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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2006
This book is a new edition of the excellent book "Beginning ASP.NET 1.1 in C#". I've read both, so I can freely say that this is an example of the good getting better. Quite simply, there is no other book I'd recommend for new ASP.NET developers. This one is more rigorous, organized, and thorough than any other beginner book I've found. It hits all the bases--covering the C# language, OOP, Visual Studio, web services, components, custom controls, you name it. It's also one of the few books that has real-world code in the database and security chapters. (Most other beginner books dumb it down with truly useless techniques.)

And in response to the review left by "developer" who claims the book is short on ASP.NET 2.0 content--I have to wonder whether you've read the book! Did you not see the complete chapters on master pages and themes, website navigation, the new data controls, membership, profiles, and web parts?? All of these are brand new features, with comprehensive coverage.

There is just no other book for beginning ASP.NET 2.0.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2006
While I have only read around 200 of the 1000 pages in this book, I must say it is everything I expected and more. I would suggest having a general understanding of the syntax of Java or C/C++ before reading, but if you have no programming experience at all you could probably work through the initial learning curve.

The author covers most of the C# fundamentals as well as explaining why there is a need for ASP.NET. This is not a book for someone who simply wants to learn the basics of .NET 2.0 (for that, I suggest Bill Hatfields ASP.NET 2.0 for Dummies), but this is the meat, potatoes, and gravy of the framework. Matthew MacDonald explains the "whys" of the techniques he presents as well as the "hows", without being wordy or overly complex. Because of this, I find it hard to put this book down.

So far, there has not been much explanation of (X)HTML or CSS, because this book is more focused on development rather than design. While you don't need to know the intricate details of HTML or CSS to use .NET, you should have at least a basic understanding if you expect to create decent looking webpages. (There are so many resources for XHTML and CSS...try w3cshools.com for starters.)

I am a working web designer who has a need to begin developing in ASP.NET, so I knew I needed an in depth book like this. If you are unsure if .NET is right for you, I recommend reading a lighter book, such as Bill Hatfield's ASP.NET 2.0 for Dummies, before tackling what will probably be at least a two month course in learning the framework.

The only flaws I have seen in the first 200 pages are subtle, such as using the the "b" tag for bold instead of the current standard, "strong". That may be nitpicking, but I must point it out.

This book is perfect for someone who knows they want to create websites in ASP.NET, understands the basic concepts of OOP, has an intermediate knowledge of HTML and CSS design principals, and is willing to take the time to practice the examples demonstrated in the text.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2006
When I first started to work with this book I was actually impressed. The author seemed to be clear and easy to understand. But once we started getting into code the whole thing started falling apart. The code samples in the book frequently just dont work. From typo's which are easy to find to entirely left out concepts and sections of necessary code. At first in the more basic section of the book it's not so bad because the programs are simple and its usually fairly easy to figure out where the mistake was. But the further in you get and the more complex the code becomes the worse it gets. In some samples short of opening up his own downloadable sample code and looking at where his sample code is completely different from what he is telling you to do in the book it is virtually impossible for a beginner to the language to figure out.

Now me I'm just stubborn so I stick with it until I figure it out but I frequently have to go to outside sources and chat groups to try and figure out what the problem is which in my opinion just shouldn't be the case in a well thought out book. Maybe if it was a professional book where the user is suppose to have some knowledge it would be acceptable. But for a beginner to have to try and figure out entire concepts and classes that are missing entirely from the examples and are vital to the successful implimentation of the code. Well that is just unacceptable. Its sloppy and a book that costs 49.99 ought to be free of such errors.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2006
I am an experienced web developer and just begin my study of ASP .NET 2.0 technology. Compare to the other books that I read, this book is very easy to follow and learn from. It introduces the core concepts and techniques of ASP .NET 2.0 in easy and concise way such that there is no gibberish.

I personally do not like books that talk a lot of useless stuff and complicated concepts that serve no practical use, such as most of the J2EE books.

This book is so easy and simple to follow such that anyone with a little programming background can read. Besides, it has many useful examples to introduce the techniques in making ASP .NET 2.0 applications.

Moreover, it uses Visual Studio 2005 as its core IDE. This is a very cool tool!

One major drawback of J2EE is also its lack of a generic and full-featured IDE like Visual Studio.

I tried Eclipse and various others... so far only Oracle's JDeveloper satisfied me. Most others are so complicated to use such that the learning curve is just too high!

I gave this book a 4 star because I hardly gave any book a 5 star. It's a good book, but the term "perfect" in my mind doesn't come easily.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2006
I had a mixed reaction to this book. It's obvious that Mr. MacDonald is quite knowledgeable, but I think this book chews off a bit more than it can swallow. It was all there, but I don't know if a beginner would have the patience to read this book cover to cover. As a "Beginning ASP.NET" book it has a very cursory overview of programming basics, object oriented programming, .NET Framework including the Basic Class Library (BCL formerly the FCL) and the CLR. There's an introduction to Visual Studio 2005 and C#.

It is over 1,000 pages, but I'm not sure that a beginner reading this book could successfully write a solid web application when they were done. I think the book would have been more successful if it helped you build an application in a step-by-step fashion, explained and introducing specific concepts. The organization of the chapters was also a little awkward. There's a discussion of modifying web.config settings programmatically in the web form fundamentals chapter before really getting into web site configuration. Tracing, logging and error handling is discussed I think a little too early.

This was an ambitious endeavor, but I wish it would have covered less, but in more depth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
I bought this book after someone had recommended it on a discussion forum. And that person was right. This book is perfect for the person who wants to learn ASP .NET using C# language. It covers almost every aspect of ASP .NET and C#. It's straight to the point with good examples. It requires some basic knowledge of programming, so if you are a begginer programmer and want to learn ASP .NET and the C# language buy this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2006
This book is an excellent intoduction for beginners...He even gives introduction to C# syntax... I strongly disagree with user who stated that this book talks about SQL a lot. It goes through each aspect of programming in ASP.NET 2.0.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book a while ago and have been reading it. I lost interest in the way the author deals with the topics. It is all theory and text. Developers need the real deal. Not just flab stuff. The novices will only confused with the way the info has been presented. I got the Wrox professional series and it is lot beter. Save money.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I have read many books on ASP.NET, by far this book is the most well organized, user friendly book that will teach you ASP.NET

I disagree with posts that says that this book is not for the novice. It takes you step by step from a subject to a subject and keeps you intrested in reading the book.

This is my first book ever that I realy said to myself that I will have to take the time and write a review on a book.
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on November 29, 2008
This is a very good book for learning the fundamentals of both ASP.NET and C#.

The book first provides an overview of the C# elements that any programmer will need. Then, it moves on to cover all the important aspects of ASP.NET.

It does have several mistakes, including errors in the example code. But, this is typical of computer programming books and all the errors I've seen are pretty easily identified. If the book had received better technical reviewing and eliminated these errors I would have given it 5 stars.

The book is written for programmers having experience with other languages. It dives right in to the substance of C# and ASP.NET. Previous coding, especially in object-oriented languages, will certainly benefit.

Someone with no programming experience should first 1) learn about object-oriented programming and 2) read a more basic book on this topic.

This is not to say you need to be a guru. Those with any reasonable programming experience can benefit from this book. For experienced programmers who want to learn ASP.NET and C# this is for you.
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