My musings about .NET and what not

Wanna Help Me Write a Book?

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.

aspmet4-pds 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   in the 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.

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    » Comments

    1. Don Demsak avatar

      Uh, what about ASP.NET 3.5 Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution by Chris Love? Wasn't it the follow up to Marco Bellinaso’s book?

      Don Demsak — December 7, 2009 9:56 AM
    2. Lee Dumond avatar

      @Don - Yes, it was. And this is another one. ;)

      Just wanted to make it clear that this book is intended as a direct sequel to Marco's 2.0 book, so that anyone who didn't read the 3.5 book can rest assured they won't be missing anything.

      Lee Dumond — December 7, 2009 10:16 AM
    3. Tim Sargent (bentwingedbird) avatar

      Will your sample application address error handling and how to incoprorate it in the application, similar to your Worx Blox?


      Tim Sargent (bentwingedbird) — December 7, 2009 12:19 PM
    4. Lee Dumond avatar

      @Tim -- will probably be using ELMAH for global error handling. Has a few extra features that would have been a bit beyond the scope of my Blox if I had included them in there.

      Lee Dumond — December 7, 2009 12:31 PM
    5. Tim Sargent avatar

      Cool. If I recall correctly, that was one area (error handling) that wasn't really addressed in the original book.

      I'll be downloading the code as soon as I get 2010 installed - good thing my new system is up and running of as last weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing this app (and the corresponding book) :)

      Tim Sargent — December 7, 2009 3:21 PM
    6. Imar Spaanjaars avatar

      Hi Lee,

      Sounds like a great plan! Good idea to share the source and ask for help before starting to write... ;-)



      Imar Spaanjaars — December 7, 2009 3:35 PM
    7. Tim Sargent avatar

      Since both VS 2010 and VWD 2010 are free (at least in beta), do you have a recommendation/preference for which one we use?

      Tim Sargent — December 7, 2009 10:57 PM
    8. Lee Dumond avatar


      I'm developing it in VS 2010, but it really needs to run reliably in VWD 2010, so I'd say trying it out in VWD 2010 would be the most helpful.

      Lee Dumond — December 7, 2009 11:44 PM
    9. Jef Claes avatar

      Hi Lee

      Will definately play with it in the future.

      I can translate it in Dutch if you want ;)

      Jef Claes — December 8, 2009 5:01 AM
    10. Malcolm avatar

      Hi Lee,

      That's great news!

      So can I ask when would you expect the book to be published?

      Malcolm — December 13, 2009 10:23 AM
    11. Lee Dumond avatar

      Target publish date is fall 2010.

      Lee Dumond — December 13, 2009 10:33 AM
    12. John Mansfield avatar

      Hi Lee,

      I have loaded and run Cyclemania.

      I am puzzled. Is there a mdf for

      albums,Forums,Blog and pictures?


      John Mansfield — December 14, 2009 11:47 AM
    13. Lee Dumond avatar


      Not yet. If you read the post, this is a very, very, very early alpha. So far, only the UI, themes, and membership system are in place right now.

      As features are added, new releases will be uploaded. This has been happening pretty much every day or two. Remember, I'm doing this in my spare time. ;)

      Lee Dumond — December 14, 2009 12:00 PM
    14. Anthony avatar

      Can we do something with this project that very few others in CodePlex do? Namely, create an associated Wiki (ScrewTurn) with some explanatory notes, etc? Not trying to pre-empt the actual book content here but this might relieve some pain points for beginners such as setting up DB string, why the architecture is the way it is, etc? Maybe add some intro resources for CSS and the like. I set up the site straight out of the box with SQL Standard DB - took about 3 minutes :-)

      Anthony — December 16, 2009 9:11 AM
    15. Deep avatar

      Will this have the ASP.MVC implementation??

      Your comments about MVC 2?


      Deep — December 28, 2009 8:40 PM
    16. Hernan Garcia avatar

      Count with me for the translation to Spanish. How do you want to go about that?

      Hernan Garcia — January 4, 2010 3:20 PM
    17. BW avatar


      Personally I'd like to see source code that is built along the way. What I mean is I'd really love to see the source code have a folder per chapter or something so that we can see the progression of the code. Sometimes it's nice to see what the code looks like before it get's change for a subsequent chapter. This helps us know better what pieces are used in each chapter and how they all relate together.

