This is not a beginning web development book. But if you've been building web pages for a while, and you'd like a hint as to how professional web developers maintain and create static websites with interactive content and cutting-edge development, this is a great resource. There are a lot of programs and scripts out there that are useful for web designers and developers that you could search for ages before finding. And a lot of them are collected and explained in this book. If you still need to learn HTML and CSS, you shouldn't start with this book. But once you've got a couple sites under your belt, and you still enjoy writing your HTML in a text editor, then you'll love this book.
- Uses HTML5 and jQuery to create dynamic interactive pages
- You'll learn how to use the command line to be more efficient
- Recipes for everything from styling the look of page elements, user interface techniques, working with data, and even mobile
- Some of the recipes get very advanced very quickly
- I wish the pictures were in color
- Section 1: “Eye-Candy Recipes” These are recipes that help you style your web page elements. You'll learn to style buttons and links, quotations, animations using CSS3, interactive slideshows with jQuery, and inline help dialogs.
- Section 2: “User Interface Recipes” Here you'll learn how to build an HTML email template, build tabbed interfaces, expand and collapse content, use keyboard shortcuts on web pages, endless pagination, and about a few scripts to improve your pages.
- Section 3: “Data Recipes” This section helps you build an inline Google map, add charts and graphs, a simple contact form, learn to use JSON, even how to create a widget to embed on other sites.
- Section 4: “Mobile Recipes” These useful recipes help you target mobile devices, touch-screen drop-down menus, mobile drag and drop, and CSS sprites.
- Section 5: “Workflow Recipes” Here you'll find recipes to use Grid Systems, a way to build a simple blog, a tool to build modular style sheets, clean your scripts with CoffeeScript, and how to manage files with Git.
- Section 7: “Hosting and Deployment Recipes” You'll be able to put your sites online with recipes to help you use Dropbox for web hosting, set up a virtual machine, change web server config files, secure Apache with SSL and HTTPS, secure content, re-write URLs, and a tool to help you deploy static sites effectively.
- Appendix 1: “Installing Ruby”
- Appendix 2: “Bibliography”
Guide Review of Web Development Recipes by Hogan, Warren, Weber, Johnson, and Godin
What I like best about this book is the wide range of topics it covers. It is not the be-all, end-all book of eye candy recipes and it doesn't cover every possible way you can work with user interfaces or data, but it does give goos solutions to common problems in many different areas of web development.
The authors have been working in web design and development for years and that knowledge is clear in this book. You won't be disappointed, even if you only end up using one or two of the recipes at first.
Not a Beginners Book
But while it isn't necessarily for beginners if you are a self-starter or intermediate web developer, you can get a lot out of this book. The testing section, for example, gives some great ideas for automating testing that most beginning web developers would never consider. Just doing more effective testing can reduce the frustration that some designers have with CSS and other web technologies because you find out quickly and automatically what is working and what isn't.
I Admit I am Biased
This book talks about doing web development the way I've been doing it since 1997 — with a text editor working directly on the web server. It even suggests that people use Vi to edit the files, which is one of my favorite text editors.
But even with this bias, I think this book is a good resource for web developers who want to understand how to improve their sites in a way comfortable to programmers.