Review: Dreamweaver MX 2004 Savvy

Dreamweaver MX 2004 SavvyDreamweaver MX 2004 Savvy by Christian Crumlish and Lucinda Dykes is another in the excellent Savvy series from Sybex. If you are teaching Dreamweaver with any other book, you should take a look at this book. It merits consideration.

There is enough material here for a full year. The book more or less falls into two equal parts, with the first part about Dreamweaver fundamentals from a design perspective and the second half about developing Web applications. That reads like a semester of learning the page building tools in Dreamweaver and a semester of learning the web application tools in Dreamweaver to me.

There are things in this book that students invariably want to know that I have not seen in any other book. For example, in Chapter 14: Collecting Information with Forms, the authors include instructions for editing the script, for uploading it to the proper spot on a server, and for setting the permissions to make it execute. This chapter also explains using discussion boards, chat, and creating a blog.

The authors do an adequate job with CSS, although they overlooked the Insert Div tag capability in Dreamweaver MX 2004 that is so useful in structuring CSS layouts. They also do a bit more than the usual (the usual being almost nothing) with accessibility. If you are a regular reader of my reviews, you know that CSS and accessibility coverage are my personal make-or-break points in deciding whether a book is good enough.

In Part IV, Developing Web Applications, the authors devote four chapters to getting Dreamweaver set up to work with Web applications and explaining how to use databases. Then they devote individual chapters to the various technologies you can use to interact with the database such as Cold Fusion, ASP, .NET, PHP and JSP.

Part V deals with site administration and has some information that might be useful earlier in the book (or course) if you are imagining my two semester scenario for this text.

All in all, this book would definitely help you prepare students for the job market.

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