Steven Mandel

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There are many ways to approach the presentation of a major upgrade to a software platform and how to address its various audiences. O'Reilly has decided that to get seasoned ASP.NET developers up to speed, it has added three new books to its Developer's Notebook series. The idea behind the series is to let existing developers "look over the super coder's shoulder" and capture this concept on paper. The notebooks are example-driven, aimed at developers, and enjoyable to work through. Each chapter is organized around a specific task with examples reinforcing these new ideas. The book I'm reviewing is ASP.NET 2.0: A Developer's Notebook Book. It has eight chapters for 300+ pages. The examples are in VB.NET 2005 but it's pretty trivial to modify them for C# 2005. The author Wei Meng Lee says his goal is to build on current knowledge and "only cover new stuff." (Differen... (more)

Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

I'm sure that there are times when you visit your favorite bookstore to look at new books on your favorite .NET topics and you cringe at the weighty tomes sitting on the shelves. You open these books and page upon page of continuous print swims before your eyes, but you figure it's important so you plop down your hard-earned money, take the book home, begin to read it in you rocker recliner and fall asleep. O'Reilly has developed a new series of books called Head First that .NET developers would be wise to take a look at. It uses a markedly different approach to important topics... (more)

.NET Book Review: Core Internet Application

Buy this book! I don't often give such a blanket endorsement but this book works on many levels. It's one of the few books that really addresses the needs of more experienced ASP.NET developers as well as providing a well thought out text that can be used by instructors. There's a plethora of things in this book that make it worthwhile. There are walkthroughs, code listings, in depth examples, and code snippets. There are 16 chapters and an appendix. At the end of each chapter there's a summary, exercises, key concepts, and references for further investigation. The first half of... (more)

Book Review: Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET 3.5

There are several authors of .NET books who not only know their material but are able to present the information in a practical manner. One such author is Scott Mitchell. This book is well written and is divided into four parts with a total of 24 chapters. While the level of the book is directed at beginners, it's a good refresher for more experienced developers who want to learn some of the new features available in ASP.NET 3.5. At the end of each chapter there are three valuable sections that the reader shouldn't skip. There is a Q&A section where clarifying questions are asked ... (more)

.NET Gotchas

You might be wondering what this book is all about. As the author explains, the dictionary's definition of a gotcha is "an unexpected usually disconcerting challenge, revelation, or catch". Mr. Subramaniam defines the gotchas in his book as "those things that pop up unexpectedly when you're programming in .NET. … In this book I focus on the .NET framework and features that have consistently exhibited behavior that was not obvious to me." Mr. Subramaniam explains that the purpose of his book is not just to explain how to use a technology "but how to use it well and do thing... (more)