Customer Review

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Information, potential Information Overload, March 22, 2010
This review is from: Professional ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB (Paperback)
When this book was delivered I was in shock at the 1400+ pages, I've been reading on the book since and am several chapters in but I feel I know the book enough to give a fairly decent overview of how it was written and how it will hold up.

This book takes a great in-depth look at every aspect of ASP.NET 4 and gives clear and clean examples in both VB and C# (the authors seem to favor VB however.) Therein comes a warning, if you're new to ASP.NET, C#, or programing in general I strongly suggest you take a different book, this one is more to expand your existing knowledge not to build you from scratch. This book primarily covers the api of ASP.NET and how to effectively use it, it also covers topics such as LINQ, it does not cover language semantics or System Architecture. However, it does make up for neglecting those two subjects in covering Visual Studio 2010 in-depth, including diagramming.

Overall some of the content is a bit dry, this is a professional level book after all, but should be easy enough to read through once you get into your own pace. Don't let the 1400+ pages fool you or dissuade you from picking up this book, the length is partially due to screen shots and also because all code in the book is duplicated between VB to C# also the appendices take up quite a large section, however also keep in mind this book has 36 chapters covering Server and Client Controls to Deployment.

Summary:
Pros- Complete, direct, covers multiple languages (VB and C#,) easy enough to read.
Cons- Paperback only, can be overwhelming if you just open the book, alot of duplication between C# and VB that not everyone may be interested in.

Sideline - If you are new to C#/VB and .NET I would recommend using a language primer and probably the Beginning ASP.NET 3.5: In C# and VB (Programmer to Programmer) book by Wrox (Note the ASP.NET 4 version is due out soon.) Afterwards attacking this book will most likely get you where you need to be to compete for jobs/contracts/etc in .NET space.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 26, 2010 12:09:29 PM PDT
For your, and anyone else's information, the ASP.NET 4 version of Beginning ASP.NET is already out...

Imar

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2010 7:13:16 AM PDT
It was not out at the time I wrote the review but was due out soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2010 11:27:13 AM PDT
Yes, I know. I wasn't trying to correct you; I was just making sure that readers of this review understood the book is out now! ;-)

Cheers,

Imar

Posted on Apr 3, 2010 9:01:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2010 7:05:28 PM PDT
Amazonian says:
I agree on the major con: code duplication in C# and VB can be handled much better as done by APress publisher. They sell 2 versions of some of their titles, one in C# and one in VB. That way the book does not get unnecessarily thick and costing more, or alternatively allowing for a larger text/font size making it easier on the eyes (the font size in this book is about 7 or 8 pt). Let people choose to buy the version of their preferred language. Let's hope Wrox reads this...

Posted on May 6, 2010 5:14:23 PM PDT
The duplication of code has dissuaded me from purchasing this book. Thank you very much for your review. I'll wait for the C# specific book by APress.

Posted on Jun 29, 2010 12:26:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2010 9:06:28 AM PDT
Frank Paris says:
Your reservations about this book because it doesn't teach you VB or C# are completely irrelevant. There's nothing wrong with a professional level book covering a specific .NET platform assuming that you know how to program in one of the .NET languages.

Also, a publisher who comes out with two separate books on a specific platform, one in C# and another in VB, isn't going to give you a price break because it contains 300 less pages. Like this book, each language-specific version is going to cost $59.95. Witness the Wrox "Professional C# 4 and .NET 4" book: language specific and $59.95, same as this VB/C# ASP.NET book. Still, a savings of 300 pages or a larger font would be welcome by eliminating all the VB code.

I spent about 45 minutes in a bookstore over this book, gathering enough information to settle it: I want it. I especially liked the appendix on Silverlight that provides information on how to build a good user experience for installing the Silverlight plug-in. I'd rather have a concentration on a specific topic like this that is pretty much short-changed by everyone else than a ho-hum catalog of Silverlight layout containers and controls. (Even though I had a 33% discount coupon in hand, I didn't buy the book in the store because it had already been trashed by others thumbing through the single store copy.) Note that the Silverlight appendix is for Silverlight 3, not Silverlight 4. But Silverlight 4 doesn't make customizing the plug-in experience any easier anyhow and that's what the appendix treats.

Addendum: since writing the above, I have purchased this book through Amazon. I was strongly discouraged by this statement in the Introduction: "You just learned some of the main goals of the ASP.NET team that built ASP.NET. To achieve these goals, ASP.NET provides a mountain of features to make your development process easier." This is an utterly frightening statement. If a "mountain of features" is needed to make development easier, how was it ever possible to do development before ASP.NET? Indeed, if a "mountain of features" is needed NOW to do development, what kind of extraordinary mind does it take to do decent Web development? Perhaps it's no wonder that most Websites look terrible and are difficult to use. I scratch-built an eCommerce Silverlight Website and did not have to use a "mountain of features" to do it (www.PowerPhotoTools.com). It makes me wonder whether raw ASP.NET is just too much to expect from mortal human beings to use to develop Websites and that vast simplifications are possible. I believe that even Silverlight has a ways to go.
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