ASP.NET 2.0 Cookbook
The O Reilly Cookbook series of books are known for their well written collection of timesaving suggestions. Given the welcome reception that the ASP.NET 2.0 Framework has received, it was obvious that O Reilly would publish a follow-up to its successful ASP.NET 1.0 Cookbook title. Featuring three new chapters and all new code for the 125 different recipes offered in the book, this new 2.0 edition is a welcome update to the original release. And, as has always been the case with titles in the Cookbook line, this book is not a tutorial; it will be best appreciated by developers already oriented with the ASP.NET 2.0 Framework.
The key ingredient that makes the Cookbook series so valuable is the experience of the O Reilly authors and editors seeking to highlight the most important, timesaving aspects of the subject at hand. In the case of ASP.NET 2.0 Cookbook, authors and seasoned developers Michael Kittel and Geoffrey LeBlond supply productivity and code improvements ranging from optimizing the generation of Master Pages to dynamically creating browser-specific stylesheets. Although many of the recipes could be located using well phrased search terms submitted to Microsoft s and Google s search engines, the beauty of this title is that most of the interesting topics have already been identified and effectively cataloged in the book s 21 chapters. Popular topics such as form validation, debugging, error handling, state management, application configuration, and user/custom controls are featured, along with new 2.0-specific capabilities such as Web parts, profiles, and themes. My favorite chapters were on caching, performance, and the last chapter, which features a grab bag of assorted tips. In fact, I satisfyingly employed the Sending Trace Data via Email with Controllable Levels and Caching Pages Based on Developer-Defined Custom Strings tips as soon as I discovered them in the book. It is these ah-ha moments that highlight the value of this book.
Each solution has been presented using the consistent and familiar Cookbook Problem, Solution, and Discussion format (often featuring copious amounts of source code presented in both C# and VB2005 syntax), with an occasional See Also reference thrown in when necessary. The book s code can be downloaded from Mr. Kittel s company Web site at http://www.dominiondigital.com/AspNetCookbook2/ and immediately put into use; however, navigating and understanding the approaches are impractical without the book s accompanying explanations.
Few books are perfect, especially technology books (because of the speed at which the subject matter evolves). Because this Cookbook was written prior to the AJAX craze, it doesn t include any recipes focusing on that hot topic. Although there are unquestionably many AJAX .NET developer titles in the works, it would have been a nice coup for the authors to include at least one tip on the subject. Another topic omission is upsizing ASP.NET 1.x to 2.0 applications. For example, is there any free utility or code I can write with this book s assistance that can quickly sweep and analyze an ASP.NET 1.x application for form validation instances, flag, and ideally upgrade these to 2.0 validation groups? Sure, that s a hard problem to tackle autonomously, but solving it could save a considerable amount of conversion time.
Overall, ASP.NET 2.0 Cookbook supplies ASP.NET 2.0 developers with an excellent cross section of solutions that can be put to good use immediately, and is a title that any avid ASP.NET 2.0 programmer should have as part of his or her ASP.NET reference library.
Title: ASP.NET 2.0 Cookbook
Authors: Michael A. Kittel and Geoffrey T. LeBlond
Publisher: O Reilly
Web Site: http://www.oreilly.com
Page Count: 1,014