September 2012 - Posts - Jon Galloway

September 2012 - Posts

Professional ASP.NET MVC 4 is out!

Look what showed up yesterday!

Note: These bobsledders on the cover may look familiar, but they have in fact been upgraded to ASP.NET MVC 4.

Up on Amazon

Professional ASP.NET MVC 4 is available on Amazon, both in paperback and Kindle format. At least in the US, I hear they're shipping these out really fast.

E-Book Versions

There are two E-book options, both with some nice features.

The Kindle version is in color and allows you to do all the standard Kindle font size / background / layout tweaking. I think they turned out pretty nice:

2012-09-26_16h29_39

2012-09-26_16h27_47

The other option is to get the e-book versions from Wrox. Those aren't in color, but they're available in three formats (PDF, Mobi, and ePub) and they're DRM free. I don't think they're available yet, but should be up in early October.

What's New

For this book, we focused on a few main things:

  • Updates for ASP.NET MVC 4 and Visual Studio 2012
  • More professional / advanced / real-world content
  • Better flow for people who are new to ASP.NET MVC - or are experienced with it
  • Responding to feedback and reviews
  • ASP.NET Web API

Updates

Obviously, we updated the content, code and screenshots for ASP.NET MVC 4 and Visual Studio 2012. Some of the implications of the updates aren't immediately obvious, though - for instance, I felt that the security chapter should consider the implications of OAuth and OpenID authentication.

Professional / Advanced / Real World Content

One bit of feedback we heard from the previous book was that it didn't have enough "real world" content. That can be kind of tricky, but it's a fair criticism. For this version of the book, we focused on two areas for that. First, we reviewed the content so that the content would flow a bit better for different skill levels - more on that next. Secondly , Phil wrote a new chapter at the very end of the book that explains how he and other ASP.NET MVC pros built and maintain the NuGet Gallery site at NuGet.org. He covers things like exception logging, profiling, data access, migration and membership.

Better Flow

I had some beginning developers tell me that the book started throwing advanced concepts at them too early, while some advanced developers told me the book seemed too basic. After talking to people in more depth, this was really the same problem - the book's flow needed to improve. We worked to make the book build more evenly, so it starts easier at the beginning and adds in more advanced content later. While this benefits the beginner, it also lets advanced developers skip over the simple stuff and jump into meaty chapters later in the book without interruptions to teach them the basics.

It's not exact, but in general Chapters 1-6 cover the basics and Chapters 7-16 cover intermediate and advanced content. So as an advanced developer, I'd recommend reading Chapter 1 to get the overview of what's new in ASP.NET MVC 4, then skimming chapters 2-6 (controllers, models, views, Ajax, and data annotations) and reading more thoroughly starting with Chapter 7 on Security.  One example of that is Chapter 3 on Views - it now focuses more on the beginner level stuff you need to know, and the advanced view information (like custom view engines) is covered in the Views section of the Advanced Topics chapter.

The table of contents is available as a PDF, take a look and see how we did.

Responding to feedback and reviews

We do take reviews - both positive and negative - seriously. We read through comments from the previous book and did our best to keep making the book better.

ASP.NET Web API

ASP.NET Web API is a big subject, and really an entire book could easily be written on it. However, since it ships with ASP.NET MVC 4 and is so useful in ASP.NET MVC applications, we felt like it would be good to have a one chapter overview. Brad wrote a great overview that explains not just what ASP.NET Web API is, but how it fits in with ASP.NET MVC.

What's Not New

Same amazing author team, same way to get the sample code (NuGet), same technical editor, same bobsledders. Oh, but the bobsledders have been upgraded, remember.

And speaking of our technical editor, I want to call out what an amazing job Eilon Lipton does on this book. In additional to top notch technical feedback, he also regularly points out bigger issues in structure and content. He regularly recommends that we cover content or features we'd left out, or that we stop recommending something that's not a good idea, or just tells us that a part of a chapter is boring or hard to follow. The book wouldn't be what it is without his invaluable input.

The whole team at Wrox has been great, too. It's both humbling and incredibly rewarding to work with a sharp editorial team, and this was another great experience.

But I already have a previous edition!

Weren't you listening? There's tons of new content. This book is about ASP.NET MVC 4 and ASP.NET Web API, what's your old book about?

