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ASP.NET 2.0 MVP Hacks and Tips Paperback – May 30 2006

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Hacks exist in an ever-changing world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Want to expand your development skills? May 29 2006
By David Wier - Published on
Format: Paperback
With the word 'Hacks' in the title, this may throw a few people a 'curve' ball, as it were. As explained inside the

well-known Wiley (Wrox) red covers, some people call them 'creative solutions'. Some people call them

Tips and Tricks. In this writer's opinion, 'Creative Solutions' is a much

better name for what's inside. The code explained starts by showing how v2.0 of ASP.Net took some of the 'hacks' or

'creative solutions' for 1.1 and incorporated the obvious needs inside v2.0. Then, the writers take what's given

in v2.0, and extend that much further, finding the 'shortcomings' and extending the possibilities much further.

A few pages in the beginning, along with an entire chapter (16) deals with Master Pages, one of the more colossal

additions to ASP.Net 2.0, and rightly so, having its origins in Paul Wilsons Template pages, back in the 1.x days. Again,

this book takes a quick look at how to build Master pages, along with Content pages, and then shows how to extend

and nest them. But, then, this is only a start.

When reading this book we are taken through the steps of adding client side scripting to GridViews (and much more),

creating your own RSS viewer control, through Cache, Viewstate, Security and Deployment hacks/tips, and finally ends up with HTTP Handlers and Modules.

This book is not a beginner's book, by any means, but it can take an intermediate or even advanced

developer and really help him/her get to the next 'level'. Looking back, it's just as much as an 'eye-opener' type of book. Yes, it shows code and explains how to do a whole lot of new programming, but just as much, it expands your horizons, enabling you to not only see those horizons, but realize then, how to get past them.

If I were to find one fault with the book, it would be that 90% of the code samples in the book are with C#. There are a few

VB.Net samples sprinkled here and there, but coming from a VB.Net development background, I did find this a shortcoming.

However, if that's all that I could find as a 'con', the 'pros' far outweigh them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Tips and Tricks from MVPs Jan. 9 2007
By Daniel Hounshell - Published on
Format: Paperback
ASP.NET 2.0 MVP Hacks and Tips from WROX is a compilation of tips provided by ASP.NET MVPs David Yack, Joe Mayo, Scott Hanselman, Fredrik Normen, Dan Wahlin, J. Ambrose Little, and Jonathan D. Goodyear. Who better to glean tips from than MVPs!?!?

The book is not not an A-Z C# reference or complete primer for Asp.NET nor is it meant to be. It is exactly what the title says it is, a collection of tips that should help you be more productive in your daily tasks. Because of this the target reader should be familiar with developing web projects using ASP.NET and the ideal reader would be a .NET web developer, either professional or hobbyist. Depending on your experience level and knack for gathering these types of things there some things in the book that you may already know or use, but I bet you will at least learn a thing or two.

Chapter 2, "Getting Started" offers some excellent suggestions for organizing your projects/solutions ,including recommending a base class for your pages. Later chapters on providers, debugging, viewstate, cache and deployment proved to be a good refresher and taught me more than a handful of things I didn't know. Scott Hanselman's chapter on Http Handlers and Modules was outstanding as well. Any reader of his blog will find him/herself right at home.

The book was a pleasure to read and is one of those that will have to remain close by so that I can pick it up and browse through it again from time to time. I believe that every time I read it I will find something new - like watching a favorite movie.

I highly recommend the book to anyone doing ASP.NET development, especially those that are already fans of the authors - like me :)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Except for the Name, Very Valuable Stuff July 11 2006
By John Matlock - Published on
Format: Paperback
I think there needs to be a new word invented. Hacks or hacking as used in this book title relates to hot shot, sophisticated, creative coding rather than in the bad sense of hacking into someone's system.

The book is written by a series of guys who have been working for years with Microsoft's ASP.NET. They probably started off with ASP.NET on the first version. They've been through each version up to now trying things, working around things, finding ways to make it do what they needed. Being Microsoft MVP's (Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals) the ASP.NET development team listens to them somewhat more than they would listen to the average fellow sending them an e-mail.

Any these guys developed these hacks, or creative solutions, or cool code snippets, or undocumented features and a lot of the ones they developed in earlier versions have made it into the standard code. Here is what they have discovered with ASP.NET 2.0.

This is not a book for beginners, but if you are up to intermediate status here are a bunch of things that will help you make your next project better. These hacks do things that these guys have found desirable. You're likely to find a good idea or two as well.
Great Ideas for Advanced Sites July 19 2006
By Travis Illig - Published on
Format: Paperback
"ASP.NET 2.0 MVP Hacks and Tips" isn't really a reference guide or your standard tutorial manual. Rather, it's more like a cookbook - "here are some interesting things you can do in ASP.NET 2.0 and here's how to do them."

Each chapter in the book covers a topic like "Providers," "HttpHandlers and HttpModules," and "Master Pages" and goes into a few neat things you can do with each. The hacks and descriptions are written in an easy to understand way that makes them simple to adopt for your own purposes.

It's hard to say whether the book will be of help to you or not. As each hack applies to a pretty specific problem being solved, you'd really need to scan the table of contents and see if your application is facing any of these problems or has requirements that touch on any of the areas covered. On the other hand, just scanning through each hack causes you to think about the various ways you can apply what's being described, so there might be some value to you just in the inspiration they bring.

Entry level ASP.NET developers might be helped by looking at the code and learning from it, but the concepts really are more intermediate or advanced level. If you're starting your first ASP.NET site, this is probably not your book; if you have a few under your belt, it could help you out.

While it's not obvious from the title, some of the hacks can be used in ASP.NET 1.1 as well, so for folks not quite up to 2.0, the book still holds some value.

The only downside I really found with the book was the organization. The order of the chapters feels slightly arbitrary, starting with a potpourri chapter that covers a lot of topics, moving into client-side hacks, then server-side, then into deployment and development hacks, back into server-side hacks. If you read from front to back, it makes you wonder why they didn't take two hacks that both deal with the same topic and put them both in the same chapter, or why they didn't centralize all of the control-based hacks, all of the handler/module hacks, etc., into sections of the book closer together. Finally, there's a distinct lack of cross-referencing, which belies the multi-author nature of the book: both chapters 1 and 17 talk about a URL rewriting hack, but neither references the other. It would have been better to put all of the URL rewriting information together, or at least mention in each something like "this topic is also discussed in chapter X." I knocked my rating down a star for poor organization.

Overall it's a pretty good book and offers some interesting ideas for fixes to problems that many intermediate/advanced ASP.NET developers have encountered (or will eventually encounter). A good addition to your bookshelf.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Little value to this book, surprising for a Wrox title Nov. 9 2006
By edla - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wrox titles are usually well written and have a unique everday developer-centric perspective. This title does not live up to that standard.

First of all, they should stop printing books for beta and pre-release versions of products. Much of this book refers to features that have changed since ASP.NET 2.0 went gold.

Second, one section that I had a particular interest in, URL Rewriting, basically gave a three page review of what it is, and referred the user to go to blog to download code and read more about it. This is not what I would expect as a "MVP Hack"

Third, there were very few useful hacks in here. The O'Reilly Cookbook series is SO MUCH better than this. I don't know if there is an O'Reilly ASP.NET 2.0 book, but the authors of this Wrox title should read it and rewrite this book.