Pro ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005, Special Edition
Pro ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005, Special Edition by Matthew MacDonald and Mario Szpuszta is a comprehensive reference on all things ASP.NET 2.0. The initial book was published in September of 2005; this special edition was published in September of 2006. The Special Edition contains a bonus CD with an additional eBook on ASP.NET and a library of chapters from additional Apress books. In addition, two new chapters on AJAX and Atlas development were added (more on that later).
What I liked most about this book was that it doesn t make any concessions as to the skill level of the reader. MacDonald and Szpuszta do not hand-hold the reader through the basic concepts of ASP.NET 2.0; rather, they course through the advanced (and sometimes esoteric) subjects, such as writing your own membership providers, encrypting the query string, dynamic graphics and GDI+, and AJAX concepts and techniques. In addition to the already impressive 1,426 pages, a companion CD contains an additional 2,000 pages of content.
After the first 250 pages of background concepts (what is ASP.NET, how server controls work, using Visual Studio 2005, etc.) the authors do a deep dive into what is new in ASP.NET 2.0. The sections are extremely code-heavy and there is not a lot of fluff in terms of background material. The very matter-of-fact writing makes Pro ASP.NET 2.0 a better reference manual for intermediate to advanced ASP.NET developers than a how-to book. On average, each chapter is around 50 pages. I found that this isn t enough to really dig deep down in any specific area, but I can say that most areas of advanced ASP.NET 2.0 development are covered. I was especially pleased to see chapters devoted to localization, Web parts and portals, and the ASP.NET security model areas that I feel most books gloss over.
Something to note in this Special Edition are the new chapters on AJAX and Atlas. The AJAX section is implementation-agnostic and a good introduction to doing AJAX development by hand. However, since its writing, the Atlas section is now outdated due to the recent release of the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions Beta 1. The concepts are still the same, but the implementation no longer applies.
All in all I found Pro ASP.NET 2.0 a good reference tool for me as a practicing ASP.NET developer; even one year after the original edition s publication, the topics covered were very relevant and the content still useful. Even with the now outdated section on Atlas, this book with the bonus CD would make a good addition to a programmer s reference library, though the price tag is a little steep.
Title: Pro ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005, Special Edition
Authors: Matthew MacDonald and Mario Szpuszta
Page Count: 1,426