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on May 16, 2008
From the opening and throughout this book, it seems obvious that this is a hasty retread of a previous ASP.NET 2.0 edition. Most tellingly, there are numerous explanations of the way that ASP.NET 2.0 improved on such-and-such a feature of ASP.NET 1.0 or 1.1, which seem of little relevance to those looking to upgrade themselves to the latest ASP.NET. Other material and examples also seem written for an earlier time.

The meat for upgrading programmers is not only somewhat obscured in the clutter of old stuff, but is very thinly sliced when found. For example, one of my principle objectives in buying the book was to understand LINQ better, but the chapter on LINQ offers little more than a summary of the LINQ notes freely available on Microsoft's web site.

On the plus side, as owner of other books by Dino Esposito I notice that his writing gets better with every book, and he is now among the most adept of authors at clearly explaining many topics. For someone new to ASP.NET, this book can be considered seriously.

However I've just ordered a replacement for it. A book called ASP.NET 3.5 Unleashed by Stephen Walther is on its way. The earlier edition of that book was a bible for me, used almost daily and always helpful while I was learning ASP.NET 2.0. I'm hoping that it will be a more-meaty tool for learning the new features of ASP.NET 3.5 than Mr. Esposito's book.
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on June 1, 2009
It's kind of hard to rate this book. The author seems to be experienced and knowledgeable in the .Net technologies and he wanted you to know that. There are detailed introduction of the historical development of each of the technologies he covered. Unfortunately, the layout of the book does not help on locating the tech content easily and I had to bore through the histories in many chapters to reach the parts I need. The examples he used to show-how are not bad, but not particularly inspiring either. And there are lengthy listing of many definitions of APIs that you can find on MSDN. It took me much longer than other books to finish. On the whole, if you enjoy knowing more history on how the web technologies come through from old HTML to JavaScript to AJAX.Net, from classic ASP to ASP.Net 3.5, etc., you probably would like the book. If you want to systematically cover ASP.Net, this book is not bad. If you want to do it fast, you probably should look for another one.
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