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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Advanced ASP.NET AJAX Server Controls For .NET Framework 3.5 Book Review

image I started programming on the internet with Internet Explorer 2.0 on a Mac Performa using notepad, and then using Claris Home Page.  I was using the AJAX technologies well before 2000.  It is interesting to see how engrained into our browser development they have become.  A few years later I started developing Windows Form applications, which moved into the Smart Client context, and now RIA using WPF and Silverlight.  I have gotten my hands dirty with browser applications a few times since 2002, but I try to avoid them like the plague.
I am a firm believer that the browser is being abused, would love to develop every day without it, but have found that is still not possible today when targeting home users and environments you do not control.  That is not the case with our project, we should be using WPF, but those in charge do not care.
Why all the useless blather?  Because I want you to know I have absolutely zero interest in ASP.NET AJAX, but I have to get up to speed on it because it is being forced on our team.
That said, this book sucks, because it is written so well I cannot put it down.  These guys zero in on ASP.NET AJAX Server Controls, but they take the time to go in-depth on all the technologies that ASP.NET AJAX Server Controls interact with.  Including JavaScript, JSON, HTTP Handlers, the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions, the ASP.NET AJAX Toolkit, REST, and WCF.
This book has given me a new perspective on the present day browser environment that will make this next project enjoyable.
If you are getting started with ASP.NET AJAX I highly recommend this book.  It digs into the guts of ASP.NET AJAX and will give the inside story on how the ASP.NET AJAX Controls are working and how to build high quality controls yourself.
I would suggest being proficient in ASP.NET, have a good understand of JavaScript, and have played around with the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions and the ASP.NET AJAX Toolkit.
The examples in the book are great, and the downloadable code is well organized and very usable.

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