Using CSLA 4: CSLA .NET Overview ebook available

Using CSLA 4: CSLA .NET Overview ebook available

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RockfordLhotka posted on Monday, November 22, 2010

The first ebook in the Using CSLA 4 ebook series is now available.

Using CSLA 4: CSLA .NET Overview

This ebook (in PDF format) is an introduction to CSLA 4, and will provide you with an overview of the framework, its goals and its most basic usage scenarios. All other ebooks in the Using CSLA 4 ebook series assume you have read this first ebook and understand the overall architecture and philosophy of the CSLA .NET framework.

You should also be aware that the Using CSLA 4 ebook series is also available for purchase, and it will be cheaper to buy the series than every individual ebook. Obviously right now purchasing the series only gets you access to the first book, but you'll gain immediate access to all subsequent books in the series as they come online.

RockfordLhotka replied on Monday, November 29, 2010

Quite a number of people have purchased the Using CSLA 4 ebook series, and several are taking the approach of buying each book separately, having purchased Using CSLA 4: CSLA .NET Overview (the first book of the series).

Thank you all for your support!

I wanted to provide an update on my progress with the second ebook in the series: Using CSLA 4: Creating Business Objects, and spell out my plans for an experiement.

The Creating Business Objects book is now at just over 30 pages, though several of those pages are just section headers from the chapter outlines (that's how this stuff works). Still, there's a good 15-20 pages of actual content in there already.

My plan is for this book to be complete (in draft form, like book 1 is now) by the holidays (so by Dec 23). For those buying book-by-book, that gives you an idea when you should look to be able to buy book 2.

But here's the experiment part: I'm going to do periodic "drops" of the book as I work on it, no more than 2 per week (but probably 1 per week) that will be available to people who've purchased the entire series.

I don't know how this will work. You will literally see the book as it comes together - complete with empty or half-finished sections, notes to myself to go back and fix things, etc. It may be so distracting as to be not useful. On the other hand, it may be interesting to some people. Most importantly, if you really need the information sooner than later, the sections of the book that are relatively mature will be available to you weeks before you'd otherwise get them.

This forum post is just a heads-up that I'll be doing one of these "pre-draft drops" of the ebook this week, so if you purchased the ebook series you'll be able to download it from at that time, with 1-2 updates each week until I am done.

I'll be interested to see whether anyone finds this useful, or anti-useful - in other words, I'm hoping to find out whether this is worth my time to do the periodic drops or not, because that'll affect how I handle the other 5 ebooks in the series.

RockfordLhotka replied on Friday, December 03, 2010

The first VERY EARLY PRE-DRAFT of Using CSLA 4: Creating Business Objects is online now - for ebook series purchasers only.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm going to do weekly drops (or so) of this ebook as I work on it, and these will be available to series purchasers. The ebook should be available for individual purchase around the end of December.

Jack replied on Thursday, December 16, 2010


I know you are an avid Kindle user and I must say I'm fairly addicted to mine now as well.  I'm curioius if it is possible to read the new eBook PDF on the kindle or will the password protection not work?  While it was annoying to re-type my email address everytime I opened the last ebook I purchased it was on the PC so not really a big deal.  I don't think I want to do that on the Kindle.



RockfordLhotka replied on Thursday, December 16, 2010

You must be thinking of the Apress book. The ebooks I've directly published have never been password protected.

Yes, the Using CSLA 4 ebook PDF files can be opened on the Kindle. I honestly find the experience a little underwhelming, but it does work. I've done some research into getting the ebook content into actual Kindle format, but that turns out to be really quite hard (they don't understand fonts, tables or do a good job with figures - and of course a programming book has lots of all three).

I tabled the Kindle format idea so I could focus on getting the ebooks actually written. I might revisit the formatting idea in the future, or for future books - but for the time being PDF will have to be good enough.

MichelRenaud replied on Friday, December 17, 2010

Have you used the PDF on a "standard" (6") Kindle, or a DX?  I would assume it's not bad on a DX.

I got my DX a couple of weeks ago and purchased the Kindle edition of "Essential C# 4.0."  Their approach to the font problem seems to be to use images instead of text.  That makes some pages a bit empty when a couple of graphics in a row won't fit, but at least the code samples are readable.  I've seen some direct conversions that look like crap as far as code samples are concerned.

RockfordLhotka replied on Friday, December 17, 2010

I have a Kindle 2 - and the PDF content is just fine, but quite small. I haven't tried on a DX. I have a colleague with a DX, but he doens't live near me, and he wasn't impressed. The DX is big enough physically, that his thought is you are just as well off using a laptop since you are probably carrying one anyway :)

MichelRenaud replied on Monday, December 20, 2010

I prefer the eInk display for reading - especially for prolonged periods of time.  I tried with my laptop and eyestrain kicked in pretty quickly.  Not to mention that a 17" laptop is a bit overkill when all you want to do is read (quickly gets heavy, and battery life is rather limited.)

I tried the Expert C# 2008 Business Objects PDF on the DX and it's "OK" in the default setting.  The characters are a bit small because of the wide blank margins.  I read somewhere that there's something that can be done about that.

