It’s official – I’ll be writing the next installment in Wrox Press’ best-selling ASP.NET series. Here’s a sneak peek into ASP.NET 4.0 Website Programming: Problem – Design – Solution, and a way you – yes, you – can help make the book better, and even receive written credit in the book’s Acknowledgement section.
Marco Bellinaso’s ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming: Problem Design Solution won’t be an easy act to to follow. Published in 2006, it went on to become one of the best-selling ASP.NET books of all time, and has been highly influential for thousands of web developers. For the past 3.5 years, it has been the book on how to develop a complete website from start-to-finish in ASP.NET.
It is my sincere hope that the upcoming ASP.NET 4.0 Website Programming: Problem – Design – Solution will be as useful to today’s generation of web developers going forward as Marco’s book has been. But to do that, I’m going to need your help.
About the Book
ASP.NET 4.0 Website Programming Problem – Design – Solution is intended to pick up where Marco’s ASP.NET 2.0 book left off. The book will take an example-driven, hands-on approach, while describing in detail the development of a complete ASP.NET 4.0 application from start to finish. In its pages, developers will discover unique and resourceful ways to handle the issues they face daily during the website development process.
It will be targeted at developers with a moderate degree of experience with ASP.NET 2.0. Those familiar with ASP.NET 3.5 will likely grasp the material a bit quicker, though ASP.NET 3.5 experience will neither be assumed nor required.
About the Application
The book introduces a brand new sample application called CycleMania. The site will function as a portal / social networking destination for motorcycle enthusiasts of all kinds.
The new CycleMania application retains the most popular features from the BeerHouse application featured in the 2.0 version of the book such as forums and an online store, as well as localization, personalization, and deployment projects. However, CycleMania introduces many new and exciting features, such as Blogs (this replaces the Articles module from the previous book), an Event Calendar, a Multimedia Gallery, comprehensive Search functionality, an enhanced Administration dashboard, and much more.
Where You Fit In
Like the original BeerHouse, CycleMania will be a fully functional, complete, ready-to-use application, deployable straight out of the box. Along with the accompanying book, it should also serve as a teaching aid that showcases much of the modern new thinking in ASP.NET Webforms application architecture, design principles, and design patterns; as well as Web standards, semantics, accessibility, advanced CSS techniques, and rich interactive UI. Ultimately, it will provide a solid framework from which readers will be able to develop their own scalable, secure, enterprise-level Web applications.
The success of the book relies on the success of the underlying sample application. My hope is to make it as comprehensive, solid, and bug-free as possible, while meeting the overall design goals stated above (in the limited amount of time I’ve been given, or course). In order to do that, I need to put as many minds to it as possible. The idea here is to solicit as much feedback from the community as I can. That’s where you come in.
Download it Now
At the risk of totally embarrassing myself, I am going to be posting iterations of Cyclemania on Codeplex for anyone to freely download. You will need Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 or Visual Web Developer 2010 Express Beta 2 to run it (both of these are free).
The first Alpha version is already available. In it, you’ll find the basic UI, along with a couple of themes that you can switch between. The Membership parts are fairly complete as well, so you’ll be able to register, confirm registrations by email, log in, reset passwords, change your email address, password, or security question, and so on. In order to do most of those things, you’ll need to get email functionality working by configuring the <mailSettings> in the <system.net> section of Web.config to point to your own mail server, or use a SMTP development server like Antix.
That’s about it for right now, but I’ll be uploading new versions every few days. Download the latest release. Play with it. Abuse it. Run it through its paces, and let me know the following:
- Have you found a bug? If so, report it by creating a new item in the Issue Tracker. If you have a suggested fix for it, even better! Contact me via the People section, or through the contact page of this blog, and send me what you’ve come up with. This includes XHTML validation and cross-browser issues as well!
- Am I on the right track? Or am I all wet? Post thoughts, comments, and suggestions in the Discussions area. Let’s get some robust dialogue happening!
- Got an idea for a theme? You’ll see I have two somewhat “fancy” themes created for the site already, but I’d love to have more. I especially need at least one simple, high-contrast theme which emphasizes accessibility. The good news is that the site doesn’t use skins, or any of the other features of the ASP.NET Themes system – just good ol’ fashioned Cascading Style Sheets. If you’re good with CSS, have at it and if it’s worthy, I’ll include it in the book. The more, the better!
- Do you know Spanish? Part of the plan is to localize the site in both English and Spanish. Unfortunately, I don’t know a lick of Spanish. If you want to help with the translation (mostly single words and simple phrases), you’ll get mad props.
Of course, it would be of most help to keep up to date on the very latest and greatest version. The best way to do that is to subscribe to the project’s RSS feed, so you’ll know when new releases are posted. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter, where’ll I’ll be tweeting updates and other relevant info as well.
Again, the most helpful helpers will receive written acknowledgements in the book. Your name in actual print, just like Navin R. Johnson. ;)
My sincere hope is, with your help, we’ll come up with a really great web application, and a really great book to go with it.