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Steven Mandel

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This book contains 14 chapters and an appendix. Its subtitle is "the ultimate ASP.NET beginner's guide." As its two titles imply, this book covers the basics on a lot of ASP.NET topics. The chapter titles convey this: ASP.Net basics, VB and C# programming basics, constructing ASP.NET Web pages, database design and development, etc. The authors state that the book is designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users. I am not sure about how effective the book will be for the intermediate and advanced users because the book barely skims the surface regarding object-oriented design and design patterns. It is, however, really good for beginners trying to get a feel for what Web programming is all about. The book takes your hand and walks you through all the nuts and bolts of getting a Web site up and running installing .NET to configuring IIS (Internet Informatio... (more)

Book Review: Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# 2010

It's a daunting task to author a book of over 1000 pages and maintain the interest of the reader. Matthew MacDonald is able to do so for several reasons. He maintains a good sense of humor and he is not afraid to express his opinion about a topic. Two examples come to mind. The first example is during his mention of the creation of a new Microsoft framework for the Internet called "MVC." He states that "to some the MVC pattern is cleaner and more suited to the web, to others it's a whole lot of extra effort with no clear payoff." In regard to some of Microsoft's practices he stat... (more)

Book Review: The CSS3 Anthology

The CSS3 Anthology by Rachel Andrews is subtitled instant CSS answers, how-to's, and examples. This subtitle clearly explains the goal of this book. The book consists of nine chapters. The first chapter is a quick review of CSS. The other chapters cover major topics such as text styling, image design elements, navigation, tabular data, forms and user interfaces, CSS positioning basics and CSS for layout. The topics in each chapter are laid out in the form of a question followed by one or more solutions and then a discussion explaining why that solution was offered. Here is an exa... (more)

Programming ASP.NET 2nd Edition

Now that ASP.NET has hit its stride, the number of books out that deal with it on an intermediate level has increased nicely. The problem, though, is that if the books all cover the same topics, how do you decide which one to buy? I have several criteria that I look at in making that decision. Firstly, how does the book read? Is the writing crisp and clear or does it plod along? Does the author have a sense of humor? Are the examples offered full-bodied? Is this a book that you'll be able to use as a reference book as you develop your own applications in ASP.NET? Are the code lis... (more)

Regular Expression Recipes for Windows Developers

One of the most powerful tools that a developer can use for validating data is the regular expression. A regular expression makes use of pattern matching to determine if an item fits within the definition of the pattern. Some validation that might take many lines of code to validate can be simply validated by building the correct pattern. However, many developers are put off by the feeling that regular expressions are too hard to master. Several months ago, I started reading a book called Regular Expression Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach by Nathan Good. It became quite clear... (more)