Review: Web Development Solutions

Summary: useful reference

May 6, 2007 by

Web Teacher

'buy this book from Amazon'

★★★☆☆ This book is about using free tools on the web to become fairly adept at putting together a web site without going through the rigors of actually learning how it’s done. It would be useful as a reference, but it would not make a good book to teach from. It seems a bit unfocused for teaching. On one page it will include complex bits of Ajax and on another page it will tell the reader how to behave as a member of a mailing list.

The focus is actually on finding free resources and using them. The authors, Christian Heilmann and Mark Normal Francis, include such resources as WordPress, Flickr, YouTube, JavaScript libraries, the Yahoo! UI Library, Ajax, installing free testing server enviornments, and RSS. This is the part of the book that I think teachers would most use, and would find useful for adding the same free tools to any web site. The book also has basic search engine tips, and a wide range of other very basic advice for the novice.

If you are interested in nothing more than having a WordPress blog with some very nice features, this book is perfect for you. I found it best when it explained Ajax, Libraries, tweaking PHP, and some of the material in the Yahoo! Developer Network. Assuming, of course, that your blog content was worthwhile, you could use this book to establish a very successful presence on the web as a blogger without reading anything else.

One thought on “Review: Web Development Solutions”

  1. I found the same thing to be true. This book didn’t teach Ajax, API’s, and Libraries – it simply showed the plugins available for WordPress related to each of the above.

    There were some good parts throughout – but I couldn’t shake the overall vibe of ‘this is so easy anyone can do it’ – when we all know there is much more to creating a useful website than WordPress and plugins.

    This book just scratched the surface on each of its aspects – leaving more to be desired, but enough to make some people dangerous.

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