevCity. He is a moderator on VBCity and the MSDN Tech Forums and spends a lot of time answering technical questions there and in several other VB forum sites. Senior Editor for DevCity.NET, vbCity Developer Community Leader and Admin, and DevCity.NET Newsletter Editor. He has written and continues to tutor a number of free online courses for VB.NET developers.


View all articles by Ged Mead...

 Audience Level

   This is a “programmer To programmer” level  book and therefore isn’t a book for complete novices.  That being said, the author doesn’t skimp on explanation and  reinforces many key points as part of the narrative.

Pros and Cons

   It is clearly written.   The  Graphics section is extremely good.   In fact it is the best coverage of the topic of Graphics for VB.NET that I have yet seen.

    One thing I really did appreciate about this book was that in many places the author has inserted his own comments and insight into the Purpose or Description cell  in  tables which give details of Classes, techniques, methods, etc.      That is, those tables didn’t only consist of material that was  copy/pasted from the documentation; a criticism I could level at other books.

     I would have liked new features in VB 2005 to have been highlighted as “New in 2005” ;     possibly giving those new features disproportionately additional coverage.    However, VB6 developers upgrading to VB2005 who may be the key target readership of this book, possibly wouldn’t see any extra value from that.

    On occasion I had the feeling that the knowledge level assumed varied from topic to topic, but with the massive depth of subjects in VB.NET nowadays it is virtually impossible to overcome this problem.

    A plus point with this - and other - Wrox books is that you can get help and answers from the Wrox Programmer to Programmer (P2P) Forums.  The specific link for this book is 

    As you will see if you follow that link, the author is more than willing to pitch in and help resolve a follow up question from a reader, even going  to the extent of providing a revised code sample for the particular problem.

In Summary:      

     Even a book of this size (more than 1000  pages)   cannot be all things to all people.    And in fairness it doesn’t pretend to be.  It is – as the title says – a reference book.   Although, to my surprise, I did sit and read it almost from cover to cover, I can see that its real value is as a reference manual that you can dip back into time after time to learn or clarify topics as needed.  

   Overall  this is a good Programmer to Programmer level book which has  plenty of code samples, clear narrative and comprehensive coverage of important topics.    Apart from anything else, personally I think this book is worth the asking price just for the information contained in the Graphics Part alone. 

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