My musings about .NET and what not

Books I Wish Would Just Come Out Already

In case you haven't noticed, the .NET world has been inundated with a flood of new technology over the last year or so -- first C# 3.0, followed quickly by the .NET 3.5 Framework, LINQ, ASP.NET Dynamic Data, the Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data Services, and soon, ASP.NET MVC.

And as I'm sure many of you have definitely noticed, the poor publishers have had a helluva time keeping up.

Herein lies the problem with living out on the bleeding edge of technology. When something new comes out, for the first several months after release, decent documentation is pretty hard to find.

Should we rely on blog posts to figure it all out? Come on, seriously. Blogs lie, and liars blog. Will Rogers didn't say that, but I bet he would have. The fact is that any fool can publish a blog. You are in fact, at this very second, witness to living proof of that. Authors, on the other hand, are carefully vetted by their publishers, their work is technically reviewed, and they are (usually) held to accepted standards of grammar, syntax, agreement in number and gender... you know, all that Englishy stuff. That's why we need books.

MSDN? Everyone knows that MSDN documentation is not actually written by humans, but is spewed out by a giant computer that belches smoke and flames, programmed with a special obfuscation algorithm and located at the summit of an unscalable mountain on an uninhabited island somewhere off Puget Sound. That's why we need books. 

Videos? Whoa, have you seen some of the Dynamic Data videos Microsoft has put up? Blurry, inaudible, and basically unwatchable. Honestly, I've seen early 70s porn with better production values. Just another reason we need books.

So here, in no particular order, is my Top 5 List of Books I Wish Would Just Come Out Already.

Programming the Microsoft® ADO.NET Entity Framework (PRO-Developer)

Programming the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework, David Sceppa, Microsoft Press.

I am currently tech editing a book on the Entity Framework, so I pre-ordered this on Amazon (which I never, ever, ever do). I was really looking forward to reading it over Christmas vacation, since it was supposed to be on my doorstep on December 10. I figured they had a decent shot at meeting the promised date because hey, if anyone would have the early inside scoop on Microsoft technology, it would be Microsoft Press, right?

I've got a feeling this one will be worth the wait though. You'd be very hard pressed to find another human being who is as well-informed about data access in .NET than David Sceppa. His ADO.NET Core Reference books are indispensable, and I'm sure this one will be as well.

ASP.NET MVC Framework Unleashed

 ASP.NET MVC Framework Unleashed, Stephen Walther, Sams Publishing.

Even though Amazon lists this book as coming out on May 18, I don't have to wait that long to review it. Here it is: It's Great, The End. I already know this, because Stephen Walther is writing it.

Not only is he a world-renowned authority, Walther can actually write. That is a rarer combination than you might think. He is one of the few authors I can say without equivocation that I really trust. Hell, if Stephen Walther published his grocery list, I would probably read it.

Given the fact that Stephen is now working inside the belly of the Beast, and is actually on the ASP.NET MVC team, it's hard to see how this one can miss.

EDIT 2/5/2009: The bad news: It looks like this book has now been pushed to August. The good news: Stephen has started posting rough draft chapters from this book on his blog.

Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0

Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0, Rob Conery, Scott Hanselman, and Phil Haack, Wrox Publishing.

Hey, just because I write for Wrox doesn't mean you should hold it against them. Wrox is generally pretty good at picking authors, and it looks like they picked three winners with this one. All three of these guys work at Microsoft as well. This should be an excellent companion to Walther's book.

EDIT 3/10/2009: The title has been changed (was originally Professional ASP.NET 3.5 MVC) and Scott Guthrie has been added as an author, which is a pretty awesome move on Wrox's part. He's contributing the first chapter, which is 185 page end-to-end walkthrough of the NerdDinner application. This chapter is available now as a totally free download.

Professional ASP.NET Design Patterns

Professional ASP.NET Design Patterns, Steve Valenzuela and Joe Fawcett, Wrox Publishing.

Wrox doesn't invite me to their Christmas parties (and for very good reason), so I have no idea who these two dudes are. But the subject seems very interesting -- I've been interested in learning more about design patterns for a while now, and this is the first book I've seen that claims to directly apply design patterns to ASP.NET. I'm taking a chance on this one, but I haven't been burned by a Wrox book yet.

Amazon has this listed as coming out on January 27, but don't hold them to it. Wrox sometimes tends to be a little optimistic on the release dates. When they send book information to Amazon, they should just put in that field, "when it's ready."

Programming Entity Framework

Programming Entity Framework, Julia Lerman, O'Reilly Media.

Although this is Julia's first book, she's been teaching the EF for almost two years now, and her expertise on the subject is widely acknowledged. From the Rough Cuts material published thus far on the O'Reilly website, this looks like it'll hold up to their usual very high standards.

The flood of new Microsoft technology in 2008 is giving rise to a slew of new books in 2009. Looks like we've all got some reading to catch up on.

As soon as the books come out, that is.

So, what books are you anxiously waiting on? Let us know about them in the comments.

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      Books I Wish Would Just Come Out Already — January 9, 2009 9:13 AM
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    » Comments

    1. Vaibhav avatar

      This is a nice list. I think I am definitely going to buy the Microsoft Press one on Entities and the MVC one from Wrox.


      Vaibhav — January 11, 2009 2:11 PM
    2. Philthy avatar

      Great list. Already pre-ordered the design patterns book.

      I really liked your description of MSDN, hillarious :-D

      I can really se this big evil machine -



      Philthy — February 3, 2009 7:34 AM
    3. Chris Love avatar

      I know Julie's book has already gone to press, but that still means a few months out. Took her over 9 months of dedication to get it done.

      Glad to see the Design Patterns book getting going, I know there was some author issues last summer.

      Chris Love — February 22, 2009 7:26 PM
    4. Lee Dumond avatar


      Julie's book actually came out ten days ago (2/12/09), right on time. Amazon is showing it as in stock. I know she busted butt to get it done. Can't wait to give it a read.

      Last I spoke to JM at Wrox, the Design Patterns book was still in limbo, but hopefully things have changed since then.

      BTW, Stephen Walther has been blogging draft chapters from Unleashed for a couple of weeks now...

      Lee Dumond — February 22, 2009 7:44 PM
    5. Andy avatar

      I hadn't come accross the design patterns book, and as I type this at the start of April 09, Amazon's US site still states the date as Jan 09. The UK Amazon site is quoting March 2010! I guess it will be ready when it's ready... Shame.

      Andy — April 9, 2009 10:01 AM
    6. Lee Dumond avatar

      @Andy -- it's my understanding that ASP.NET Design Patterns is essentially "in limbo," which means it's probably not going to be published at all.

      Lee Dumond — April 9, 2009 10:12 AM
    7. Scott Millett avatar

      Hi Lee,

      Just an update on Professional ASP.NET Design Patterns, I have picked this book up and I am currently writing it, should be out sometime next year. The tentative date on Amazon UK is August 2010.

      I have set up a codeplex site for the case study that will be used in the book and you can check it out here -



      Scott Millett — October 28, 2009 4:14 PM

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