Understanding the MVC pattern

Going back to ASP.NET now. So, for those of you that were still working with Web Forms, what is this MVC thing anyway, and where did it come from?

Let's face it, it was pretty easy in Web Forms to do terrible things, such as adding lots of/sensitive code in the page (which wouldn't be compiled until the page was accessed by the browser), adding complex business logic to a page class, having several megabytes of code in View State going back and forth on every request, and so on. There was no mechanism at all, other than the developer's discretion, to do things the right way. Plus, it was terrible to unit test it, because it relied on browser submission (POST) and JavaScript to have things working properly, such ...

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