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CLR via C#, Third Edition
Author(s): Jeffrey Richter (Wintellect)
Published: 2010, ISBN: 978-0-7356-2704-8, pages: 896
Publisher (more . . .) Microsoft Press, available at O'Reilly)
 

 

   
 
 Review
 

 

 Five out of Five Stars
  Reviewed: June, 2010
  Reviewer: Chris Rinow
 
       Quite simply, a fascinating read…

     …for a book about a complicated topic without any drama. There are no heroes chasing down villains for some undisclosed reason on an open highway during rush hour. There are no romantic couples falling unconditionally in love along the suspiciously mosquito absent Amazon river. There are no clumsy characters tripping over misplaced hedge clippers. Instead, CLR via C# is just all about the details in programming. Jeffrey Richter offers a very needed look at the behind the scene operations of what happens with code, where code is processed, and how the computer interprets said code. This careful explanation helps readers in this profession visualize the necessary path to writing efficient and high performance applications.

     The Common Language Runtime is a complicated mechanism. With this proclamation, this book breaks down the components and available tools. Most programming reference books demonstrate only the basic concepts about particular semantics with usually the same quick fanfare example. Not so in this case, this book goes through the same semantics with generics, interfaces, properties, serialization, and the whole gamut, but, unlike a reference book, the reader is taken on a journey through the CLR interpretation and process of these objects. One chapter in particular goes into great depth in which a sample method along with its parts weaves its way along the thread stack and heap. Interspersed throughout the discussions are brain teasers posed to readers to stop and think about the explanations. This technique helps aid readers grasp concepts faster.

     Just the first two chapters, alone, clearly define the whole purpose of CLR which this reviewer thought was the highlight and strength of this book overall. Many new discoveries are found. As previously mentioned, the Visual Studio SDK has a variety of tools which are explored such as the Ildasm executable. This tool loads an application's Program.exe assembly which enables developers to view metadata and statistics about an application. Another personal point of interest is the purpose for the abstract, virtual, override, sealed, and new keywords is to maintain versioning for the growth of an application. This perspective was never considered and clarified Microsoft's objective for the utilization of improving component sharing without complication. This read definitely is a treat to learn about the tricks and tips to improve one's skill in this trade.

     Clearly, this book is recommended to the intermediate and expert developer. Because the material is highly technical, the author does his best to transfer the CLR intricacies to the printed page and accomplishes this task successfully without a classroom and lecture setting. He admittedly reveals that the complexity is important for developers to fully understand. Plan on reading a second time to absorb the finer details and gotchas not normally revealed in Microsoft's processes. This book is worth another viewing and probably more valuable than any other computer book on the market about the .NET Framework.
   
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