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Head First C# 243

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Michael J. Ross writes "For computer programmers who do not have a solid understanding of object-oriented programming (OOP), learning the C# programming language can be rather challenging, even if they have experience with C or C++, which at least would give them a head start over non-C programmers. Any developer in this situation may well want to begin the learning process with a book that aims to teach both OOP and C# in as gentle a manner as possible, with plenty of patient explanations and illustrative diagrams — such as those found in the book Head First C# by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene." Read below for the rest of Michael's review.
Head First C#
author Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene
pages 778
publisher O'Reilly Media
rating 7/10
reviewer Michael J. Ross with Greg Hanson
ISBN 0596514824
summary A heavily illustrated intro to object-oriented programming and C#
Published by O'Reilly Media on 26 November 2007, under the ISBNs 0596514824 and 978-0596514822, Head First C# is one in a series of "Brain-Friendly Guides." The introduction to this particular book discusses how the series attempts to present the concepts and technical material in a way that is far more intellectually compelling and memorable than the approach currently taken by most books. Some of their guiding principles include: making things visual, oftentimes using novel and even outlandish diagrams; using a casual and conversational style; engaging the reader through exercises and questions; and spicing up the discussions with humor.

On the book's Web page, readers will find links to download the book's sample code, participate in a forum dedicated to the book, register their copy of the book, read and submit any errata (of which there are many), and submit a reader review and read those of other readers.

The book's material is organized into 15 chapters, covering the topics in a progressive order that would probably be most helpful for the inexperienced developer: the advantages to programming visual applications in C# and the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE); building a simple application to get started; the C# code produced by Visual Studio; basic C# language constructs; an introduction to objects and their components; data types, including arrays and references, and how C# allows you to work with them; protecting an object's data from unintended access, through encapsulation; extending classes through inheritance and subclasses; finding and using class interfaces, and the advantages of doing so; storing data in arrays, lists, and dictionaries; saving data in files and directories, as well as working with file streams and serialization; exceptions and debugging techniques; event handling; how to build complex applications; creating user interfaces with controls and graphics; object destruction and garbage collection; and connecting your C# programs to databases using LINQ. Interspersed throughout the book are three C# labs, which encourage the reader to put into practice their new programming skills, and thus better internalize the ideas of OOP and C# covered in the chapters preceding each lab. The lab applications comprise a racetrack simulator, a simple adventure game, and a re-creation of Space Invaders.

When they see this book for the first time, some prospective readers may be overwhelmed by its size, clocking in at 778 pages. Yet a sizable portion of those pages will read faster than those of the typical programming book, largely due to all of the diagrams and whitespace, which really help to break up the material and make it more digestible. However, what many might perceive to be a strength of the book, could be seen as a weakness by others. In fact, if the unnecessary diagrams and redundant material were to be removed from the book, it might end up only half its current size. But this may only be a deterrent for people who are carrying this book around, or who tend to be impatient and wish to get right to the point of any book they are reading, or who may be upset by the extra trees chopped down to double the number of pages (the book does not appear to have been printed on recycled paper).

Despite Head First C# being clearly intended as an introductory book to object-oriented programming in general, and C# in particular, the target audience especially may be frustrated by all of the errata and other sources of confusion that they will encounter. This is especially true when readers are doing their best to implement all of the sample applications, and struggling when, for instance, the code does not match the figure provided, or even the code on another page. For example, on page 50, the authors instruct the reader to drag a new PictureBox onto a new form, but readers will probably struggle to figure out where to drag it from. On page 105, the authors instruct the reader to flip back and look through the code, to fill in some class diagrams, but they don't clarify what code should be considered. Readers' comments on the online bookseller sites, list far more similar problems. In fact, that there are so many technical errors in this book is quite remarkable given that the technical review team comprised no fewer than 14 individuals! How could so many eyeballs miss so much?

The authors make a real point of reviewing material explained earlier, which generally is an effective approach for this type of book. But the repetition sometimes becomes excessive — enough to annoy even the greenest novice. For example, on page 445, we find the question: "Okay, I still don't get it. Sorry. Why are there so many different kinds of exceptions, again?"

