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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

This is from Shawn Weisfeld [MVP] blog.

A few weeks ago I got a copy of Professional DotNetNuke 5: Open Source Web Application Framework for ASP.NET ( Figured since I had been to presentations by 3 of the 5 authors I just had to have the book. Brian Scarbeau, Stan Schultes and Ryan Morgan are avid speakers in the Florida .NET community and knowing them I knew this book was going to be a good read. A cross country flight from Dallas Texas to Seattle Washington provided the perfect opportunity to concentrate on reading a new book.

While waiting for my plane to take off I made it through the first chapter of the book written by the father of DotNetNuke Shaun Walker. This chapter talks about the history of where DNN came from and trials and tribulations that Shaun and his team had giving birth to what we know today. I think that anyone that is interested in starting an open source product should spend a few minutes and learn from the lessons that Shaun learned in the creation of DNN, especially if you are trying to build an open source product that sits on the very not open source Windows platform.

The next few chapters of the book provide information on just about everything that administrator/end-user would need to know in order to go from an empty hosting account to having a DNN site. This includes installation, an overview of the modules and how to administer the lot. The next chunk of the book talks about the architecture of DNN. For years I have been telling developers looking for reference architectures to look at products like DNN. This set of chapters not only includes information on how the DNN team did what they did, but perhaps more importantly WHY they did it that way. For me knowing the why behind these types of decisions allows me to leverage the lessons learned by other developers and apply that to my applications, even non-DNN applications. The ability to learn from the experience/knowledge/mistakes of others makes us all better developers. The last chunk of the book is the how to information that you need to extend DNN. They cover modules, skinning, and distribution.

This book provides a good overview of all the major components in the DNN products. It covers the architecture of the DNN infrastructure and how to extend it with your own custom modules and skins. This book provides the developer and the administrator what they need to get their feet wet with DNN, and as an added bonus you get a great narrative on the birth of an open source software package.

BTW: At the time I wrote this DNN was the second most popular download on codeplex with just fewer than 20,000 downloads in the last 7 days. The only thing that beat it was a plug-in for World of Warcraft. 

Oh and when my family needed a website for their small business guess what they got? (


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Posted on Monday, March 2, 2009 7:12 AM | Back to top

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