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on January 16, 2004
I had stumbled across this book at the time Wrox sold out. I was hooked on the publisher (about 20 books) The editorial staff wasn't below the 3rd grade level of English, like Addison-Wesley. (Hated everyone one of their books I bought. I read some of the books twice to make sure I hated them, despite the reviews.) I had liked some of the Microsoft Press books, in particular, the Resource Guides because of their "deep" content. So I gave their programming books a try. This book is nothing short of phenomenal. It is well written. The reader is lead thru the concepts as they unfold and expand. The theory of the code presented makes it an excellent source of knowledge. It is not for the beginner at heart. I had to read this book 2 times because there is NO fluff - just excellent, concise writing that flows.
This book rates as one of the best with me. The others are "Beginning Java Programming" from Wrox by Ivor Horton or the automotive engineering books by Author W. Judge, published by Bentley Press in 1966. (This dates my years of reading reference books.) I subscribed to MSDN magazine because of his writing skills, his knowledge, his ability to develop concepts and ability to aid the reader in developing an understanding of the material presented. Dino Esposito is a deep thinker so get ready to bury your mind!
This book is good for the intermediate ASP.NET programmer before they go on to tackle the tough stuff i.e. Component Controls. Don't get this book if you are not willing to invest the time or do not want to really understand ASP.NET. (P.S. this is the first review I have written.)
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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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on January 26, 2004
First off, I think Hari Thummalapalli's review nails it on the head. My review is not intended for beginners. In my job, I've come across some aggravating issues in .NET. This book breaks down ASP.NET to its nuts and bolts, and that is crucial knowledge when you have to design new objects.
Personally I think you get the most out of this book if you read as much as possible rather than treat it like the dictionary. Not an easy task, for this is the biggest book I own. However, the book is very readable and the author is good at taking you from Point A to Point B. Some Wrox .NET books have plenty of good pointers, but it becomes an Easter egg hunt, for it's tucked amongst pages of beginner material.
I'm going into a C# shop and I'm still going to use this because it covers .NET so thoroughly, language differences shouldn't matter as much. Moreover, the author points out differences between VB.NET and C# I haven't seen covered anywhere else.
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on September 27, 2003
I purchased this book because it is from MS Press. But this book really disappointed me. There is no logical flow . There is a lot of text in this book but it is very hard to keep your interest in this book. Sometimes I felt that even English wasn't good. I tried to read this book at different times of the day ,morning ,evening,before dinner, after dinner, on weekends ,during weekdays but nothing changed.I want to 'donate' this book to someone. My personal advice is 'don't buy this book unless you have read a few chapters at the book-shop'. In fact Jeff Prosise's book on .NET has better material on ASP.NEt than this book.
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on November 20, 2003
I purchased this book based on the rave reviews it has gotten, but have been grossly let down. Although the author seems to be knowledgeable on the topic of .NET internals, his explanations and book structure are reflective of someone who just wants to show how much he knows, not help you learn. Additionally, good examples are severely lacking.
This book is not a good learning book, and at best a mediocre reference book.
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on October 7, 2003
This book covers a lot of in-depth information about ASP.NET 1.1. Its well-organized information is very useful for us to save precious time in searching and exploring. Thanks a lot, Mr. Dino Esposito.
Suggestions for the author:
(1) Use more graphical presentations if possible (could be more concise and organized)
(2) Please add more real-world code samples!!! - a bit boring to read dry descriptions
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on July 5, 2003
Excellent writing by Dino Esposito, yet again. He starts our light - moves to some intense technical insight into IIS and the .NET framework - and continues on into the most authoritative learning tool / reference, ever written on the subject.
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on August 1, 2003
This book is the perfect reference for any Intermediate/Advanced ASP.NET programmer. It may not be as helpful if you are a beginner because the coverage is too wide and too deep to keep the interest of a beginner. But it is a must-have as a desk reference when you get past the beginner stage.
We looked at many books on the general subject of .NET and the specific subjects of VB.NET, ASP.NET, and ADO.NET to learn how to successfully create Web Applications that users love. There are a lot of books out there on .NET that are more confusing than helpful. And most books - just touch the basics, don't give detailed explanations, or don't have sample code that works. There are a few exceptions and this book is one of them. It doesn't have any of the above mentioned problems.
What is most impressive about this book is the readability of the material. If you are interested in the details of how something works in ASP.NET, you will find that once you pick up this book and start reading it, it is difficult to put it down. The explanations are clear, concise, yet detailed and the different topics are all very neatly interconnected.
If your primary interest is in finding a book with code to modify for your own project situation, this is NOT the book. There are other excellent books for that purpose. 'ASP.NET Developer's Cookbook' by The ASP Alliance is one that we prefer(despite most claims, the code in this book does work after you find workarounds to Visual Studio .NET problems first).
The book being reviewed here can be best used for accomplishing the purpose of gaining a COMPLETE working knowledge of ASP.NET. It will obviously take many months of dedicated effort (at least 10-15 hours a week) to master this subject. And there isn't a better book in the market that is so effective in the long run. This is the preferred Desk Reference that all of us use at our company.
One more thing - doing a price comparison, we found that this book also offers the best value since it's priced around the same range as most ASP.NET books but covers the subject end to end while the others only addres a few topics. The high price of .NET books has been a disappointment to us especially due to their general low quality.
Enjoy this complete desk reference to programming in ASP.NET! You will really see the return in a few months.
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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 November 20, 2003
Once again, I have to admit that I have a strong bias here... I read Dino's articles in MSDN religously, and love his stuff. I bought his book based on his name alone and as I expected, it's great.
The style of this book is exactly the same as his stuff in MSDN. If you aren't familiar with it, I mean that advanced users will love it b/c it's always interesting and practical, but if you are a newbie, it's clear and understandable so it'll be great for you too.
If you aren't an ASP.NET developer, then there's a lot to learn. ASP.NET represents a fundamental shift in thinking (what in .NET doesn't?) but if anything, it's much simpler and intuitive than ASP ever could be. I've played with all of the code in this book and everything compiled and worked as expected. The examples are all things that you'll probably confront in your day to day development and Dino gets right to the heart of the issue.
He's unquestionably one of the greatest minds in .NET and he is a superb communicator. One of the best features of this book is that it never gets boring and it never skips important details that leave you wondering how to do what he's talking about. I know this sounds petty, but coming up with real examples that aren't silly or overly complex (and always relevant) takes a lot of skill.
If you don't read his articles in MSDN - then start, you'll be glad you did. If you don't own this book and want to learn ASP.NET, But it - you'll be glad you did.
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