On the other hand, the book has some real strengths, including those mentioned above for making the material more approachable. In particular, when the reader becomes accustomed to the visual style of presenting concepts, he or she will probably find it a faster approach to learning the ideas. Admittedly, veteran developers may still prefer the more narrative style of conventional programming books — especially when they encounter rather convoluted diagrams, such as that on page 292. Yet the illustrations are particularly potent for explaining interfaces, as done in Chapter 7.

Although the book will be of most value to newer programmers, experienced C# programmers will find topics of interest and perhaps even some language details and analysis that they have never previously encountered. For instance, some of the questions posed in the sections titled "there are no Dumb Questions," could be valuable — such as the comparison of File versus FileInfo, and when to use one over the other. Also, some of the utilities could help the reader for future development, such as the hex dumper program on page 432.

Sadly, Head First C# is weighed down by excessive redundancy and an errata-to-number-of-technical-reviewers ratio possibly unequaled by any other programming book. Yet, for any programmer new to object orientation and C#, this introductory book should prove an extremely comprehensible and reader-friendly resource.

Michael J. Ross is a Web developer, writer, and freelance editor. Contributor Greg Hanson is a C# programmer in Fort Collins, Colorado.

You can purchase Head First C# from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.
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Head First C#

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:28PM (#24087009)
    Ouch, my eyeball!
  • C# is fine, (Score:5, Funny)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:29PM (#24087013)
    and C and C++ are all good languages, but I like C@!&$. It's the $h!7.
  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:30PM (#24087023) Homepage
    Granted, in this case I don't know the language C#, but in general I never really understood the Head First series, unless you really like printed introductions to languages. It would just make more sense to use free Internet resources to take your first steps in C#, and then get O'Reilly's e.g. C# 3.0 in a Nutshell [amazon.com] as a good desk reference. Tech books are expensive, so it just doesn't make sense to invest in a primer that, after you finish with it, is a paperweight.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by azadder (1118711)

      I never really understood the Head First series

      I definitely agree. My first encounter with this series was while looking for a nice C# primer at a local B&N's. I browsed through some of the Head First series and found it difficult to read/follow. I am sure these types of books are for someone, but they definitely did not give me as straightforward approach as I would have wanted.

    • by kestasjk (933987)
      If you don't know C# you might not know that C# in a nutshell is also rather limiting. on C# is much more .NET oriented, and much longer and more thorough for only slightly more money. [amazon.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kestasjk (933987)
        Apress' take on C# is much more .NET oriented, and much longer and more thorough for only slightly more money..

        How did I not notice that?
    • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker&gnu,org> on Monday July 07, 2008 @02:10PM (#24087571) Homepage

      it just doesn't make sense to invest in a primer that, after you finish with it, is a paperweight.

      Except for K&RC2, which you can read for pure entertainment :)

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      It would just make more sense to use free Internet resources to take your first steps in C#, and then get O'Reilly's e.g. C# 3.0 in a Nutshell as a good desk reference. Tech books are expensive, so it just doesn't make sense to invest in a primer that, after you finish with it, is a paperweight.

      For raw learning, I still find paper easier on the eyes. Plus, its easier to put notes in the margins and read it while waiting for a doctor appt. or the like. E-books and web-pages are better for references, thou

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Because the head first books ease you into the language and are literally for beginners. Imo, there is a difference between learning OO programming with no experience and moving from from OO language to another and people with no experience need more hand holding usually.

      One argument people have against the Head first series is how many pictures and other supposedly pointless material is in the books but it's all about repetition and makes it a bit more fun to read which is what most newbies will want ra
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dmiller1984 (705720)

      Granted, in this case I don't know the language C#, but in general I never really understood the Head First series, unless you really like printed introductions to languages. It would just make more sense to use free Internet resources to take your first steps in C#, and then get O'Reilly's e.g. C# 3.0 in a Nutshell [amazon.com] as a good desk reference. Tech books are expensive, so it just doesn't make sense to invest in a primer that, after you finish with it, is a paperweight.

      You're reading it from the perspective of someone who already has a good knowledge of programming in general, though. While I haven't read the Head First C# book I do have their Ajax book, and while I do not find it to be a good general reference it is great for my high school students to read. They have far less experience programming than I do and they pick up on these easier from the Head First book than they do from most.

