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By Elden Nelson
Martha Stewart's in hot water right now, so I'm willing to bet she's not currently thinking about her trademark "Good Things." And that's a big problem. The world desperately needs someone to identify Good Things in the world. In the short term, I'll be happy to take on that role. Here are a few.
Web Matrix: It's our cover story for the August issue, and with good reason. This editor's a small download (which is good), it's designed especially for ASP.NET developers (which is good), and it's free (which is really, really good). Beyond that, though, is what it means to developers who have already identified ASP.NET as your Web development technology of choice: Your platform is suddenly open to a much larger audience. This means more discussion of the technology, more free code shared around on the Net, more tools, more Web Services you can use, and a much larger community of like-minded developers. If you're undecided on whether ASP.NET is what you want to use, Web Matrix represents a no-cost way to investigate. And if you're already one of the converted, Web Matrix is a Good Thing because now you can easily share the love.
Now, I'm not saying Web Matrix is an ideal solution - VS .NET has some important features Web Matrix doesn't (IntelliSense and advanced debugging features foremost among these), but it sure beats Notepad. Check out Scott Mitchell's excellent overview and walkthrough of this product.
New Columns: As the ASP.NET developer community grows and evolves, we at asp.netPRO are doing our best to keep pace. We're proud to announce Dan Wahlin, XML and Web Services Guru, is joining us as the author of our new XtremeData column. XML and Web Services are going to play a crucial part in every ASP.NET developer's programming efforts, and Dan's just the guy to show you new techniques grounded in real-world development experience. This is a Good Thing.
Although ASP.NET is gaining momentum, we don't want to lose sight of the fact that it is a brand-new technology, and many - maybe most - developers are new to it and could use a hand at learning the ropes. With that in mind, we're adding a beginner's column to our editorial mix: StartingLine. In the first installment, Wayne Freeze walks you through building your first ASP.NET page. If you're new to ASP.NET development - or maybe you know somebody who's just downloaded Web Matrix and is wondering what to do next - this is a great place to start.
Of course, some of you are wanting to stretch yourselves and start doing some mind-expanding development. We've asked Dino Esposito to take on this task as author of the new CoreCoder column. This is not a column to breeze through. Do not plan on being able to skim through the code. Dino's going to challenge you; he's going to make you work for what you learn. CoreCoder is meant to be hard, but it'll be worth it. Which, in my opinion, is a Good - albeit tough - thing.
asp.netPRO NOW Newsletter: Every month, the asp.netPRO editorial staff grapples with a problem: We've got more to say than we have space to say it. Therefore, we're launching asp.netPRO NOW, a free companion newsletter to asp.netPRO. Here, you'll find bonus information that complements articles in the magazine. For example, this month you can read a great interview with the development team responsible for the creation of Web Matrix, detailing whose idea it was, why they created it, whom they created it for, what its limitations are, and more. You'll also find extra resources on encryption and a useful comparison of encryption algorithms (SHA1, MD5, 3DES) to go along with Beth Breidenbach's 9 Steps to Secure Forms Authentication. And asp.netPRO NOW packs in downloadable code, tips, techniques, opinions, Q&A sessions, and more. Whether you get asp.netPRO or not, you'll want to subscribe to asp.netPRO NOW right away; go to http://www.aspnetpro.com/ealerts/default.asp to sign up.
Of course, my saying these are all Good Things doesn't necessarily make them so. I want to know exactly how helpful you find this magazine. Is it exactly what you want? Is there something you wish it had? Do you like the e-newsletter? Do you have a tip or question? Tell me what's on your mind. You can reach me at [email protected]. Your ideas and feedback are what make asp.netPRO what it is.
And that's a Good Thing.
Elden Nelson is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO magazine. E-mail him at [email protected].