Review: Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB

The following is a book review of Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB, written by Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman, and Devin Rader.

Having read Imar Spaanjaar's Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB (review), I was expecting a number of good things from this book.

Imar's book is really great in that he shows you how to build a Web application with ASP.NET 3.5. However, with Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB, you instead get 1500+ page reference book.

Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, but that does mean that if you want to get started with ASP.NET, pick up Imar's book first, or better still, too.

That said, this also means that if you're the type to read a book from beginning to end, you'll have a real 'joy' reading this book. That's because after a few chapters you'll notice that the author's clearly intended for people to skip around the book. This is evident because they'll discuss something in one chapter, and then reiterate it at the beginning of the next in such a way that suggests they assume you didn't just read this in the last chapter. But, that is good if you consider this as a reference book.

The other thing that will strike you is the number of typos in this book. I wasn't keeping track of all of them, such as words melding together, hard returns where there didn't need to be, incorrect figures, etcetera, but I did make note of, and submit, 29 errors in this book (25 of those from page 579 on - I wasn't keeping serious track before then). If you hear that they've done a special edition of this book, or a second edition, just spend the (extra) money and pick it up. Luckily, the code seems pretty clean.

Having said all that, I still think Professional ASP.NET 3.5 is an excellent reference book, and one that I'll be keeping on my shelf. Almost every one of the 34 chapters had at least one valuable thing in them, and in most cases, they had many. While some topics are skimmed over, they give a very indepth look to existing and new features, providing sources to further reference as needed (most of which are free Microsoft references online).

Together with Imar's Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB, I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in ASP.NET 3.5. I would also recommend this reference book (last time, I promise :) ) to anyone who's worked with previous versions of .NET, and just needs to know how to advance their skills.