  • by nathan.fulton (1160807) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:32PM (#24087063) Journal
    This book happens to be in our club's collection. Someone gave it to us, I think I found it redundant, and times. but then, most language-centered programming books are, to a certain extent. The first person in our group who read it went through and hi-lighted the page numbers with redundant material on them in blue, and hi-lighted the important pages in yellow. We were able to learn the language's syntax and nuances without reading through long-winded explanations about core concepts in OO or reviews of concepts just covered that way. Generally, I've always found the "language bible" books more helpful than these types of books. Does anyone share my sentiment?
    • by kalirion (728907) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:37PM (#24087119)

      Did you read the intro? I have a couple Head First books (preps for Sun's EJB and Servlet exams) and I believe in the intro it states that the book uses repetition of important concepts to make them "sink in".

    • by Shados (741919) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:38PM (#24087135)

      I agree, but at the same time, you have to be careful. Different languages have different takes at things someone may think as "obvious". A while ago I went to an interview for a .NET dev job, and the people interviewing me were very obviously all former C++ programmers recycled in C#. One of the questions they asked me was: "How do you do multiple inheritance in C#".

      My answer was the obvious: "There isn't any, you can only inherit from one class". They started arguing with me about how it WAS possible, and actually common, to do multiple inheritance in C#. After a bit of discussion, I realised that they were still thinking in C++ term, where an interface is nothing more than a fully abstract class, so even if you only use "interfaces", you ARE doing multiple inheritance (while in C#, there are -core- differences between a fully abstract class and an interface). They had skipped that part of the book thinking they didn't need it :)

      • by hitmark (640295)

        stuff like this is whats keeping me for fully wrapping my head around programming...

      • by top_down (137496)

        I'm not sure what you think they are missing. Seems to me they just have another definition of inheritance then you do.

        In C++ they were using (mostly) abstract classes to do interface inheritance. In C# they are using, depending on the situation, either abstract classes or interfaces to do interface inheritance en when they next programming language du jour comes along they'll no doubt adapt again.

        The fact that there are core differences between classes and interfaces in C# doesn't mean they can't be used t

        • by Shados (741919)

          The problem was in the context. If they're asking if there is multiple inheritance in C#, it is because they understand that it is an area where there can be confusion in the concepts of the language. Basically, it is a semantic question. And semantically, while a class, in the OOP and/or UML models, can be both "inherited" and "realized", an interface can only ever be "realized", and cannot be "inherited". Thus, saying that you can have multiple inheritance in C# is wrong.

          Of course, in practice, as you did

          • by top_down (137496)

            Interesting, these two lingo's. I have to say I prefer the C++ way since the difference between a realized interface and an inherited class can be purely cosmetic. The tools seem to have taken over the concepts here.

  • Great Series (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Flyin Fungi (888671) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:33PM (#24087073)
    I always loved this series of books. My professor recommended this book to me and it has helped me understand the language much better then any other book. It's interesting, funny, and insightful! A very different take on presenting material then other programing books. As a college student I have a hard time reading through dull school text books. Sometimes I don't even have to open or own a text book in order to get through the class. Although you don't need to buy a book anymore to learn a language with the huge resources the internet has to offer.
  • by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:38PM (#24087127) Journal

    Yet, for any programmer new to object orientation...

    How many can there be left these days?!? It's too easy to accumulate enough material for a good-sized book by starting from scratch and assuming the reader only knows how to read. Anyone could write a beginner's book on a computer language, without knowing the language too in depth, by just padding it with lots of remedial review material, that 99% of the readers don't need and don't want (to wade thru or pay for).

    • by east coast (590680) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:58PM (#24087419)
      How many can there be left these days?!?

      I'm sure more roll off the old assembly line everyday. Just because you and your peers are seasoned vets...

      Also, this book came out at a real great time. With MS finally opening up to the hobbyist/novice programmer with their Express edition of their tools there is going to be a lot of n00bs out there.

      Sadly, it seems that too many here can't recall when they were still struggling with the concepts of OOP to see that there is a real audience for this level of writing.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Wouldn't the n00bs already be familiar with object oriented techniques since every language they have ever used had OO as a major feature. I would much more expect that seasoned veterans would be more likely to not be familiar with OO concepts, especially if they are experienced in Assembly, C, or PHP (yes I know PHP supports OO, but it's not really necessary to understand). Either way, I would rather have people learn object oriented concepts from a book about OO design, then to learn about it in the con
        • Wouldn't the n00bs already be familiar with object oriented techniques since every language they have ever used had OO as a major feature.

