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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Web Design in a Nutshell
Author:
Jennifer Niederst
ISBN:
1 56592 418 5
Publisher:
O'Reilly
Pages:
560pp
Price:
£15-95
Reviewer:
Roger N Lever
Subject:
internet
Appeared in:
11-6
No one can have failed to notice that the Internet is big business and having a big impact on application developers. Developing for the web is not the same as normal client/server development, for example, installing a VB client to the user's desktop is easier than ensuring that the web application will run on a variety of different client browsers (Explorer, Navigator...). Ensuring that the web application will run successfully, on perhaps even limited systems for remote users, is both a significant benefit and handicap and design is a crucial factor in achieving that balance.

This book is not aimed at programmers, so there is not much code here, however it is aimed at web page designers, or those programmers that need to understand the medium. In that vein there is plenty of well covered material that explains HTML and what browsers support what tags and this includes the usual suspects for formatting, links, tables, frames and forms. This foundation is then extended to encompass server side includes (SSI), graphic formats (GIF, JPEG and PNG) and multimedia (audio, video and animation). Finally the book introduces some of the more 'advanced' items such as cascading style sheets (CSS), DHTML (simple client programming) and XML.

The book advertises itself as a quick reference and it succeeds in covering a lot of ground and providing some handy references, particularly the browser compatibility. There is very little exploration of the more developer-oriented material, i.e. DHTML, XML and Javascript, but this is not surprising and would probably be a subject too far!