I'm just really getting started with this book, and I've read several other books on ASP.Net 3.5 development. I've been working with it for a couple of years and am very comfortable with the development environment and both primary languages (VB
.Net and C#). But, there are some things that I'm seeing in this book so far that are significant problems.
In the "Solution" section of chapter 1, for example, the example code has you set references to two custom controls (FooterCopyright.ascx and ThemeSelector.ascx). This is the first time these controls are referred to. The code to create them hasn't been presented yet. The only thing I can infer from this is that the author assumes that, rather than trying to follow and implement the examples from scratch, the reader is expected to download the code from the website...But, that begs the question of why begin the Solution with "First, create a new website project in Visual Studio .Net 2008..." (if you expect everyone to download the code and work with that).
Similarly, the presentation of the content of one or more CSS files without specifying the files or the folder structure to use to implement themes (as has been alluded to throughout the chapter) is just poor presentation. How difficult is it to add a few paragraphs instructing the reader to add a "Theme" folder named "X". Create a Stylesheet file named "Y" and add the following to it:... ?
I've also found several minor editing glitches that have made a few sentences difficult to read / follow. For example the following from the highlighted block of text on page 35: "By specification, all browsers stop everything until the entire script is loaded and evaluated; this mean loaded from the server or inline scripts." I'm assuming that they merely left a "s" off the word "means"; but, this definitely could have been stated more clearly. If my interpretation is correct, I'd have rather seen this written as "By specification, all browsers stop everything until the entire script is loaded from the server or inline scripts (which also come from the server - unless they can also be loaded from local cache - right?) and evaluated."
I'm hoping that this level of sloppiness doesn't persist throughout the rest of the book. The time I have for skills development is limited, and I simply can't afford to spend hours (over the course of the whole book) trying to decipher how to do something that could have been simply explained in the text. If the book continues in this manner, I'll probably ignore the text and simply reverse-engineer the example code. It'll be faster.