.NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, Volume 1: Base Class Library and Extended Numerics Library

 
9780321154897: .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, Volume 1: Base Class Library and Extended Numerics Library

Edited by a Lead Program Manager on Microsoft's .NET Framework team, .NET Framework Standard Library Annotated Reference, Volume 1, is the definitive reference for the .NET Framework base class library. This book utilizes extensive annotations and code samples from the creators of the technology to move beyond the online documentation and provide .NET developers with a dictionary-style reference to the most-used parts of the Framework. This volume covers a subset of the ISO CLI Standards, including the Base Class Library and the Extended Numerics Library.

In the printed book you will find informative overviews of each namespace covered and an easy-to-follow alphabetic reference of types in the standard, including type-level descriptions, sample code with output, and annotations from the design team and standardization committee.

With the ECMA and ISO standards as its core, this book includes:

  • Annotations from key members of the Microsoft design team and the Standardization committee. Comments cover everything from design rationale and history to common problems and shortcomings.
  • An overview of each namespace, describing its functionality and the inheritance hierarchy of types it defines.
  • Type descriptions. Each type is covered in its own chapter, with a detailed description of how the type is to be used and a quick reference of the C# declaration syntax for all members defined on the type. Also noted: which members are only available in the Microsoft implementation of the .NET Framework, which are not available in the .NET Compact Framework, and which are only available in V1.1 of the .NET Framework.
  • Code samples. Types are illustrated by fully compilable code samples with output included.
  • Reference tabs and an exhaustive index, which allow readers to quickly and easily navigate the text.
  • Reusable source code for more than one thousand samples. All code has been tested with versions 1.0, 1.1, and the 2.0 technical preview of the .NET Framework, and, where appropriate, with the .NET Compact Framework.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Brad Abrams was a founding member of both the Common Language Runtime and .NET Framework teams at Microsoft, where he is currently a Lead Program Manager. Brad has been involved with WinFX and Windows Vista efforts from the beginning. His primary role is to ensure consistency and developer productivity of the .NET Framework through Vista and beyond. His popular blog can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/BradA/.



Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This book is intended for anyone building applications using the .NET Framework. It is meant to be a dictionary-style reference to the core types in the Framework.

The .NET Framework is huge. The amount of time that would be required (and the physical constraints of binding a book) limits our ability to cover the entire .NET Framework in the depth it deserves. As a result, we have focused the scope of this book on the most important, widely used types in the Framework. Luckily, such a subset was already created in the standardization process of the Common Language Runtime and the C# Programming Language. This book covers the first half of that subset (Volume 2 will pick up the second half). In the printed portion of this volume you will find all the type-level information for these types. Both the type-level information and member-level information are available in electronic form on the CD.

To make the standard more accessible, this book includes the following features:

  • Annotations from key folks involved in the design of the .NET Framework
  • Namespace overviews
  • Type descriptions
  • Sample code to illustrate type uses
  • A fully searchable CD that includes all source code, descriptions, annotations, and examples
  • A fold-out poster containing a detailed inheritance diagram for all types covered in this volume.

These features not only bring the standard to life, but more importantly, they serve as a convenient, informative reference to the most used types in the .NET Framework.

The Standard

At the Professional Developer's Conference in October 2001, Microsoft, in partnership with HP and Intel, began the ECMA standardization process of three core parts of its new developer platform: the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), the C# programming language, and a subset of the .NET Framework that is included in the CLI and referenced in the C# specification.

The CLI and the C# programming language are covered in other books in this series. Jim Miller's The Common Language Infrastructure Annotated Standard covers the CLI, which includes the metadata file format, IL Instruction set, and the type system. The C# Programming Language by Anders Hejlsberg, Scott Wiltamuth, and Peter Golde covers the C# programming language specification.

