My name is Edward Tanguay. I'm an American software and web developer living and working in Berlin, Germany.

These are the Notes on Books I Read

I read through each new book I get page by page, typing in notes on what strikes me as interesting, recording meaningful quotes, recording todos I want to try later, and turning facts into flashcard form. I often come back to these notes to refresh myself on what they had to say about the topic, find a key phrase they used, test myself on the flashcards or to find the things I wanted to try out in them. These notes print nicely to paper, just click the "print book notes" button.

Book Notes posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 permalink
Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight - February 2009
by Microsoft Patterns and Practices
You can get this "book" (a CHM file) by going to the Prism V2 site and downloading CompositeApplicationGuidance-Feb2009.exe and execute it, specify to unpack it in c:\prismv2 and the file will be found at C:\prismv2\Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight - February 2009.chm. Nowhere at the above link do they refer to this as "Prism" so I guess the acronym now is "CAG for WPF and Silverlight", the term Prism seems to be used less and less. In any case, if you want to develop WPF applications, there is no getting around these patterns and this is the definitive text to read on it, enjoy! You can also get the PDF version of the documentation here, thanks John.
Pretty much finished,working through and rebuilding the quickstarts.
 
Book Notes posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 permalink
Professional Visual Studio 2008
by Nick Randolph
I used Visual Studio back in 2005 and am getting back into now so am using this book as a refresher, looked through it and decided to read these chapters first: 17.Snippets, 18. class designer, 19. server explorer services, 20. unit testing, 40. resource files, 41. debugging quick, 42. debugging breakpoints, 43. debugging proxies, 44. debugging web, 45. advanced debugging, 47. build quick, 48. versioning quick, 49. clickonce, 51. automation model, 52. add-ins, 53. *macros.
Going to read chapter 53 on macros next.
 
Book Notes posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 permalink
Microsoft Visual Studio Tips
by Sara Ford
This book is mainly a collection of hotkeys and similar tips, it is based on the authors blog on which posted a tip-a-day about Visual Studio. There are no real best practices of seasoned developers in this book (e.g. ways in which to organize projects) but reading through it gave me the about 20 little tips that make my daily use of Visual Studio easier, e.g. all the cool hotkeys such as CTRL-I and how use snippets, swap lines, etc.
Review completed.
 
Book Notes posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 permalink
Professional LINQ
by Scott Klein
I set up a LINQ-to-SQL WPF application and realized how simple LINQ is going to make data access so needed to get deeper into it. This is a fair book so far for the introduction to LINQ, just going through the basics up to now but you have to do that just to get into the new syntax. Some promising chapters coming up.
Have so far reviewed 6 of 15 chapters...
 
Book Notes posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 permalink
Programming Entity Framework
by Julia Lerman
Need to use the Entity Framework for a project at work so reading through this. I have heard that LINQ-to-SQL will eventually be phased out or at least shrink from lack of attention, Microsoft needs to have one ORM solution, at least for Enterprise apps. Anyway, I think there is no getting around Entity if you are developing .NET apps.
 
Book Notes posted on Sunday, February 22, 2009 permalink
Foundation Expression Blend 2: Building Applications in WPF and Silverlight
by Victor Gaudioso
More and more video tutorials on WPF and Silverlight show the presenters using Blend so I decided to get a quick background on everything it can do. I have been doing all of my XAML by hand so far and seeing videos with someone building a page in Blend or binding data is impressive. However, I experienced Visual InterDev back in the day and am suspicious that Blend is one of those applications that looks good in demos but once you start using it, you find out that it has serious limits. I can imagine though that the ability to hop back and forth between Visual Studio and Blend minimizes that a bit. In any case, I'm excited to see the extent of what Blend can do.
Review completed.
 
Book Notes posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 permalink
Pro Silverlight 2 in C# 2008
by Matthew MacDonald
This book has a copyright of 2009 so it is up-to-date (mid-Feb 2009), haven't noticed any Silverlight 1 residue in it yet. The Pro WPF in C# 2008 was really good, packed full of a good balance of examples and background explanation, so I expect the same from this book. It has solid 5-stars at Amazon so far. If you are new to Silverlight, other books may be more appropraite since quite advanced topics are discussed early, e.g. in chapter 3 they have you building a custom container and chapter four is all about dependency properties and routed events: you can get a lot of mileage in Silverlight without having to dive into these, this book assumes that you are a heavy into coding, even in chapter 5 there is no sign of Express Blend. There is good depth in this book though and hence is good as a second Silverlight book.
 
Book Notes posted on Sunday, February 08, 2009 permalink
Pro ADO.NET Data Services: Working with RESTful Data
by John Shaw
Skimming this book showed me that ADO.NET Data Services is much more complicated than I thought, not just something simple like drag-and-drop LINQ to SQL classes that you add to your website. You could say that it sits on top either LINQ to SQL or LINQ to Entity Framework combining all goodness of everything between LINQ and REST. The examples in this book aren't trivial so if you plan to work through them bring a lot of time with you. The book gave me the overview I wanted of what ADO.NET Data Services entails, plus surprises such as the whole chapter on mashups. Was also surprised to learn that currently ADO.NET Data Services cannot run in the cloud since it is "not possible to host a data service on anything other than the Windows Server that runs it". Also interesting is that "AtomPub" is a key player in ADO.NET Data Services. Also the talk about SSDS at the end was enlightening. In fact, reading just Chapter 9 "Conclusion" gives you a good insight into Microsoft's strategy for the coming years in terms of where they are going with cloud computering, etc., a good read.
Review completed.
 