          What do you mean by "every language they have ever used"? These are n00bs. You know, they guys who want to give something beyond VBA in Access a go? I mean real n00bs, not people who started coding in 1993. It's a bit late in the day to automatically put guys who started by learning Java in the n00b category anymore.

          Either way, I would rather have people learn object
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Wouldn't the n00bs already be familiar with object oriented techniques since every language they have ever used had OO as a major feature.

          Well, not necessarily. As a consultant who's done a fair bit of maintenance coding on projects that I didn't do any of the original development or design for, I can tell you that a surprising number of people use a perfectly good object oriented language to write programs that have only one object or method. (Or similarly technically use an OO language to write code tha

    • by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Monday July 07, 2008 @02:02PM (#24087469)

      Yet, for any programmer new to object orientation...

      How many can there be left these days?!? It's too easy to accumulate enough material for a good-sized book by starting from scratch and assuming the reader only knows how to read. Anyone could write a beginner's book on a computer language, without knowing the language too in depth, by just padding it with lots of remedial review material, that 99% of the readers don't need and don't want (to wade thru or pay for).

      From what I have seen, there are many programmers who do not use OO languages. But what is disturbing is the number of programmers who do use OOP to some extent, but don't use it without even understanding its basic concepts.

      Dijkstra used to say that BASIC mutilated programmers' minds. But today, I think that C++ and VB have taken that role.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by east coast (590680)
        Dijkstra used to say that BASIC mutilated programmers' minds. But today, I think that C++ and VB have taken that role.

        I would agree with this but only with a bit of qualification. I think that old BASIC programmers still teaching novice programmers OOPLs have done a great deal of damage by bringing their old design concepts into a very different arena of coding. Once you have more and more of the 20+ year OOP coders out there teaching the masses and give those students time to mature will we know if thin
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I work with people who don't even proceduralize their code. I've got a report with a 500-line SQL statement in it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colin Smith (2679)

      Yet, for any programmer new to object orientation...

      How many can there be left these days?

      Almost all of them...

       

    • Actually, where do you go after reading a beginners book? There seem to be a lot of them out there, and I've just gotten through one on C++, but I can't do much more than write a cli program.
      Does anyone have a good book for learning (windows) gui programming in c++?
      • by bill_kress (99356) on Monday July 07, 2008 @05:23PM (#24090729)

        Please don't start with C++. It is terribly hard to actually get any good understanding of OO concepts in C++. I'd recommend Java, C# if you must.

        I'm not saying to make your career in that language or anything, but to figure out OO--get a language that gets out of your way and lets you see what you are doing. It should have almost no "Syntax" to worry about in itself.

        C++ is the opposite. And I've yet to see actual OO C++ code.

        Also, GUI programming in C++ (even if you ignore OO) is horrific. It's error prone and completely unnecessary. If you are really really stuck on being as close to the Windows GUI as possible, use C#, otherwise maybe Java.

        Sorry, but C++ was the last language created with a legacy where creating the compiler was so hard that you had to adapt the language towards compiler creation/optimization. Many of the features in C++ are simply there so that compilers are easy to write (or are there for legacy to be compatible with compilers made for that reason). A modern compiler/runtime is able to do all the stuff C++ could, and more--and in many cases faster.

        On the other hand, if you really want to understand computers and how a programming language works--if you want at the nuts and bolts--go to C, forgo C++ altogether.

      • For C++ GUI programming you have to learn the libraries that your OS uses. You have essentially two choices: If you want to learn to do "graphics" grab a book on DirectX or OpenGL. If you just want to learn how to stick a basic GUI onto your CLI programs (text boxes, simple 2-d images, etc) get a book on Visual Studios (Win), X-Code (Mac), or one of the Linux IDEs to learn how to use their various interface builders. You can do a surprising amount in what basically works out to a "WYSWYG" interface desig

  • Challenging? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:47PM (#24087245)

    Why must a well designed language be challenging?

