Changes to ASP.NET 2.0 from Beta 2 to RTM may address some common complaints
An article has recently been posted on MSDN about the changes between Beta 2 and RTM for ASP.NET 2.0. There are a couple things I thought were notable, that might address some of the complaints I've heard.
The new @CodeFileBaseClass directive looks to address the concern over losing access to protected properties you may have defined in your base class that inherits from Page. Jeffrey Palermo discused this annoyance in his .NET Rocks! appearance.
"Refresh assembly references command" seems to be a step towards the resolving the stale dependant binaries issue Scott Bellware ranted about. I say "a step" because it isn't clear how this is implemented. If it is just an IDE menu item, then it won't do you much good when using an automated build system outside of Visual Studio.
You can now exclude files from a web project build. Again, I'm not sure how this is implemented, so I can't say it solves the problem completely. This was one of my own pet peeves with the "project file-less" approach to web projects. I want to be able to store other files in a web folder without it necessarily being part of the project. This could be great if they solved it with something like... a web project file. It could be uninteresting if it depends on IDE magic that cannot be easily reproduced outside of the tool. The more I think of it, it probably has to be some kind of persisted configuration, since the deployed project needs know which files to exclude when it performs automatic compilation.
These types of changes are a great endorsement of the beta release process. We are that much closer to having a final product that we can live with until the next release.
Update: Apparently this is "old" news. Scott Guthrie explained most of this over on his blog during the last couple weeks (check out his August 2005 posts). I blame my newsreader which doesn't seem to be picking up his feed properly.