What happens if you take a year or so to learn about everything that's coming in .NET 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010?
Well, if you are Alex Mackey you learn enough to write a book. And an ambitious book at that as it covers a very broad range of subjects:
Visual Studio IDE changes, MEF, C# & VB.net Language changes, CLR, BCL & Code Contracts, Parallization and threading, WF, WCF, Entity Framework, ADO.NET data services, ASP.NET 4.0, ASP.NET AJAX, jQuery, ASP.NET MVC, WPF 4, Siverlight 3 & Azure
The aim of the book is simple:
Be an introduction to the range of new features, functionality and tools available in VS2010 & .NET 4.0. The intention is it's a book which is accessible to any developer. Even those who wouldn't normally go out of their way to learn about what's new.
I found the book to be an excellent source of insight to the topics it covers. Alex provides a clear and easily readable introduction to these technologies and how they may be useful.
Don't be put off by the "Introducing" part of the title. This is not a book for developers who are new to Visual Studio and the .NET Framework. Rather, it is a book for those who have worked with earlier versions of these tools and want to find out what the new versions contain.
While I was familiar with some of the topics in the book I found it very informative and have learnt a lot from reading it.
If you are a developer working with .NET I can only think of 3 reasons not to buy this book:
1. You are confident that in the rest of your career you will never use anything other than the tools you are currently using. (Unless you plan on retiring soon I can't imagine this being the case.)
2. You already know everything about ALL the topics it covers. (In which case you could probably write your own books on the subject.)
3. You have it already.
If I had any criticism of the book it would be that the sample code isn't available. (Or if it is it's not somewhere obvious.) My guess is that the reason for this is that the final version of both Visual Studio and the .NET framework have not yet been released. The book and many of it's examples are based on information from the beta versions and early documentation. It's possible (likley?) that there may be some level of breaking changes when the final version are released. Any sample code might not then work. I can therefore, see why it may not be appropriate to release the code.
Disclaimer: Alex set up DevEvening in the UK, which I now organise. I reviewed the early version of some chapters of the book in early 2009. I also wrote a small secction in the introduction. This (below) is an affiliate link - but no-one ever clicks on my affiliate links so I don't really expect anything from it.