Look, you can still use your old copies of the book for other things. For instance, the whole bobsled book family makes a great play set... and the holidays are coming soon...

Oh, and also Amazon's got it incredibly cheap now, so there's that. So go get it!

Guest (and occasional co-host) on Jesse Liberty's Yet Another Podcast

I was a recent guest on Jesse Liberty's Yet Another Podcast talking about the latest Visual Studio, ASP.NET and Azure releases.

Download / Listen:

Yet Another Podcast #75–Jon Galloway on ASP.NET/ MVC/ Azure

Co-hosted shows:

Jesse's been inviting me to co-host shows and I told him I'd show up when I was available. It's a nice change to be a drive-by co-host on a show (compared with the work that goes into organizing / editing / typing show notes for Herding Code shows). My main focus is on Herding Code, but it's nice to pop in and talk to Jesse's excellent guests when it works out. Some shows I've co-hosted over the past year:

Yet Another Podcast #76–Glenn Block on Node.js & Technology in China

Yet Another Podcast  #73 - Adam Kinney on developing for Windows 8 with HTML5

Yet Another Podcast #64 - John Papa & Javascript

Yet Another Podcast #60 - Steve Sanderson and John Papa on Knockout.js

Yet Another Podcast #54–Damian Edwards on ASP.NET

Yet Another Podcast #53–Scott Hanselman on Blogging

Yet Another Podcast #52–Peter Torr on Windows Phone Multitasking

Yet Another Podcast #51–Shawn Wildermuth: //build, Xaml Programming & Beyond

And some more on the way that haven't been released yet. Some of these I'm pretty quiet, on others I get wacky and hassle the guests because, hey, not my podcast so not my problem.

Show notes from the ASP.NET / MVC / Azure show:

  • What was just released
    • Visual Studio 2012 Web Developer features
    • ASP.NET 4.5 Web Forms
      • Strongly Typed data controls
      • Data access via command methods
      • Similar Binding syntax to ASP.NET MVC
      • Some context: Damian Edwards and WebFormsMVP
      • Two questions from Jesse:
        • Q: Are you making this harder or more complicated for Web Forms developers?
          • Short answer: Nothing's removed, it's just a new option
          • History of SqlDataSource, ObjectDataSource
        • Q: If I'm using some MVC patterns, why not just move to MVC?
          • Short answer: This works really well in hybrid applications, doesn't require a rewrite
          • Allows sharing models, validation, other code between Web Forms and MVC
    • ASP.NET MVC
      • Adaptive Rendering (oh, also, this is in Web Forms 4.5 as well)
      • Display Modes
      • Mobile project template using jQuery Mobile
      • OAuth login to allow Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc. login
    • Jon (and friends') MVC 4 book on the way: Professional ASP.NET MVC 4
    • Windows 8 development
      • Jesse and Jon announce they're working on a new book: Pro Windows 8 Development with XAML and C#
      • Jon and Jesse agree that it's nice to be able to write Windows 8 applications using the same skills they picked up for Silverlight, WPF, and Windows Phone development.
    • Compare / contrast ASP.NET MVC and Windows 8 development
      • Q: Does ASP.NET and HTML5 development overlap?
        • Jon thinks they overlap in the MVC world because you're writing HTML views without controls
        • Jon describes how his web development career moved from a preoccupation with server code to a focus on user interaction, which occurs in the browser
        • Jon mentions his NDC Oslo presentation on Learning To Love HTML as Beautiful Code
      • Q: How do you apply C# / XAML or HTML5 skills to Windows 8 development?
      • Q: If I'm a XAML programmer, what's the learning curve on getting up to speed on ASP.NET MVC?
        • Jon describes the difference in application lifecycle and state management
        • Jon says it's nice that web development is really interactive compared to application development
      • Q: Can you learn MVC by reading a book? Or is it a lot bigger than that?
    • What is Azure, and why would I use it?
      • Jon describes the traditional Azure platform mode and how Azure Web Sites fits in
      • Q: Why wouldn't Jesse host his blog on Azure Web Sites?
        • Domain names on Azure Web Sites
        • File hosting options
      • Q: Is Azure just another host? How is it different from any of the other shared hosting options?
        • A: Azure gives you the ability to scale up or down whenever you want
        • A: Other services are available if or when you want them
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