Review: Painting the Web

Reviewer: Virginia DeBolt

Summary: Comprehensive resource for web graphics

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Rating: 5/5

When I heard about Painting the Web by Shelley Powers (O’Reilly, 2008) I had the idea that it would be only about SVG. I read the author’s blog at Burningbird and a number of posts about SVG on her blog gave me the impression that her latest book would be about using SVG on the web.

Boy, was I wrong.

This is the most complete, comprehensive, encyclopedic (pick your adjective) compendium of information about all forms of web graphics that I’ve ever seen. That does include SVG, but there is so much more.

Here’s the bottom line: if you use graphics on the web, you need this book.

Some of the topics in the book:

  • a history of graphics on the web
  • raster graphics and RGB color
  • copyright
  • taking photos from camera to web, RAW images, color matching effects
  • Photo editors and online photo editors
  • thumbnails, frames, galleries, slideshows
  • buttons, badges, gradients, blurs, reflections
  • vectors
  • SVG
  • CSS
  • design principles
  • dynamic graphics
  • canvas, and dynamic SVG and canvas
  • programming for images
  • geographical apps such as maps with programming and non-programming
  • graphs and data and visualization

You ought to be convinced about the comprehensive nature of the material in this book now. It’s also extremely well written, a pleasure to read and easy to understand. You’ll find everything from humor to Photoshop tips to the code needed for a PHP slideshow in this book.

Highly recommended.

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