on June 22, 2004
This books is probably the second book to read after Murach's ASP.NET. I would say it's at an intermediate level.
I found his writing to be very clear, the examples to be comprehensive if not voluminous. He presents examples you would use in a real application. You will learn the ins and outs of the server controls as well as creating apps for mobile devices.
If you know a little about the .NET framework, it's not hard at all to translate the code to C# and to use a code behind file. So I don't have a problem that he didn't use the VS IDE or include C# code examples in the book. The book would have been 2500 pages if he had.
For all those who were ranting and raving that Walther didn't use code behind files, I've been hearing that .NET 2.0 may de-emphasize the code behind file. So the author may be farther ahead of the game than most.
I liked the two case studies at the end of the book. They bring together a lot of the concepts that are discussed in the earlier pages.
The down side of this book is that there isn't much treatment of the VB.NET/C# language. Data access layers and Object Oriented design are glossed over, you will have to learn those concepts elsewhere.
on June 11, 2004
This is a must have book for people who wants to start learning ASP.NET. This book talks about each and every detail of what is asp.net, how to use it,what are the different controls..etc, in a clear concise manner,backed with hundreds of working code examples.(there also an online site,where one can refer to the code written in the book..anytime)
The author did a great job!!.Before buying this book, I read reviews and was not sure if all the good reviews about this book were true. So, I went to a near by book store to see its contents. I read a couple of chapters and loved it so much that I bought it immediately.
For people who are wondering I am a C#/vb.net pgmer, does this book help me?..Yes it does. All the examples in the book are written in both VB.NET and C#.
Therez only one thing that I was disappointed a bit. Now a days almost everyone uses VS.NET for .NET development and even though one knows ASP.NET, Learning to use VS.NET is an altogether a different Nightmare.
For this there is another book, ASP.NET KICKSTART..by the same author.
I bought these two books and after that never had to buy any .NET book again!!!.
on May 27, 2004
This is a good beginner book in terms of learning the server controls, html controls, and user control side of the house. It is weak when it comes to explaining the seperation of the presentation layer, application layer, business layer, and the data layer. This is how you really want to develop an ASP.Net web application in the real world. In the real world, most of all of the brains of your application would be inside of class libaries that you build as components. You don't won't too much brains inside of an ASPX file. Pages 281 - 293 brushes over the surface on the issue. Also in my humble opinion, it would be overkill and time consuming to do ASP.Net without the Visual Studios.Net IDE. Unless you work with a large development team, I don't think you will have the patience to hand code the syntax for ALL functions and ALL subs in EVERY component and in EVERY page. Anyone who has work in a real life software development environment knows how important deadlines are to "management". I can imagine the looks we would get if we suggested to develop an ASP.Net application in notepad.
on March 18, 2004
The acid test of any textbook has to be how far it takes you up the learning curve. After a certain point, any further learning may be asymptotic, but if you can at least get to that stage the book has done its job. All I can say is that the Second Edition of ASP.NET Unleashed did it for me.
First of all, I prefer C#. The fact that the book's examples were in Vb.Net presented no problem as all the examples are also in C# on the accompanying CD. All of these can be opened in WebMatrix with ease.
Every example in the book serves as a complete microproject, with very clear and precise concomitant explanations. One thing that became obvious since purchasing this book was that it became the number one reference for a number of tricky little problems encountered. The book abounds with examples that cover many I could point out, but space precludes. However, an article appeared this morning on the problem of filling in large forms and the associated difficulties of paging back and forth or long scrolling. The book illustrates a sophisticated solution using panel controls - very neat indeed.
The main criticism seems to be on 'codebehind'. One review that I read previously on the First Edition put me off. I gritted my teeth when I bought this edition and I am so glad that I did.
This book teaches you what you need to get to the part before the learning curve becomes asymptotic. Codebehind? You can take the examples and split the code into various .cs files ( in my case)and compile them. It's an excellent learning experience: once you have done a few it becomes standard practice. Codebehind isn't an issue.
on January 22, 2004
When I bought the second edition of ASP.NET Unleashed based on the reviews I had read, I felt assured that my purchase was a sound one. But upon receiving the book, I noticed that almost all the code samples have no code-behind files. The C# or VB.NET code is in the .aspx files along with the presentation layer code. What in the world?
One of the key best practices for writing ASP.NET applications is this: separate the presentation layer from the rest of the code for the project. ASP 3.0 applications, for example, suffered from having all the code mixed together. Then when graphics guys would add their work, or when the presentation layer needed major changes, the rest of the ASP code (business logic, etc.) was affected. Since ASP.NET offers a solution to this problem, why would this author provide all his code examples in .aspx files with non-presentation code contained therein?
I hope that beginning and intermediate developers who read this latest edition understand that the author was merely taking shortcuts. Whether Walther was using Notepad or not to edit his source, he still could have utilized code-behind files for the examples, thereby setting a much better example for more junior developers to follow.
My second but much less important complaint is that the code samples in the book are all in VB.NET. One must refer to the CD to see the C# versions of the .aspx files.
I recommend choosing a different ASP.NET book -- perhaps one published by APress or O'Reilly.
on January 15, 2004
Very good book. All code is in VB, but there is also a C# version in the enclosed CD (let's face it: VB is more popular, so that's the right way to do it). Doesn't use the .NET developlment environment (uses only plain text editor with command-line compilers) which I like - teaches the language from the foundation without the automatically-generated code from the .NET UI.
