The SharpDevelop project started as a "one man show" in September of 2000, just a few months after Microsoft released an Alpha of what was to become .NET 1.0 in early 2002. SharpDevelop is Mike Krüger's brainchild, and he got started because he was disappointed with current programming languages, and did want to try out the new programming language C#.
As there was no really good programming editor aside from betas of Visual Studio .NET – which he didn't have access to – he just started to program what he needed.
The SharpDevelop core team – who wrote this book – consists of programmers who came aboard during the Beta of .NET because they wanted to see how "real" Microsoft's new platform was and how good or bad an experience it would be to program with it.
Your best bet to learn a new platform is to test it with an ambitious "proof of concept" project, and that is what SharpDevelop initially was: pounding .NET and C# to see if it is viable in real-world applications. Today, SharpDevelop is a full-featured Integrated Development Environment that leverages the features of C# and .NET, and we can say that both met or exceeded our expectations for building powerful real- world applications.
Over the course of more than two years of development, we learned a lot about this platform.
This book is about sharing our experience in building real applications using .NET and C#. You will learn about design issues and decisions made, techniques and technologies used, as well as background information on features of SharpDevelop that you won't usually find in everyday applications. SharpDevelop is an evolving open-source application, with new features being added over time that are not covered in this book. The code accompanying this book is available on the Apress web site.
You can always get the latest C# source code from http://www.icsharpcode.net/, compare it with the code for this book and learn how code evolves and how we and our contributors implement new features.