This book covers the first half of the .NET Framework as standardized in ECMA 335 and ISO 23271. The standards break the .NET Framework into seven different libraries to allow conformant implementations in resource-constrained environments. Those libraries are as follows:
    Base Class Library--A simple runtime library for modern programming languages. It serves as the standard for the runtime library for the language C#, as well as one of the CLI standard libraries. It provides types to represent the built-in data types of the CLI, simple file access, custom attributes, security attributes, string manipulation, formatting, streams, collections, and so forth.
  • Extended Numerics Library--Provides the support for floating-point (System.Single, System.Double) and extended-precision (System.Decimal) data types. Like the Base Class Library, this library is directly referenced by the C# standard.
  • Network Library--Provides simple networking services, including direct access to network ports and HTTP support.
  • Reflection Library--Provides the ability to examine the structure of types, create instances of types, and invoke methods on types, all based on a description of the type.
  • XML Library--Provides a simple "pull-style" parser for XML. It is designed for resource-constrained devices, yet provides a simple user model.
  • Runtime Infrastructure Library--Provides the services needed by a compiler to target the CLI and the facilities needed to dynamically load types from a stream in the file format specified. For example, it provides System.BadImageFormatException, which is thrown when a stream that does not have the correct format is loaded.
  • Extended Array Library--Provides support for non-vector arrays, that is, arrays that have more than one dimension and arrays that have non-zero lower bounds. This volume completely covers the Base Class Library and the Extended Numerics Library, as well as Microsoft-specific members on those types. It is our intention to cover the remaining libraries in future volumes.

Namespace Overviews

To facilitate reader understanding, we provide an overview of each namespace we cover that describes the functionality and the inheritance hierarchy of types defined in that namespace. At the end of the namespace overview section we include a complete inheritance hierarchy for all the types covered in this volume. In the diagrams we differentiate the various kinds of types that make up the framework as follows:

  • For classes, we use a rectangle: Example of a class
  • For interfaces, we use a rounded rectangle: Example of an interface Abstract types are indicated with an "A": Example of an abstract type
  • Enums are indicated with an "E": Example of an enum All other value types are indicated with a "V": Example of a value type
  • Types in the Extended Numerics Library and those that are not standardized are specifically called out. If not otherwise noted, a type belongs to the Base Class Library. Example of a type in the Extended Numerics Library Object IComparable ValueType AttributeTargets Boolean Decimal ExtendedNumerics

Type Chapters

Types are described in their own chapters, which are organized alphabetically by type name.

Header

The header contains the namespace name, the type name, and the library name from the ECMA\ISO Standard.

Type Hierarchy

Under the header we include a diagram representing the full inheritance hierarchy for this type, subclasses of this type found in this volume, and any interfaces they implement. The type being described is shown with a gray background.

Type Summary

This section contains the C# declaration syntax for all members defined on this type. It is meant to provide a quick reference in a very familiar format to what is in the type. In this summary we highlight certain attributes of these members.

CF Indicates the member is not available in the .NET Compact Framework. If not included the member is available.

MS Indicates that the member is not included in the ECMA\ISO standard.

1.1 Indicates that the member is new in V1.1 of the .NET Framework.

Type Description

This section contains a detailed description of how this type is to be used. For the most part this text is taken directly from the standard.

Annotations

Throughout this section we provide annotations from key members of the design team at Microsoft and members of the ECMA standardization committee. The comments in this section vary widely, and include notes on everything from common issues to the history of the class design or standardization process to areas where, in retrospect, the designers feel they could have done better.

In this volume you will find annotations from:
  • BA--Brad Abrams
  • KC--Krzysztof Cwalina
  • KG--Kit George
  • BG--Brian Grunkemeyer
  • AH--Anders Hejlsberg
  • YL--Yung-Shin Lin
  • JM--Joel Marcey
  • JR--Jeffrey Richter

Type Examples

In this section we provide sample code illustrating use of the type. Some samples are from the standard, but we added many more to facilitate a deeper and quicker understanding of the use of the type. All the samples we provide are fully compilable programs and include selected output.

All of these samples have been tested with V1.0 and V1.1 of the .NET Framework and the appropriate ones have been tested on the .NET Compact Framework. Complete source code for the samples is available at www.awprofessional.com/titles/0321154894 and on the CD that is included in the back of the book.

Type Members

The detailed descriptions of the members are included in the electronic version of the book on the CD. To facilitate easy look-ups, the member descriptions appear in the same order as the type summary sections. Each member contains some or all of the following fields:

Syntax--C# declaration syntax is provided for familiar reference. ILASM syntax is provided for completeness.

Summary--Short description of the member's purpose.

Parameters--Table of parameters accepted by this member and their meaning.

Description--A complete description of this member.

Return Value--The value and range returned by this method.

Property Value--The value of this property.

Exceptions--Table of the common exceptions thrown by this member.

Permissions--Table of the code access permissions demanded by this method.

Example--An example using this member following the same pattern as the type samples.

Conventions Used in This Book

Courier is used for all source code blocks, including syntax declarations, class names, and member n...

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