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Keywords: Visual Basic, programming

Title: Programming Visual Basic 6.0

Author: Francesco Balena

Publisher: Microsoft

ISBN: 0735605580

Media: Book, CD

Level: Introductory, Intermediate

Verdict: If you need VB6.0 then you need this book!

Despite rumours to the contrary, VB6 is alive and kicking. While there are many who are stepping into new waters (VB. Net or C# for the more adventurous), there is still much new development using tried and tested tools and infrastructure. And, despite the acreage devoted to .Net books and manuals, there is also a healthy demand for VB6 training materials.

When it comes to learning VB6 there is one book that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that's Francesco Balena's excellent Programming Visual Basic 6.0. This is one book that many professional programmers swear by rather than swear at. The reason? This is a well-written and comprehensive introduction to programming VB6.0, rather than a rehash of a book on previous versions of the language. It's a book that lives up to its promise, and teaches the reader how to write good, solid VB code. Furthermore, it uses the best of VB6, which means taking advantage of the object oriented features of the language, rather than concentrating on the simpler procedural aspects.

If there are not more VB programmers producing object oriented code, it's because many simply moved into the language from previous versions and didn't really take the time to learn OO techniques. This book makes no such assumptions.

Of course VB is nothing without Visual Studio, and this too is covered, providing a neat introduction to the IDE that is still setting standards for usability.

While this is an introductory text, it doesn't mean that there is not a broad scope of material covered. The five sections of the book cover: the basics (forms, controls, classes, events etc), user interface (more on forms, Windows common controls), database programming (ADO), ActiveX and finally Internet programming (Dynamic HTML, RDS and ASP). It's an ambitious list, but the book largely succeeds in getting the programmer started in all of these areas. It provides foundation enough to get a person doing productive work quickly, and when there is more specialist knowledge required, well, that's when you buy that extra book on ASP or ActiveX or whatever.

The book is studded with useful bits of code, and the typography is really clear and well-laid out. Of course all of this is backed up with a CD containing 150 sample projects, routines, useful components etc. It's a neat package and complements the high quality of the book.

To conclude then, if you do need to buy a book on VB6.0, then make it this one, nothing else even comes close to it.

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