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Programming .NET 3.5

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Programming .NET 3.5

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Tags: Programming, Net, Silverlight, Wpf, Wcf
1 review about Programming .NET 3.5

Why We Wrote This Book

  • Apr 12, 2009
  • by
Of all the books I've written, I believe this is the least well understood by those who have not yet bought it, and most valued by those who have (I'm sorry, I know how terrible that sounds).  It is certainly the one I'm currently most proud of.

We had two premises when we wrote this book:

  1. Provide a meaningful and useful review of all the technology in .NET 3.5 - extending the definition to include related technology such as AJAX and
  2. Show how all this technology enables and fosters n-tier and other patterns-based programming, perhaps for the first time since the advent of .NET.

I believe now, after some time reading the reviews and talking with folks in Microsoft that we succeeded in both goals but due to a number of factors (economic, publishing, etc.) this book has not gotten the "play" it might have.  The reviews are very good, but the sales are measly.  That is the nature of publishing, and I can live with it (though my poor children are living on unleavened bread and water) but it does give me the opportunity to say, briefly, why we wrote the book.

In the past couple years Microsoft has been producing new technology at a prodigious rate.  I have a friend who calls me every few months and says "Cut it out."  My personal metric, both before and after joining Microsoft, in judging whether the new technology is designed to generate revenue or has real merit is whether the new technology improves my work as a programmer. There is no doubt in my mind that it does. 

  • C# is far better than C++
  • Managed code is far better than pointers and memory leaks
  • ASP/AJAX is far better than classic ASP which was far better than CGI
  • WPF is far better than Winforms which was far better than MFC
  • WCF is far better than ASMX and WebServices are a critical advance
  • Silverlight is a tremendous advance which I believe will,  in time, have a huge impact on the user's experience (and already has world wide with the Olympics)

The list goes on and on and while some ventures stumble, most have been tremendous improvements over what was there before.

A key point made in our book is that for the past 5-10 years we've been preaching n-tier development and reading and emulating patterns-based programming, but the platform has been fighting us, and the truth is that the vast majority of .net programs were really 2-tier programs in disguise.  Application logic infested both the UI and the data layer.  .NET 3.5 changes the game, and all the more so today with RIA services.

While AJAX was a great leap forward in creating richer UX on the web, true Rich Internet Experiences require rich client-based in-browser capabilities that AJAX just can't provide.  Silverlight takes the .NET platform and injects it into your browser (Explorer, FireFox, etc.) on your platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) providing a desktop richness delivered over the web.  This is revolutionary and I gave up 15 years of independent consulting specifically to come to Microsoft to learn about it and to work with developers about it.  I believe strongly that it is a game changer - at least as significant as .Net itself, perhaps as significant in the long run as Win 3.1



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