ASP.NET Programmer s Reference
ASP.NET Programmer s Reference is an enormous book. It offers readers nearly 900 pages of information on ASP.NET. There is lots of technical information, but very little in the way of style or imagination in this book. As you might expect, a lot of the material appears to be borrowed from Microsoft s .NET Framework Reference. So you get lots of summary descriptions of object properties and methods.
The book should be subtitled, Using VB .NET. Wrox has separate VB .NET and C# titles for their Beginning ASP.NET series. If you are a C# programmer or a Java programmer interested in JScript .NET, put away your credit card this book has nothing to offer you.
However, I like the division of the book into four sections. The first is a forced march through the ASP.NET namespaces. That s where you get the details on ASP.NET objects. The second section covers important server topics, like caching, configuration, and security. The third is a close look at building Web Services. The final section covers data access with ADO.NET and XML.
The book is more than a little schizophrenic. It seems the editors at Wrox could not decide whether they wanted an introduction to ASP.NET or an ASP.NET namespace reference. As a consequence, the book is mediocre at both. It spends far too much time walking the reader through code examples, telling them how the code works. That s the place for books like Beginning ASP.NET, Using VB .NET, and Professional ASP.NET. A trimmed down book, which provides the necessary details on the classes in the ASP.NET and useful .NET namespaces, would be better received. I m talking about the sort of book that programmers dog-ear. Wrox has published them before, on topics like dHTML.
The other major blemish is common to recent Wrox titles: blatantly bad editing. There are more than the conventional number of typos, grammatical errors, and poor prose in this book. You ll also run into occasional notes about class details being omitted. That s what happens when you rush books into print based on beta releases.
There is a lot of information in ASP.NET Programmer s Reference. If you want a reference with details about the ASP.NET namespaces, this is a good addition to your library. If you want to learn ASP.NET programming skills, look at Wrox s other titles, Beginning ASP.NET, Using VB .NET, and Professional ASP.NET.
Glenn E. Mitchell II, Ph.D.
ASP.NET Programmer s Reference by Jason Bell, et al., Wrox Publishing, http://www.wrox.com.
Cover Price: US$39.99