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Blog Design Solutions 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590595817
ISBN-10: 1590595815
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard Rutter lives and works in Brighton, U.K. He is production director for the web consultancy Clearleft (www.clearleft.com). Richard has been designing and developing websites for nigh on 10 years. Early in 2003, he built his first blogging engine, which still powers his weblog Clagnut (www.clagnut.com), in which he harps on about accessibility, web standards, and mountain biking.

Andy Budd is one of the founding partners at User Experience Design Consultancy, Clearleft. As an interaction design and usability specialist, Andy is a regular speaker at international conferences like Web Directions, An Event Apart, and SXSW. