Friday, April 27, 2007

Book Review: Windows Forms 2.0 Programming

Windows Forms 2.0 Programming, by Chrfis Sells and Michael Weinhardt.  Addison Wesley.  ISBN 0-321-26796-6

Windows Presentation Foundation has been released and we will all immediately stop doing WinForms development and move to the latest and greatest technology.  Right.  WPF may take over the world — but not right now.  Plenty of folks will still be doing Windows Forms development for some time.  Ergo, this book is a great resource to have on the shelf.

The writing style’s clean, clear, and concise, and the examples all show the right level of detail.  Graphics throughout the book are good, and there’s even a full-color section in the middle of the book to show off how nice various WinForms displays can look.  (Although I should note some of the figures there aren’t particularly interesting.)  A very handy “New” marker in the margins highlights features and functionality new to the .NET 2.0 framework — a great benefit for folks experienced in 1.1 development who are looking for quick exposure to what’s new in 2.0.

The book’s content is terrific and extremely useful.  There’s a solid introduction which hits all the important fundamentals of WinForms development and also hits the right features you’ll need in Visual Studio.  There’s awfully good coverage on basics such as form lifecycle, MDI basics, data validation, and why/how properties are important in WinForms development.

The authors do a very solid job laying out other important concepts like data binding and validation.  There’s also a great amount of background on localization through the entire book, and I found the chapter on resources particularly informative.  The bits on components and custom controls were also a very good read.

Overall it’s a solid book and very useful for folks still working in WinForms development.  (That would include me…)

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