A point that some people might not like - author gives complete examples (all code + HTML) which are 1-2 pages long just to introduce 3-4 new lines of code. This makes it difficult to find and concentrate on the new code, but on the other hand is excellent for quick reference later - all examples are complete and working.
The book is quite thorough, detailed, easy to understand, includes nice tips and good explanations that go into sufficient depth. Iit might be a bit intimidating for a beginner, but is nice for a person looking to read a single book and then be able to get some work done (using just the .NET help if needing more info).
on January 10, 2004
This is a great book, it teaches everything without recurring to Visual Studio, which is great so you know exactly what it is in the code, and you get the really knowledge of this technology.
I'm a manager in an IT company, and I must say that Visual ?programmers? don't last too much, they click and click over Visual Studios make us spend too much in external components, and when the client want's something too much specific they just can't do it because they don't know source code, they only know visual windows.
(it's incredible but I trust more in my workers that learn from books and work over notepad or other text editor on their source code than in Microsoft Certificated Programmers which come ready to make us spend money in Visual Tools from MS of course)
So this book is great to get an in depth real knowledge of VB.NET Script at ASP.NET (.aspx) files.
This is a great book, I bought all the books of Stephen Walther since old ASP editions (which i still use sometimes)... this guy rocks, and I know what I say because I buy dozens of books for my department every year.
on July 10, 2003
I am not attempting to exaggerate to make a point when i say this book is thusfar not only the best book on ASP.NET but it is the best and most comprehensive book I've ever read on a web development topic (and I've read many from many different publishers on php, coldfusion, asp, SQL, etc...)
This book is just too too comprehensive. The author covers nearly every topic you can think of. And what really makes this book so good is that no time is wasted in long drawn out explanations. Out of all the 1500 pages, there is code and examples on each. This is the way to make a computer book since its not a iterary topic.
The book is like topic, examples; topic, examples, topic examples one after the other. The author explains just enough for the reader to understand the code which makes the book so useful and an efficient read.
I am an experienced web developer that wanted to get into ASP.NET. This was my first ASP.NET book. Since it, I've purchased and read 2 other asp.net books to see if I needed any more. After finishing this book, other books seriously look like jokes compared to this one. Looking at other asp.net books, they don't contain 1/15th of the information covered in this book and that is an understatement.
If you are pretty good at any web programming language this will be the ONLY book you need to learn ASP.NET. Only if you have no experience would I say that this may be too much for you.
Lastly, I wanted to thank the author. It is very rare to see an author dedicate so much of his time and knowledge to one book. A lot of people just want to get their books published. Any web developer or author will know that this book must've taken really long to complete. On top of it all, there arent many inconsistencies for a book this large.
Everything you care to know about ASP.NET is in this book (basics, ado.net, data binding, web services, xml issues, mobile issues, custom controls, graphics on the fly, validation,...more) plus an e-commerce and job site. The only thing missing that you may want is a little primer on VB.NET syntax.
on April 10, 2003
Great book to learn how to create ASP.NET pages using VB.NET. I have bought Stephen Walther's classic ASP books a few years ago and staying true to his style he introduces you to new concepts and then shows several implementations of it. It's great to see not only an idea talked about and the properties/methods listed, but then see at least one example of how to do it (unlike O'Reilly books). I've been programming in classic ASP for over four years and switched to ASP.NET about 6 months ago and must say anyone on fence thinking about switching - I say do it!! ASP.NET is a hundred times more powerful and, while it may take a few months to get totally comfortable, I guarantee you'll be glad you invested the time in learning it. This book covered all the key concepts, allowing me to create several grade A online application using the .NET framework. I'm hoping the author comes out with a "next step" book like he did with the classic ASP series. While this book does cover lots of the advanced topics in the later chapters (caching, dynamic graphics, transactions), I know with the depth of the .NET framework (32,000 objects) there is more out there. I'd say if your a newbie to intermediate level this is the book for you. And even though I've moved on to C# for my ASP.NET programming, I still use this book as a reference to implement the .NET framework. The book is also great in that it doesn't relay on Visual Studio to teach you - actually I don't remember one VS example. Anyone can point and click in VS - this book shows you how to actually do it.
on December 24, 2002
Other reviewers who cite the well-organized structure and comprehensive content of this book are right on the money. This book excels in detailed coverage of the key topics, addressed from the perspective of developing a real-world web application. As an experienced programmer, however, I did find some of the long-winded explanations of basic concepts tiresome.
I own Visual Studio .NET and was surprised to quickly learn that the author's development environment is nothing less than Notepad. All the examples in the book showcase Notepad. Why not take advantage of the great IDE that's found in Visual Studio? While reading this book, I had the impression that I was missing out on important insights on how to best utilize Visual Studio to develop applications more quickly and effectively- in addition to information on configuring Visual Studio. That's why this book doesn't do it for me. On the other hand, if you're on a mission to prove to the world that you're a 'real' programmer who writes code on an non-GUI sytem with something like Notepad, then this book is for you. Anyone who's married to Dreamweaver, HomeSite, or other HTML editors will also find the book a great read.