Book Notes posted on Thursday, February 05, 2009 permalink
Pro WF: Windows Workflow in .NET 3.5
by Bruce Bukovics
Well, my Visual Studio 2008 doesn't have the Workflow templates that are shown in the screenshots in this book, maybe need to reinstall or perhaps I need Team System, don't know. But WF is such a foreign topic that just reading through this book to get the concepts is what I want to get out of it, not go into detail yet, we may not even be using it in our upcoming project. I find it interesting how the author tackles such a practical example of "calculator" with Windows Workflows, I thought WF was much more plumbing-like than that. In all, this book is a good overview of Windows Workflow.
Have so far reviewed 2 of 17 chapters...
 
Book Notes posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2009 permalink
Data-Driven Services with Silverlight 2
by John Papa
I thought this book was going to be more of a recipe book for Silverlight data binding. Basically what I have learned so far is that databinding in Silverlight is not as straightforward as I thought. Also the code seems to be discussed in the book but if you don't have the code examples running then you get a bit lost, so this really isn't a book to casually read during commutes but one to read along with the code examples. Perhaps it will be one of those books that you get more out of on the second read, don't know yet.
Have so far reviewed 6 of 11 chapters...
 
Book Notes posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 permalink
jQuery UI 1.6: The User Interface Library for jQuery
by Dan Wellman
"jQuery UI provides abstractions for low-level interaction and animation, advanced effects and high-level, themeable widgets, built on top of the jQuery JavaScript Library, that you can use to build highly interactive web applications."
No notes recorded yet on this book.
Review completed.
 
Book Notes posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 permalink
WPF Recipes in C# 2008: A Problem-Solution Approach
by Allen Jones
This book is a good "second WPF book" since it assumes you have started with WPF and immediately goes into deep topics, e.g. talks about threading in the second recipe and in the third assumes you know how depency properites work (!). If you are just beginning with WPF, get another book first.
Have so far reviewed 9 of 13 chapters...
 
Book Notes posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 permalink
Silverlight 2 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach
by Jit Ghosh and Rob Cameron
If you have made a couple basic Silverlight apps, done the basics and want to start marching through some deeper skills, this is a nice book, was skimming through it the other day and bent back numerous pages to go back and try when I have time.
 
Book Notes posted on Saturday, January 24, 2009 permalink
Silverlight 2
by Brad Dayley
This is a decent first book on Silverlight if you are just getting into it. The examples work, seems to still be up to date (Jan 2009) and covers the basics.
Have so far reviewed 8 of 15 chapters...
 
Book Notes posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 permalink
RESTful .NET: Build and Consume RESTful Web Services with .NET 3.5
by Jon Flanders
Unsurprisingly this was a book about WCF even though that acronym is not in the title. REST was added to WFC in .NET 3.5 and this is the book which will get you up to speed on that topic. I had known about REST in general before reading this book but this book puts it in context of WCF. A useful read.
Review completed.
 
Book Notes posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 permalink
Learning WCF: A Hands-on Guide
by Michele Bustamante
This book is already showing its age (Jan 2009) since it doesn't even mention REST services which were released in .NET 3.5. It gives you a decent overview of WCF but there are probably better, newer books out there with better labs to get you going creating and consuming WFC services.
Review completed.
 
Book Notes posted on Monday, January 19, 2009 permalink
Pro WPF in C# 2008: Windows Presentation Foundation with .NET 3.5
by Matthew MacDonald
If you are looking for a basic book on WPF to get started making application, this book will do it for you, especially the XAML examples are short and clear and match the ones in the downloadable code so you an get going fast with StackPanel, DockPanel, buttons with images etc. It also covers making XBAP applications, dependency properties, 3D etc. so you get a well-rounded overview of WPF basics. A good book to start with.
Review completed.
 
Book Notes posted on Friday, January 16, 2009 permalink
Enterprise Service Bus
by David A. Chappell
Doing some work with ESB currently and need the background, hence this book. This book is great if you are getting the acronyms and basic concepts, problems/solutions down, lots of them, an easier read than I thought it would be. Lots of looking up the acronyms though, but that is what it's about.
Have so far reviewed 2 of 19 chapters...
 
Book Notes posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 permalink
Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions
by Gregor Hohpe
Some guys in our team are building a messaging system in a current project and I want to get a quick overview of the main concepts involved. This book is not the juiciest reading but if you are into the topic, it's solid. Works for me so far.
Need to get reading this one again, like a chapter a day or so, can't read too much at of this at once!
 
Book Notes posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 permalink
Pro LINQ Object Relational Mapping in C# 2008
by Vijay P. Mehta
This book covers LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entity Framework. Flipped through it waiting to get my hair cut the other day, it's about half LINQ to SQL and half Entity so if you want an overview of both, it should be good for that.
No notes recorded yet on this book.
Need to get reading this one.