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Book Reviews

Pro .NET 1.1 Remoting, Reflection, and Threading

David Curran, Fabio Ferracchiati, Syed Gilani, Mike Gillespie, Sandra Gopikrishna, James Hart, Benny Mathew, Andy Olsen, Jon Pinnock, Tobin Titus, and Srinivasa Sivakumar, Apress, 2005, $59.99, ISBN: 1590594525

The goal of this book is to help VB (Visual Basic) developers understand the powerful tools for remoting, reflection, and threading available within the .NET version of VB. These tools can help VB developers involved in rapid application development compete with other language developers and create outstanding professional applications.

Microsoft defines remoting as a way to "provide a rich and extensible framework for objects living in different AppDomains." Basically, remoting allows applications to work across application domains and to take full advantage of remote resources in networked environments. Reflection is the tool that provides object manipulation at runtime and determines how many constructors a type has and what the parameters are. It also lets a developer dynamically create and invoke types. Threading is the ability of an application to process more than one instruction at a given time. The authors explaion why they feel that these three topics belong in the same book, and they stress the importance of learning, understanding, and using the topics responsibly within applications.

The authors point out that VB was not originally intended to solve the complex problems of today. With the release of a .NET version, however, developers had to learn not only the object-oriented paradigm, but also the .NET libraries, CLR (common language runtime), and other language changes.

The book consists of 19 chapters, clearly divided among the three topics. Most chapters contain definitions, introductions, easy-to-understand real-life examples, and source code snippets. The authors include notes about when language error messages will be returned. If the message is incorrect, they explain what the message should have stated. To help readers better understand the advantages and limitations of the topics presented, the authors include summaries and example comparisons with other programming languages.

The book is intended for practicing VB .NET developers, but, with its clearly written and easy-to-understand chapters, it is also suitable for advanced programming students or readers with a basic knowledge of VB .NET.

The book is also suitable for self-instruction, providing a good overview and a starting point for developers wanting to add remoting, reflection, and threading to their applications. —Melissa C. Stange

Reprinted from Computing Reviews, © 2006 ACM,


Originally published in Queue vol. 4, no. 6
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