      BW — January 8, 2010 5:38 PM
    18. Lee Dumond avatar

      BW, great suggestion. I agree, it would be ideal to have a chapter by chapter development process with source code for each. However, that's not as easy as it sounds. It basically means finishing the entire app, then deconstructing and rebuilding it step by step from square one in such a way that it matches the structure of the book. That takes a lot of time. I intend to give this a try if time allows though; if not day-and-date with the books release, then sometime soon after.

      Lee Dumond — January 8, 2010 6:27 PM
    19. Deon avatar

      Wow! This is the best news I have heard in a long time, especially after the disappointment of the last book which was only printed in I can't wait for the book and what I have seen so far from the Alpha version it looks great. Thanks in advance Lee for your work and effort. Marco's book taught me more about programming than I learnt in all my time at uni and I bet this won't be any different. .NET was before my time at uni but universities will do their students a massive favour by letting them do books like these in their 1st years...Far better than all the theory they taught us day and night.

      Deon — January 11, 2010 3:41 PM
    20. matt avatar

      Please tell me you are using linq to entities ? (jquery would be nice)

      matt — January 20, 2010 9:05 AM
    21. Lee Dumond avatar

      Matt - Yes to both. :)

      Lee Dumond — January 20, 2010 9:31 AM
    22. matt avatar

      Another thing.. I love these type of books that build something from scratch.. they are rare since most are just references to the different pieces of technology..

      But what Id really like is to have the book go chapter by chapter have a work site at the end up each chapter instead of wrap everything up in the end.... so at the end of each chapter there is the code... instead of just one peice of source code that shows the end results

      What I mean is for example.. Just get one part of the site working.. like the catalog from back to front without doing all the other classes at the same time..

      So if I am confused on chap 4 then atleast I only have to sort through the bare amount of code instead of one giant end result

      matt — February 5, 2010 9:58 AM
    23. Lee Dumond avatar

      Yes Matt, that certainly is the idea. For the most part, there will be one chapter per "part" - in other words, there's a chapter on building the blog; one on the forum, etc. Keep in mind there will be "cross-cutting" concerns like configuration, logging, security, caching, and so on that will run throughout the book though.

      Lee Dumond — February 5, 2010 10:25 AM
    24. Roboblob avatar

      Any chance of some Silverlight chapters in the book.

      If so i could help.

      Roboblob — June 2, 2010 4:17 PM
    25. Andy avatar

      Any idea when the book will be out yet?

      Andy — June 22, 2010 6:50 AM
    26. Lee Dumond avatar

      Andy - probably late fall.

      Lee Dumond — June 22, 2010 2:05 PM
    27. Metric avatar

      Where it will be available for sale??

      Metric — July 5, 2010 8:30 PM
    28. venta mariscos avatar

      How much it will cost?

      venta mariscos — July 5, 2010 10:15 PM
    29. Lee Dumond avatar

      Should be available near the end of 2010, and I think the proce is going to be somewhere around $45 USD.

      Lee Dumond — July 6, 2010 3:13 PM
    30. Mike | AllSearchRecords avatar

      Hey Lee I would really like if you include a mini 'action plan' in your book, that's what we beginners often ask, WHERE TO START? We may have all this great information but if we have no idea how to implement it then we're lost. So a mini action plan and a recommendation on what pace to read a book would be really useful in my opinion.

      Mike | AllSearchRecords — July 10, 2010 4:14 AM
    31. Rob avatar

      Is this book still on track for a late 2010 release?

      Rob — September 13, 2010 11:39 PM
    32. Tim Salter avatar

      Any update on the release date?

      Tim Salter — October 6, 2010 11:20 PM
    33. Zdenek Tison avatar

      Please, please, finish this book.

      Zdenek Tison — November 4, 2010 7:46 AM
    34. ibmkahm avatar

      at p2p.wrox you wont finish the book, could you explain why ? and maybe finish the CycleMania anyway ?

      ibmkahm — December 14, 2010 11:20 AM
    35. Tim Salter avatar

      This is very disappointing. Any reason why? I thought the CycleMania site was on its way to be very cool and functional.

      Tim Salter — December 18, 2010 2:02 PM
    36. kevin avatar

      So ha sthe book been published as yet or is it vaporware.

      kevin — January 22, 2011 8:42 AM

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