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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor! Absolutely poor!, 15 Dec 2007
By 
Rune Borgen (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
This book is, I am sorry to say, a total waste of money!
If I could give it less than 1 star, I would.

The author makes a descent attempt at explaining the pro and con of a specific concept, but it gets frustrating and very confusing, when a concept is finally understood, the next sentence starts with "But this is not a very good approach"!!! After which another method is explained, but leaves the reader wondering if this is another time-waster explanation.

The book is mostly theoretical text, which is hardly backed up with examples. Once examples are used, they are flawed, incomplete and refers to the downloadable source code. When trying to type in the examples given in the book, Visual Studio replies with compilation errors, and when compared with the source code, it is totally different from the book, is sometimes implemented differently and have added functionality which hasn't been explained.

All in all, this book will leave the reader confused and frustrated and discouraged from learning ASP.NET.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Erratic style and incomplete/unworkable examples, 6 Feb 2008
By 
Mr. I. A. R. Pollard "ipollard77" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
I'm afraid this is another 1 star review for this truly awful book. Here are my main reasons:

1) The author's writing does not seem to flow. At times he is very hard to follow, suggesting something and then doubling back on himself. This happens *everywhere*. This book should not have made it passed any half decent editor, so we can't blame Matthew MacDonald completely for this.

2) If you're trying to learn something as massive as the .NET Framework this book is downright disconcerting. Chapter 2 is a classic example. The author can't make his mind up about whether you should have used OO languages before, or not. In this chapter, the level of interest the author has in the fundamental building blocks of the C# language seems to be totally random. He'll start off giving a reasonable amount of detail on a concept, but seems to get bored after a few decent paragraphs, and then almost dismisses himself for going as far as he did! Doh! You can find examples of this almost everywhere. I don't know if he just has a very cluttered mind or whether he didn't actually have much of a plan when he wrote the book.

3) Concepts are introduced and too often left in the floaty realm of the truly abstract. Rule 101: *always* provide real-world examples of where a concept may/should be applied. This kind of laziness litters the book, making it very hard to learn from.

4) Despite being a "Beginning" book, it really isn't. Too many concepts fall foul of the author's random assumptions about what you may or may not know. I just can't imagine who this book was really intended for. I've got experience of PHP, ASP, VBScript, JavaScript, and some OO programming knowledge. I was able to fill in some of his blanks, but I imagine the person who can truly operate on the author's wavelength actually has no need for the book in the first place.

5) There are BAD typos in the source code examples in the book (downloadable source code was fine). If you're like me though, you like to type each line of the examples yourself, so you *touch* everything to really get a feel for it.

6) Worse of all, the book is ruined by the author's incomplete code examples. He even says at one point (roughly) "none of these early examples work, but be patient we'll get to some working stuff". Well, I was patient, and by Chapter 15 I'd had enough. He consistently provides code examples for the code-behind portion of a webpage, but doesn't provide the corresponding .aspx code for his own examples! He just assumes you're inside his head and have somehow magically prepared them earlier. Downloading his source code to get the .aspx examples is a mixed bag too, since he often develops a concept over the course of the chapter. Fine, but you have to provide examples of the code at EACH WORKING STAGE!

Conclusion: This book should never have been published in its current state. I assume Apress rushed it through to release since it was, at the time, the only book covering .NET version 3.5 and ASP.NET.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Get the PRO version, 4 Feb 2008
This review is from: Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# 2008: From Novice to Professional (Expert's Voice in .NET) (Paperback)
This is a real dissapointment when you see what is in the PRO version.
If you are moving from vs2005 to 2008 you might fine this book a bit 'fuzzy', like this book was the first draft to meet a deadline and the pro version was the finished product.
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