When I get a book to review that is an update from a previous book, I first
check to see if it is only a book that adds a Chapter “What’s New in ‘xxx’
or is it truly revised throughout to present the material in a way that
reflects the latest version of the subject matter. I then check to see what
the professed purpose of the book is, who it is aimed at, and how well it
meets both of these.
"Murach’s ASP.NET 4 Web Programming with C# 2010" is the successor to "Murach’s
ASP.NET 3.5 Web Programming with C# 2008." Both books are aimed at the
novice web programmer with the purpose of getting the programmer up speed as
quickly as possible.
My answer to both of these questions is positive on both counts. Although a
review of the table of contents would tend to indicate that Chapter titles
and section titles are the same in both books, the material within has been
updated and improved. A ‘newbie” can certainly become capable of creating
websites using ASP.NET 4 and C# in short order within the first few chapters
of this book. More advanced features and/or capabilities are added in a
logical way building on previous chapters.
One of the best features of the book is the style in which material is
presented. The facing page contains full code not just snippets to
illustrate the topic being covered. This allows the user to fully see how
each feature is correctly implemented. It also serves as a reinforcement of
each item presented if you read through both the main page and the facing
page. This serves to clarify each topic in a very positive way.
An excellent “Crash Course in HTML and CSS” is presented in Chapter 5 with
good examples etc. This serves as an excellent foundation to understanding
what is happening on both the server and client.
Additionally Exercises have been added at the end of each chapter to ensure
the reader can use the material presented in each chapter.
The new features in ASP.NET 4 are mostly covered in a way that incorporates
them at the most logical point in the book. Comparisons to earlier methods
are shown etc. The main new feature that's covered is WCF services, the
successor to web services in earlier editions of this book.
This book is also laid out in a very logical manner, allowing it to serve as
a reference manual after initially using it for instructional use. The fully
expanded table of contents makes it very easy to find any topic.
Overall, I would have no trouble recommending this book to anyone who wanted
to learn how to program in ASP.NET 4. My one reservation is that ASP.NET 4.5
will be released in the next few months and you might want to wait until the
next revision of this book is published that includes those new features.