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Old April 14th, 2008, 10:51 PM
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mii2029 -

I'm sorry that you are disappointed with the book so far. I was the lead technical editor on it and worked very closely with the author helping to develop the road map of the material as well as the actual technical editing, code review and testing. I feel we have developed a very good beginners books. One could argue that my review may not be able to provide the necessary perspective of someone completely unfamiliar with programming in general and web programming specifically. In this vain, Wrox did something that I believe is fairly uncommon which was to have the manuscript reviewed by some individuals who would consider themselves to be closer to the unexperienced end of the spectrum. We received lots of useful feedback from those reviewers and it helped to influence the material and enhance the final product.

The only defense I can offer is this: Unfortunately, with a subject matter as complex as "Data driven ASP.NET web sites" there are too many sub-areas to cover them all thoroughly in a single text. Take nearly any chapter in this book and you are likely to find entire volumes dedicated to the chapter's subject (for example: security, style/design, databases, user controls, etc). Surely enough, Wrox offers many of those books as well. A book that covers the material this one does to the level of detail you describe would be unmanageably large and prohibitively expensive to be practical.

You do raise some valid points regarding the areas of coverage. There could be many of the features you described in this book. However, one could argue that getting into an area of technology like this essentially marries one into the understanding that one can never know it all and no resource can provide it all. There are simply too many possibilities and not enough hours in the day.

I was asked to review and edit this text because of my experience with the technology. Granted, this text covered some ground that I had yet to tread, but there were also areas that my feet were quite familiar (so I thought) yet I saw things I'd never seen before. There were plenty of occasions when I encountered something I was unfamiliar with or could not classify as correct or incorrect so I had to go off and do my own research to learn and verify it. In some cases I simply had to build something and test it. There is no end of the road on the trip of knowledge. There often won't be road signs to guide you so you must simply turn off and explore on your own.

All I can recommend is that you keep at it. There is a particular programming book that I have read cover to cover nearly twice, and I keep going back to it because the concepts are just unfamiliar to me. Go back and read this book again. Try the code out again, change it, see what happens. Explore. Hopefully you'll pick it up and start to enjoy the technology like many of us have. When you encounter terminology that isn't explained enough, defer to google. You're likely to find the answer. When in doubt, ask here. The two most regular occupants of this forum are the two people who were closest to this book's creation. We'll be happy to answer questions you have.

Good luck!


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