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Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 Applications: Advanced Topics Paperback – Mar 15 2006
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About the Author
Dino Esposito is a well-known ASP.NET, AJAX, and Microsoft Silverlight expert who has written or co-written several popular books, including Microsoft ASP.NET and Ajax: Architecting Web Applications and Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 4. He is a regular contributor to MSDN Magazine and speaks at industry events such as DevConnections and Microsoft TechEd.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The two volumes combined are about equal in coverage to "Professional ASP.NET 2.0" from Bill Evjen and four others (Wrox, 2006). Esposito's strategic emphasis is not as significant for the "Applications" volume as it was for the "Core Reference" volume. The second volume mainly covers additional class libraries, such as those for "web parts," that are more likely to be of use in commercial portals and sales sites than in professional, Web-enabled applications. However, it is in this "Applications" volume rather than in the "Core References" volume that Esposito presents such critical topics as the ASP.NET 2.0 resource, role and image management services and the tree and menu controls.
In Esposito's two volumes combined one gets about 1,550 pages at twice the price of about 1,250 pages from Evjen, et al. Besides about 300 more pages, what one gets in return for the extra cost is coverage of some extra topics, such as resources, and generally clearer and more consistent descriptions of ASP.NET 2.0, free from gushing enthusiasms. Esposito also provides tables of properties and methods for the major classes. The items in these tables are the same as those in Microsoft's documentation, as furnished with the Visual Studio tools and available without charge on the Web, but often Esposito's explanations are both clearer and more detailed than Microsoft's opaque and perfunctory style.
All the important topics of ASP.NET web sites are covered in a mostly tutorial with a little reference fashion. The books are well researched. The coverage of what really happens during compilation, request processing, and expression evaluation is excellent. The books avoid being an MSDN rehash. By carefully pointing out which ASP.NET versions support which features, the books will be useful for working with any ASP.NET version. No matter what you're working on you'll find something useful in these books. Note that web services are not covered.
The terms "core reference" and "advanced topics" (which MS press is using on all the non beginner books) make no sense at all with these books. If you're serious, you need both books. Think of them as volumes 1 and 2 of a single book.
I do have some issues with these books. The biggest mistake was recommending the use of GDI+ (through the System.Drawing namespace). This is not supported. The System.Drawing namespace page in MSDN states "Classes within the System.Drawing namespace are not supported for use within a Windows or ASP.NET service. Attempting to use these classes from within one of these application types may produce unexpected problems, such as diminished service performance and run-time exceptions."
I didn't enjoy Dino's writing style. It's verbose (at times), he uses odd words to describe things, and was boring even by tech book standards.
The chapter on configuration was difficult. It would have better to cover configuration throughout the book, in the context of what was being configured, instead of a single all configuration and only configuration chapter.
The section of asynchronous pages was confusing and didn't really explain why asynchronous pages improve scalability.
Despite my reservations, there is much that's good about these books. Anybody who's serious about ASP.NET should consider getting both of them.
The topics in this book are not simple. That's why sometimes I think people who have reviewed this says it can be a hard read. Well, again that's because the topics are NOT SIMPLE. When you are diving into creating your own custom controls, Virtual Path Providers, Asynchronous Commands & Callbacks, Http Handlers and the rest, of course the language is going to have to be pretty verbose...there's not really a good way around this unless you're going to write a 1000 page Head First type of book that explains it in more simple terms.
You will search the internet for a while trying to find this kind of information. I don't know how many times I have opened Dino's book to find what I'm looking for especially when we need to create custom providers, controls and to just really understand the processing of asp.net and all the low-level details that can really become overwelming. Dino does a nice job by not overly explaining things (since you could to way into depth on many of these advanced topics) but also does not leave you short in most of his sections.
His examples are more real-world also as well as his explaination and solutions while talking about a topic. I have been at 3 .coms and all of us used his book to figure out how to do a lot of advanced tasks quite literally by him explaining (examples Virtual Path Provider, custom Http Handlers, etc.).
He also takes the time to show you diagrams more than any book I've ready on the processes. I appreciate this time he has put in to the books he writes. He doesn't just write, he diagrams a ton in his book and this is important because the concepts here are very dry and you can get lost very quickly in all the things that happen behind the scenes in ASP.NET at a very low level.
Anyway, not sure why people are complaining about the expectation of perfection when this book provides a better review of advanced topics than you'll find in any other book as well as the internet itself in a lot of cases.
It's pretty much the Bible for our team in terms of advanced topics for ASP.NET. When in doubt open Dino's book.
It covers loads of usefull day-to-day tasks that most web devs have to search google for. Not sure that "Advanced" is the correct choice here, but its tasks that all my senior devs are capable of.
This said, it's a must have for any web developers desk. All of the 2.0 stuff still applies to 3.5 cant wait till the new version that would be more complete.
However, just using his examples expressed in Listview/Datapager controls using LINQ will yeild plenty till his new book comes out.
I can understand why the 3.5 version is delayed (seeing 4.0 is due in December), there is plenty of 'advanced' issues in using MVC to content with, then add microsofts version of Spring/NHibernate to the mix (not stable yet where as the open source Spring/NHibernate is) then you can see why there is a delay.
"ASP.NET 3.5 Applications: Advanced Topics" is a moving target and will be for 6 months(conjecture) or more(features in consenus use a >12months away?).
So why get "ASP.NET 2.0 Applications: Advanced Topics"?
It will make your life easier and get projects out the door faster.
All that you learn in this book can be applied to your 3.5 projects (we just use VS2008 and VS2003 for legacy - VS2005 has no further use).
Likewise if your are a commerical C# developer you would use the VSTS version of 2008 due to the productivity gains unless you work in a sweat shop where labour is cheap.
Using ReSharper4 Power Programming with ReSharper: Optimize .NET Development with the ReSharper Add-In to Visual Studio 2008 (Wrox Briefs) offer substantial benefits for C# 3.5 users this too will have you get quality code out the door faster.
Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 is a welcome addition as Dino really knows his stuff (ASP.NET/AJAX/UI)
The book does not come with a CD for the source code examples, and I have been unable to find them online.
That means I have to type in the examples. I normally don't mind, as it helps me learn. But his sample control, SimpleGaugeBar, has code scattered across two chapters (#13 and 14), all in bits and pieces. The code is intermingled with alternate code examples that (I think) he isn't using in the class, plus code from other classes apparently unrelated to SimpleGaugeBar.
The sample control is also buggy. Of course, it's my guess as to the code that is supposed to be contained in the control, because there is no single definitive listing of the code in the book. I suspect the sample code is simply buggy because the event sequencing the control responds to does not match the way the control was coded.
He separated the creation of the internal list of control objects and the styling code into two routines. That's probably a good idea. But, and this is a killer, if you programmatically change the properties of the control, the internal list of control objects is created *before* the new property value is set, and applies styling after the property is set. This will cause the control to fail, because the styling code will refer to objects that were not created based upon the prior property settings.
The styling code also refers to objects in the internal list of controls by array index number instead of by their id. That's bad form and very prone to error.
I'm not a happy customer.
That said, there is a lot of material on custom controls, and I learned a lot going through it. There are not a lot of resources out there that cover this topic in any depth, and this is one of the few. So, muddled, buggy and disorganized as it is on this topic, I would recommend it (until I found something better).
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