The Bottom Line
- Covers a lot of different topics
- Very high overview of most topics in the book
- Too much humor that gets in the way of what you want to learn
- Not well organized
- Only one chapter on Web photos
- Chapters 1 and 2: Playing with images and basics of image formats.
- Chapter 3: Web photography
- Chapters 4 and 5: Graphics on Web pages including popular image styles like reflections.
- Chapters 6, 7, and 12: Vector graphics including SVG.
- Chapters 8 and 9: CSS and Web design.
- Chapters 10 and 11: Dynamic graphics and canvas with Silverlight
- Chapter 13: Programming graphics with tools like ImageMagick.
- Chapter 14: Geotagging.
- Chapter 15: Graphs and images that convey data.
Guide Review - Painting the Web by Shelley Powers
When I first saw this book, I was very excited. Shelley Powers has written a number of great books, and this one from O'Reilly had the eye-catching color cover and the O'Reilly brand behind it. Unfortunately, while this book covers a lot of things, it falls far short of the promise on the cover. There you are told this book will help you catch your readers' eyes and "[Keep] Them on Your Site", but all this book really does is re-iterate common suggestions from lots of other books and put them together in a pretty (full-color images and text) package.
This is not a small book, over 600 pages, which is somewhat misleading. Because it was a book called Painting the Web, I thought it would be about Web graphics. And while it's got a lot of Web graphics information, that's not all it covers, and what information it does include is very high level without a lot of research or explanation. For as thick as this book is, each topic is only given 1 chapter of discussion. And there are chapters that don't add a lot of value but just seem to be there to fill out the page count. For instance: a chapter on CSS, which covers a few basic CSS design tricks and a description of a Mac-only CSS editor. Windows users are out of luck. There is also a chapter on Web design basics wherein she starts out by saying she's not a designer. Which makes me wonder why she's writing the chapter in the first place.
Finally, the tone of this book is overly informal, almost like a blog. Some people may like that type of thing, but since I paid over $45 (after tax) for this book, I'd rather read something a little less cutesy. Blog informality is great - in a blog.