    I came at Java with some C plus some experience with a (proprietary) object oriented AI system. Java was trivially easy to pick up.

    • That begs the question. C# isn't really challenging to pick up. It's on par with Java, though since it's inherently a more modern and full featured language (fact, not opinion) it is somewhat more complex to learn. If it takes you a week to pick up Java, it might take you 1.5 weeks to pick up C#. You'll more than make up that week due to the crazy sweet .NET runtime libraries. Not that Java is any slouch, either - I'm constantly surprised how quickly the Java people are able to move the Java environmen
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Westley (99238)

        C# 1 was quite a simple language. C# 2 added significant complexity (and power, don't get me wrong) and C# 3 has done the same again.

        I wouldn't be without the benefits of C# 3, but it does take it away from the "pick it up easily in a week or so" category in my view.

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Why must a well designed language be challenging?

      I don't think it is, I think it's far easier to learn than C++ thanks to all the backwards compatibility cruft being out of the way. I'm not sure that's what the author meant either, but that it can be challenging if you don't understand OOP basics. Like C can be challenging to learn if you don't have a good grasp of function oriented programming.

    • by naoursla (99850)

      C# was trivia to pick up with a C/C++/Java/Lisp background.

  • but this particular book doesn't do anyone any favors unless they are an absolute beginner. I picked it up when I started my current position (.NET shop, lots of C# and *shudder* classic ASP using VBScript) mainly because their books on Design Patterns and Servlets and JSPs were decent. I quickly discovered that if you know just about any other C-style variant that C# is a snap to pick up. This book does a great job of hand-holding and providing lots of examples of classic OO concepts, but I would never

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      This book does a great job of hand-holding and providing lots of examples of classic OO concepts

      At least one of their Head-First books spouts misleading info related to OOP. It is a coffee-shop example and tries to build a hierarchical class tree of the different coffee "types". There are at least 2 problems with this.

      The first is that customers generally prefer a mix-and-match choice rather than be forced to group by hierarchies. Trees are not very flexible in a buffet-like environment or under constant

  • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:55PM (#24087357) Homepage Journal

    Anonymous delegates came out in C# 2.0 (I think), and now we have lambda expressions. Umpteen ways to do delegates, and hardly anybody I know uses them and gets confused as heck when they see code I write that uses them. It's because F10 through the debugger "looks wierd" when you use them and people aren't used to seeing functions inside functions :-)

    There's lots of stuff in C# that people never use.

    • by eddy (18759)
      >people aren't used to seeing functions inside functions :-)

      I guess Pascal is truly dead then.

    • For me, the hardest things about getting used to the anonymous delegates/lamdas was a matter of syntax.. I use anonymous functions in Javascript, and have for years... the C# syntax, especially in the case of lambdas just seemed a bit odd to me.

      I think that what really sells C# is Visual Studio... I mean with each incarnation of .Net and VS, I get spoiled relatively quickly with new functionality. I never did like 2003, and often used batch scripts, and a plain text editor, as ASP.Net websites in VS 200
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 07, 2008 @01:57PM (#24087383)

    Getting head first is the only way I'll program in C#!

  • C++ != OOP???? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "For computer programmers who do not have a solid understanding of object-oriented programming (OOP), learning the C# programming language can be rather challenging, even if they have experience with C or C++..."

    If you are an experienced C++ developer who doesn't know enough about OOP to get by in C#, then I'd say you need more help than any mere book is going to provide.

  • by fph il quozientatore (971015) on Monday July 07, 2008 @02:08PM (#24087527) Homepage

    For computer programmers who do not have a solid understanding of object-oriented programming (OOP), learning the C# programming language can be rather challenging, even if they have experience with C or C++

    Well if you have "experience with C++" but no "solid understanding of OOP", there might already be a problem with your programming skills.

    • by kbielefe (606566)

      I disagree. C++ is perfectly capable of being used in a non-object-oriented manner, as are Java and C#. In fact, many people think they are doing OOP just because they use C++, and many people think a project can't be object-oriented if it is written in C. They are both often wrong.

