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Old April 19th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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Imar Imar is offline
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Hi Chris,

While I'll try to help you wherever you can to make this work, I don't think you're fair or realistic towards computers, programming, my book and life in general. I'll tackle some of the issues you brought up and give my view on them.
quote:To be fair I don't like computers in the first place. I have no patience for them. I expect them to do what they're told, when they're told;
I am not trying to be funny, but then maybe you're in the wrong business. Maybe you don't need a training or a good book, but you need a consultant or programmer that writes the code for you, so you can focus on what you're good at.
quote:and have no tolerance for them telling me they can't do something, especially when they spit back a page of some meaningless garbage that only Microsoft can understand. That is a skill ASP is exceedingly good at. I use them because I have to, not out of desire.
I don't think this is fair either. Most of the times, the error messages provide a lot of information. Simply copying and pasting the error message in Google gives you many pages with helpful tips, ideas and solutions.
quote:If ASP is so complex, then what is the point of the book?
ASP.NET (you keep mentioning ASP which is now referred to as "classic ASP". The book deals with ASP.NET exclusively) by itself is not that complex. However, in order to make good web sites, you need to master many different technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, VB or C#, database design and programming and what more. My book introduces you to each of those technologies, and does that well. But remember: it's called Beginning ASP.NET. It doesn't say "Become a professional web developer in just a few days even if you don't like computers". Mastering ASP.NET takes time; a lot. My book is just a start, but you'll need other books to widen and deepen your knowledge on any of the other topics I mentioned.
quote:And the total lack of any support documentation for VWD, in true Microsoft fashion...well...I won't go there.
What???? You must be either out of your mind, or someone stole your F1 key. Try this:

[New Sites]
1. In VWD, choose File New Web Site
2.Press F1
3. Read this:

You get introductions to creating local sites, file system based sites, IIS remote sites and what more. The same page shows you the different icons and what they mean. It explains the differences between file based and HTTP based web sites and so on.

1. Highlight a project, press F4 to bring up the Properties Grid and Press F1.
2. You are taken to: which shows you to modify your project, including an explanation of relevant project and solution settings and building (compiling) sites.

[CSS Editing]
1. Open up a CSS file
2. Press F1. You are taken here:
You get help about the CSS editor; it shows you how the Style Rule Dialog Box works, how to pick fonts and it links to an introduction to CSS.
3. Open up the style builder and press F1. You're taken here:
It shows you how to create new styles, how you can work with new and existing CSS files, shows you basic HTML editing in VWD and much more.

Finally, take a look here: It's the main index to help on VWD. It has thousands and thousands of free pages with information on about anything you can think of in VWD, all neatly organized in a well designed tree structure. Additionally, you can search the on-line help in case you have free format questions.

I could go on for hours like this. No help?? No help in true Microsoft fashion? Come on!! Get real!!
quote:It took me 6 weeks to write 3200 lines of code for the Macro I'm trying to migrate (what the heck is a macro anyway?)
And then you end up here:
A three second search, a 5 minutes read, and a life-time use of knowledge of the word Macro and a bit more.
quote:Why?, because some moron decided a drop down list can only use two columns in a database table.
Why are you judging so hard? Why is the designer of the drop-down a moron because you can only enter one field to display and one for the value? Why are you not a moron for not being able to convert a macro in 6 weeks? I am not saying you are one; I am just saying you shouldn't judge so hard. Maybe you don't like the behavior; fine. I can agree on that, but it's a fact of life if you want to stick to simple drop downs. However, again a quick Google search brings up stuff like the Telerik controls (although there are many other vendors as well):

This particular demo shows three columns, but you can easily use 11 if you want.
quote:If there are too many available "code words" that's fine; refer the reader to another book, which you did throughout.
In your e-mail you mentioned the following "code words" that you didn't understand. Again, I don't think your judgement on the book is fair. I listed the code words below and complemented them with the part of the book that describes them:

Namespaces are nothing more than simple containers that you can refer to by name using the dot notation. They are used to prefix each data type that is available in your application.
(There's a lot more in that same section, with examples and more explanation but I don't want to repeat the entire book here)

Properties of an object are the characteristics the object has. Consider a Person object. What kind of properties does a Person have? It’s easy to come up with many different characteristics, but the most common are:
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
This section is then followed by a through explanation and many code examples.

If properties are the things that a class has (its characteristics), then methods are the things a class can do. A car, for example, has characteristics such as Brand, Model, and Color. Its methods could be Drive(), Brake(), and OpenDoors(). Methods give objects the behavior that enables them to do something.

Again, followed by examples in VB and C#, with a thorough explanation.

Classes are the blueprints of objects. Just as you can use a single blueprint to build a bunch of similar houses, you can use a single class to create multiple instances of that class. So the class acts as the definition of the objects that you use in your application.

Once more, this is followed by step by step explanations, code examples and descriptions.

I could go on with this for CSS classes, attributes, elements, tags, themes, CSS and so on but I don't want to reproduce the book in its entirety here.
I don't think your judgement on the book is fair; it's all in there, in clear, concise and understandable English. You just overlooked things, or haven't read everything in the order you need to read it; or so it seems....
quote:But for Pete's sake explain the ones you do use. I stand by my assertion that the book was written for someone with more than none to minimal programming experience. What little I have was quite insufficient to understand what was being presented in this book.
Without being funny or unnecessarily harsh: maybe you are in the wrong business. While I understand I cannot write a book that satisfies everyone, I do believe I have written one that works for most newbies, but also for more experienced developers. The book has been "written and tested against people completely new to the field" and research showed it worked well for them.

I am sorry it didn't work for you; maybe you need a different learning experience than these kind of books. Maybe a one-on-one tutor works better for you.....

Imar Spaanjaars
Everyone is unique, except for me.
Author of Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 : in C# and VB, ASP.NET 2.0 Instant Results and Dreamweaver MX 2004
Want to be my colleague? Then check out this post.