Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Book Review: ASP.NET 2.0 -- A Developer's Handbook

I'm long overdue on writing up a blurb on this book.  I've had it and used it off and on as a reference for months and months...

ASP.NET 2.0: A Developer's Notebook, Wei-Meng Lee, O'Reilly Press, June 2005, ISBN 0596008120.

This is a well-written, easy-to-use book hitting the main points of ASP.NET 2.0.  I've never read it cover-to-cover, but have gotten great use from it as a reference manual when I need to quickly figure out how to do something new in ASP.NET 2.0.

The book's laid out in a clear fashion and has a solid index, so it's easy to find the material you need to solve a problem.  Each "lab" in the book is task-oriented, so you'll find things like "Create a Master Page for Your Site" which details the steps necessary to accomplish the task.  Sections are nicely done and full of tips and tricks, plus there are plenty of short sidebars noting smaller bits of interest such as content pages being limited to having only one master page. 

I've found the breadth of coverage quite nice.  The author hits everything from Master Pages/Site Navigation to Security to Profiles.  There's also a nice section on Performance which talks about site precompilation and caching.  (I even nabbed one of the author's labs for one of my talks on .NET -- with attribution, of course.)

The book's very nicely done.  It's concise and clear, and I like its style, both content and visual.  Some folks might complain about the examples all being in Visual Basic 2005, but as Dr. Phil might say, "Build a bridge and get over it."

Advanced ASP.NET developers probably won't get a lot out of this unless they're completely new to 2.0, but beginning and intermediate developers should find the book very helpful.

So far this book's been very useful.

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