      I think I may be the only programmer in the world who first learned OOP from the perl camel book. The way Larry Wall explained it just clicked with me in a way nothing else had. He basically said here are all these concepts

  • Another recipe book (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Monday July 07, 2008 @02:12PM (#24087593) Homepage

    These 700+ page books on programming languages have too much bloat. Usually because they're full of recipes, plus a rehash of introductory programming material.

    A really well written 50 page book on C# would be more useful. Especially if it came with a little summary card with the syntax. Code examples should be on an associated web site.

    Of course, it's a Microsoft product, so it has "strategic complexity", not minimalism.

    • by aztektum (170569)

      For clarity, because I was confused after reading your comment: C# is a Microsoft product. This book is buy O'Reilly

    • I find most programming books are simply too abstract when they explain the higher concepts. They talk about how Shape() can be commanded to draw a Circle, Square, or Triangle, but they don't really tell you have you are going to tell Shape() to do that. But, they will drone on and on about how wonderful it is that you can make Shape any of the 3. I would love to see a book just break it down to a practical level, show me what it looks like, tell me what it's called, tell me what to look out for, and poi
  • by Frostalicious (657235) on Monday July 07, 2008 @02:29PM (#24087823) Journal
    Head first was pretty good, but I still prefer my old standby - "Balls Deep Into C#"
  • Last week we had that story about Textbook Torrents. This was one of the ones I found there!

  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Monday July 07, 2008 @03:50PM (#24089211)

    Can someone please explain what is wrong with C#? Something other than the fact it was created by Microsoft or simply that it is 'rubbish'.

    What features of the language do you have a problem with? Ok, so there's no multiple inheritance. What else?

    I've been doing ASP.NET via C# for a living for about 18 months now, and I've found it to be a perfectly servicable language. What's the problem with it?

    I hate Microsoft's business ethics just as much as the next /.er. I'm still going to judge their products based on their own merits.

    • Nothing really (Score:4, Informative)

      by Toreo asesino (951231) on Monday July 07, 2008 @04:02PM (#24089451) Journal

      It's very windows orientated, but that's about all I find wrong with it. Not a problem if you're never leaving Windows land - I find it an excellent language. If you are going outside of Windows, pick a more suitable tool for the job or use mono.

      • by Westley (99238)

        It's very windows orientated

        In what way? Bear in mind that the question was about the language rather than the .NET framework. Certainly some parts of the framework are Windows-biased - but the language itself isn't.

        but that's about all I find wrong with it.

        Oh there are things wrong with C#, undoubtedly. Or at least things I'd change. For starters:

        • Making methods sealed by default is a good start. Classes should be sealed by default too though.
        • More support for immutability would be very welcome.
        • C# enums are just named numbers. Java has a much more OO way of working with enums,
        • I use 2.0, so the extension method thing doesn't effect me (or at least doesn't yet).

          I rarely, if ever, use enums, and I've never had a problem with immutable types

          I do understand what you mean with the switch/case thing. Who the hell decided that requiring a break for each case was a good idea? What's wrong with designing some cases to fall through into the next case?

          • by Westley (99238)

            I use 2.0, so the extension method thing doesn't effect me (or at least doesn't yet).

            Fair enough.

            I rarely, if ever, use enums

            Perhaps that's because they're so weak in C#? Being able to specify behaviour (and state - though usually immutable) makes them so much more appealing in Java.

            and I've never had a problem with immutable types

            The problem is that the compiler doesn't help you with them. It doesn't help you to write them (and prove you've done it correctly); it doesn't help you to implement simple equality/hashing except for anonymous types; there's no way in .NET of declaratively marking a type as immutable to make it clear at a glance to both developers and too

            • If you're going to require a break for each case, why require breaks at all? Why not just automatically escape the switch statement when the next case starts?

              • by Westley (99238)

                Hence my comments of "and no need for an explicit break".

                (Not that you always have to have a break, of course - you just have to make sure that the end of the case isn't reachable.)

                Jon

    • My problem with C# is not in the language itself. It's in the fact that untold manhours have been utterly wasted in cloning Java.

      Yes C# has some nice things Java does not have. And if Microsoft has worked with the Java community to add them, imagine what amazing things we could do with the language by now, the very advanced tools that would have arisen with a unifies choice of an essentially VM based language.

      But because Microsoft suffers eternally from NIH, we all must suffer an industry a shadow of what

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