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.NET Framework 3.5 Released

If you don't already know, .NET 3.5 is finally out and with it came VS 2008.  I've been using it full time for many months now and there are some features which I've come to love and others which I find completely worthless.  Here is a quick break down of what I find cool (be sure to check out the links section to see more resources):

Notice I didn't mention anything about ASP.NET AJAX becoming native (or should I say naive?). This is an incredibly poorly designed technology bordering on the quality of Internet Explorer (ok ok, not even a leaky nuclear core is quite that bad).  The JavaScript intellisense is a complete joke and only gets in the way, the Sys namespaces pollute the Firebug watch window so you can never see your objects, and the syntax is painfully non-intuitive.    The only nice feature it has its it's does have is the ability to allow you to access ASMX services from JavaScript.  Having said that, the year is almost 2008.  It's not 2002 and therefore we use WCF, not ASMX.  In WCF 3.5 we can very easily create very flexible and powerful REST-based JSON services (adding straight XML support if needed with a single endpoint configuration element).  There's just no need to have SOAP turn your 6-byte request into a 300 byte message.  It adds up.  So, ASP.NET AJAX ("Atlas") is complete obsolete in my book. If you want to do real AJAX, then learn the fundamentals and whip out prototype/script.aculo.us and use WCF 3.5 for your service interaction.

Accelerated C# 2008 Now, if you're looking for an awesome resource for learning/mastering .NET 3.5 and C# 3.0, I highly recommend the book Accelerated C# 2008 by Trey Nash. It gets right to the point and doesn't mess around with entry-level nonsense. You get the knowledge you need right away and from it I estimate an experience induction of at least 7 months.

For full .NET Framework 3.5 examples, check out my Minima .NET 3.5 Blog Engine (on which this site runs) and my ESV Bible Web Service 2.0 Framework for .NET 3.5.