The Visual Basic Language, 2nd Edition?

Over the past several months, I’ve been getting questions as to whether I’m going to be updating my book, The Visual Basic .NET Language, for VB 2005. The unfortunate answer is: not at the moment.

The first problem is that the VB .NET book market has been quite soft over the past year or two. This is not entirely surprising — although uptake on VB .NET has been very good considering the fact that the shift from VB6 to VB 2002 or VB 2003 was significant, it’s been (as I’ve always said it would be) a long-term process. We’re seeing continuously growing momentum behind VB .NET, and VB 2005 is shaping up to be a very big release for VB, but the fact is that the gradual transition has temporarily weakened the market for VB .NET books. It probably also doesn’t help that a so much of people’s VB6 experience transfers into VB .NET, thus lessening the need for a whole new shelf of books. The end result is that Addison-Wesley is taking a wait-and-see attitude towards a new edition of the book. I expect that with the release of VB 2005, the market realities are going to shift, but we’ll just have to see.

The other problem is that even if AW was breaking down my door to get me to write a second edition, I’ve been so consumed by LINQ planning that I’m not really sure when I’d have the time. Just getting the language specification updated for VB 2005 has been difficult enough… But I’m sure that I could squeeze it in there somewhere…

The end result is that what’s out there in my book is all there’s going to be for a little while. I still think that the book holds up very well in the face of our VB 2005 updates — most of the things that need to be added to the book are pretty advanced features like generics and operator overloading, things that many people aren’t going to miss. And all the fundamental stuff still is extremely applicable to VB 2005. So I still think it’s a good buy. However, as time goes on, it’s inevitable that those holes will become more glaring, so I’ll continue to work with AW to see if we can’t get an update out there in the reasonably near future!

4 thoughts on “The Visual Basic Language, 2nd Edition?

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