Top critical review
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Lots of thunk
on January 30, 2002
I am beginning to get the idea that McGraw Hill works for shelf presence rather than content. Their ASP.NET books are weighing in at a lot of pages, which rates high in thunk factor (the sound a book makes when dropped on a table). If you are interested in a nice thick book, you will find it here; beware, however, as the book uses large fonts and lots of white space.
I am also impressed that Greg Buczek uses CodeBehind in parts of his book. So many of the ASP.NET books on the market fail to separate code and tags, which is one of the best parts of the paradigm of .NET. It seems more like an afterthought, however, as he calls it an advanced topic. This is correct if you come from an ASP background perhaps, but separation of code and UI (tags) is a core part of the .NET programming paradigm.
Much of the book deals with different controls that you use in a page. I will not belittle this point, as Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework do a lot of work for you. You will be over 300 pages into the book before the song changes to .NET Framework objects.
There are only about 60 pages on data access, which is two chapters: OLEDB and SQL providers. This is the weakest part of the book, and my reason for rating the book a bit lower than average. Data is critical to Enterprise applications and 60 pages, esp. with such large fonts, falls way short.
The thing I find the most "cool" in the book is the chapter on the Mobile SDK. The .NET mobile controls are a nice addition, and make creating applications for cell phones and PDAs a breeze.