As we embark upon our in-depth studies of the C# language, it's important that you have access to a C# programming environment so that you can get hands-on experience with the concepts and code that we'll be presenting throughout the remainder of this book.
The best way to get C# up and running on your machine is to download and install the Microsoft .NET Software Development Kit (SDK). The download is free, and can be found on Microsoft's MSDN web site at the following URL:
Please see Appendix C for helpful tips on what you'll need to do to get the .NET Framework SDK downloaded and installed properly on your computer.
Note that the .NET Framework SDK is a command line–driven toolkit, which means that you'll be doing all of your work in an MS-DOS Prompt window.
Of course, you can use an integrated development environment (IDE) tool to develop your C# applications, the standard C# IDE being Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET (VS .NET). It's the authors' personal bias, however, that if you first learn C# by writing all of your code from scratch using only the .NET Framework SDK and your favorite text editor, you'll gain a much better understanding of C# language fundamentals than if you rely too heavily on an IDE, particularly those that provide drag-and-drop GUI building capabilities and automated code generation.You can always "graduate" to an IDE after you've mastered the basics of objects and the C# language, to take advantage of IDE debugging and code/project management features.