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 Review: ASP.NET 1.0 with C# Namespace Reference
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ASP.NET 1.0 with C# Namespace Reference
Amit Kalani, John Schenken, Bruce Lee, Matthew Gibbs, Matt Milner, Jason Bell, Mike Clark, Andy Elmhorst, Alex Homer & Dave Gerding
930 pages

This book was written in 2002 and tested against the final release of .NET 1.0. It is written by 10 different authors, and contains a complete reference to the different ASP.NET namespaces. Beware, however, that the book is not about writing ASP.NET applications, but rather a helpful reference for ASP.NET developers. The language and syntax used in the book is C#, but it shouldn't be not hard to "translate" that to Delphi for .NET by the average reader.
The book consists of 11 chapters and 2 appendices. Since it provides a good idea what the book is all about, the titles of the chapters and appendices are as follows:

As you can see, each chapter covers a different namespace, and this is done in sufficient detail. I have a feeling that most authors focused on just one chapter, and hence could go really in-depth in their treatments and examples for the individual namespaces. Each chapter starts with a description what this namespace is all about, and then lists the core classes that will be covered. Sometimes, when certain classes overlap, the reader is referred to a previous chapter (for example, in the System.Web.UI.MobileControl chapter, only the MobileControl specific classes Command, DeviceSpecific, DeviceSpecificChoice, MobileCapabilities, MobileControl, ObjectList, and PagedControl are covered, while the detailed coverage of all the other few dozen classes can be found in the general System.Web.UI.WebControls chapter. Speaking of the Web.UI.WebControls chapter - that particular chapter would be a very big one, if the authors hadn't decided to list only the new members of each class (and not the inherited members, which are described in the ancestor class). The downside is that you sometimes have to browse a bit until you've found the description what you're looking for. Since most are derived from the WebControl class, this is a good starting point (on page 427), but even then some method references are made back to the Control class from the System.Web.UI namespace, or Object from the System.Web namespace.
Apart from the System.Web namespace, the first chapter also very briefly describes what it takes to build an ASP.NET application. This should serve as a reminder only, and you should really make sure you have some prior ASP.NET experience before you pick up this book. The introduction of chapter 1 is not enough to learn ASP.NET, although the rest of the book is a wonderful reference that will quickly become indispensable if you're building ASP.NET applications without the benefit of a design-time environment that offers integrated code insight or detailed on-line help (and I must confess that I haven't seen an ASP.NET on-line helpfile with the amount of detail that I can find in this book).
Once you've found what you're looking for, what you get is a description what this method (public or protected) or property is all about, and what the C# syntax is. There are also a good number of detailed code examples showing the usage of the class in a useful way (not just how to assign a value to a property, but more real-world examples like setting different fonts on a mobile device using the MobileControl class, showing the X and Y co-ordinates of an image click using the HtmlInputImage class, and doing form-based authentication and authorisation in the System.Web.Security namespace chapter.
Appendix A, about Data in ASP.NET is actually about ADO.NET, and contains a System.Data overview. For this appendix, you need SQL Server or the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE). The second appendix, about XML in ASP.NET is all about the System.XML namespace.
So, what do I think of the book? Personally, I'm not an ASP.NET expert, so I welcome the information that I can find in this book. Also, I'm using not only C# but also Delphi for .NET as development environment (although in both cases I actually use the command-line compiler only), but this appeared to be no problem - the references in the book are in C#, but can easily be "converted" to Delphi for .NET when needed. The examples were useful, and I learned a lot browsing through the book. The only disadvantage is that I sometimes had to look a while before I found what I was looking for, and sometimes I couldn't find what I was looking for. The index is long (more than 50 pages), but didn't help me much: browsing through the chapter for the namespace I was using proved to be more efficient. At least for me. An on-line help or even HTML version (with references hyperlinked to each other) would certainly help, and I've sent this as suggestion to the publisher. The book doesn't contain source code on a disk, but you can download the source code from the WROX website.
All in all, this is a useful book that I will no doubt use often when building ASP.NET applications in C# of Delphi for .NET. There is also a VB.NET edition if you're more likely to use that. (Bob Swart)

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