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Book Review: C# Network Programming


Normally we review new books, but occasionally an older book is just too good to ignore. Richard Blum's C# Network Programming is one such book. Focusing on low-level network programming, this book is just as applicable today as it was when .NET 1.0 was new. And though titled "C#", this book is applicable to any .NET language.

The first chapter is the seemingly obligatory introduction to C#. This should be ignored by everyone, as it is not enough to teach C# from ground zero and the chapter is common knowledge for everyone else.

Next up is IP Programming Basics. If all you know about network programming is that it is important, this is a good place to start. Ranging from its roots in UNIX programming, this chapter touches on all of the points you would expect to see covered in a college level course on sockets and TCP/IP. And while it does not go into excessive depth, it does give the reader a solid background and the vocabulary needed for further research.

For those of you who already know how to read a UDP packet header, chapter 3 is your starting point. This provides an introduction to network programming with .NET and serves as the basis for the rest of book. Even if you already know all the classes in the System.Network namespace, this chapter is still worth reading.

Chapter 4 goes into how DNS works, and is probably contains more information than most people need.

Part II, chapters 5 thru 10, are all technique specific. Briefly they are in order, Connection-Oriented Sockets, Connectionless Sockets, the Sockets Helper Classes, Asynchronous Sockets, Threads, and IP Multicasting.

Part III covers higher level protocols including ICMP, SNMP, SMTP, and HTTP. When possible, the author presents the pre-built .NET classes for using these protocols. For the ones not built-in like POP3, the author presents instructions to build your own.

All in all this book is a must have for anyone doing network programming in .NET.

C# Network Programming
Richard Blum

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