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Review Codin' for the Web

Discussion in 'Articles, Reviews and Interviews' started by tripwire45, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Codin' for the Web

    Author: Charles Wyke-Smith
    Format: Paperback: 304 pages
    Publisher: New Riders Press; 1st edition (November 10, 2006)
    ISBN-10: 0321429192
    ISBN-13: 978-0321429193

    Review by James Pyles
    December 22, 2006

    I'm an extremely visual learner. If you introduce yourself to me, chances are that I'll forget your name after a few minutes. If I see your name in print, it's locked in my brain for all time (ok, I'm exaggerating, but not by much). Codin' for the Web (like, Singin' in the Rain) is a very visual book. Peachpit Press seems to specialize in producing their texts using high quality paper, fonts, colors, and images. Even without reading the content, it's just a pleasure to look at the pages. However, without good content, the "eye candy" effect doesn't mean much.

    Fortunately, Charles Wyke-Smith was up to the challenge. I was quite pleased at the very clear focus of this book. Wyke-Smith built precise borders for the content and never waivered outside the lines. This book is for the person who is experienced in the use of HTML and CSS and ready to move from creating static to dynamic web pages. If you need a refresher in HTML and CSS, Chapters A and B can be downloaded from http://www.codinfortheweb.com. Those who are already up to speed won't have two additional chapters in the book they can't use.

    I was also happy to discover that the author considered then rejected the idea of including JavaScript and AJAX in his book. There are many web development texts on the market that can't quite make up their minds what they want to say so they try to say everything. This usually means that none of the subjects are treated very well or some are quite detailed while others are glossed over. Not so with Codin' for the Web. The book tells you what it's going to teach you then teaches you exactly that.

    The focus is on PHP and MySQL and balances coding principles with practical examples. The organization of text, code examples, and callouts is well done, getting all of the details together without chopping up code. The method of color use makes it a snap to differentiate all of the details which is easy on the eye and enhances reading. Wyke-Smith's writing style is both technically accurate and personable.

    This book is an excellent transition for the beginning web developer. The introduction of PHP and databases is good, and of sufficient quality and length without bombarding the neophyte with too much intimidating information. While the content would have been just as accurate in plain black-and-white, the additional stylistic touches made it easier to read and understand. I didn't have to work very hard to find what I was looking for on the page.

    Additional coding examples and other details can be found at the URL referenced above and the site itself is another good example of how the information in this book can be used to create an interactive website. All in all, this is a really great text. I can't wait for Wyke-Smith to write a book on JavaScript and AJAX. The sky's the limit.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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