RockfordLhotka replied on Monday, December 20, 2010

It does help if I redo the page layout to remove margins and use a more correct page size. Of course that messes up other typesetting in the document, so it is basically a one-way process of taking the existing document and re-typesetting it for the Kindle. At least that gets us closer - but it also is something that takes time to do, so it isn't as simple as print-to-pdf or print-to-kindle...

MichelRenaud replied on Monday, December 20, 2010

Indeed.  A friend of mine sent me a novel he wrote and I had to play quite a bit before I got it to display properly on the Kindle.  Interestingly the automatic Amazon conversion (from .docx to Kindle) did a better job.  But that was all text - I doubt it would work well with a technical book.

RockfordLhotka replied on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I just refreshed the Using CSLA 4: Creating Business Objects ebook on the download page. Anyone who's purchased the ebook series can download this new pre-release of the content.

The ebook is now up to around 80 pages, and I still have a way to go with it. I am very much hoping to have it done (completed draft) by the end of the week, but I'll certainly have it by the end of the year.

tiago replied on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hi Rocky,

I'm glad your latest series of books is less focused on the framework itself and more on how to use it.

I find the Creating Business Objects ebook very interesting and i'm looking forward for the missing chapters and following books.

tiago replied on Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I just refreshed the Using CSLA 4: Creating Business Objects ebook on the download page. Anyone who's purchased the ebook series can download this new pre-release of the content.

Hi Rocky,

I noticed you did another update but I had to download it and compare the number of pages as the download page always says Revision 0. Is it possible to increment the revision number each time you update it or add the date of the update?

MichelRenaud replied on Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I'm half way through Creating Business Objects and so far I like it.  I too appreciate a greater emphasis on using CSLA.

I've been reading the PDF on my Kindle DX and overall it looks OK.  The characters are a bit small but still easily readable.  One thing that doesn't look to great is the font color used for names like BusinessListBase, IBindingList, etc... (a pale green.)  It's very difficult to read on the Kindle's B&W display.  Even on a PC, the contrast is a bit too extreme in my opinion.  I wonder if that could be changed to a darker color?

Also, I noticed a few errors - typos, grammar errors.  Do you have someone who'll be proofreading the books before final release, or do you want this kind of information sent to you?

RockfordLhotka replied on Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Code Inline style (the green keywords) will become black when the chapters are final. Having them colored is helpful during the editing process because it makes them stand out more and makes it easier to identify when I've missed keywords during the editing process.

Each book goes through a copyediting process, after which it will stop being a draft. That won't mean the content is perfect, just better than it is now in draft form. (not that I don't shoot for perfection, just that I also shoot for getting done in a timely manner :-) )

Please do send info about typos or other errata to "errata at lhotka dot net" - translated to real address of course :)

RockfordLhotka replied on Tuesday, January 04, 2011


to increment the revision number each time you update it or add the date of the update?

That is a good idea, I'll start using a different scheme for the draft versioning.

rxelizondo replied on Monday, January 10, 2011

Hi Rocky,

Well, after all this time I finally took the plunge and just got one of the small Kindles.

One big motivation I had for buying the Kindle was to be able to read the new CSLA books on it since I really hate reading books on my computer or laptop. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed about the outcome. The most significant drawback by far was the size of the text, it was too small.

I really hope that you continue to look into finding a solution for creating a version of you books that is readable in the Kindle and other e-readers. I know it’s time consuming but I think is worth the effort.

In the meantime, looks like my wife will be the one enjoying the new Kindle!


RockfordLhotka replied on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I agree Rene, but it is a matter of balancing time and effort.

The only solution that seems reasonable is to basically re-typeset the content to fit into a smaller page size. That's labor-intensive, and so I won't do that until the ebook is through the draft process. Essentially, I need to change Word's page settings, then go through the entire book re-paginating and resizing images and resizing tables.

I don't want to do that more than once per ebook, because it isn't like having these in Kindle-friendly format increases my sales, it just increases my happiness :)

(which is to say that from a commercial perspective it really doesn't make sense - but I'll do it once to make myself and others happy)

edreyes77 replied on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I am considerig getting an iPad to read books.  Is this a reasonable approach to read technical books?


RockfordLhotka replied on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I would guess so, assuming it does a good job displaying PDF documents.

As a pure ebook the iPad isn't nearly as good as the Kindle. The shiny screen and backlighting lead to eyestrain - much like reading on a laptop screen with a glossy screen. But the iPad has a bigger screen and the touch interface makes it relatively easy to scroll around to view parts of a page, zoom in/out, etc.

So my guess (not owning an iPad, just having used a few) is that it would be quite good for technical content. But for reading fiction (my preference in reading) I'd go with a paper book before an iPad, but a Kindle before a paper book, because the e-ink used by the Kindle is actually better than real paper, and the shiny/backlit iPad gives me headaches.

rxelizondo replied on Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Rocky, could you please remove the "Draft" watermark from the overview eBook ? I tried printing the document out thinking that the watermark was going to be subtle and almost invisible but is right there in your face and very distracting.



RockfordLhotka replied on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Starting with book 2 I've made some changes to the draft text:

  1. No watermark - it says 'Draft' in the footer of each page
  2. The Code Inline style is now blue instead of green which hopefully is more visible on a Kindle
  3. Draft revision numbers are now 0.x, with each draft having a different revision number

Book 1 is out of editing and is in final review, so the watermark will go away when the final copy is online.

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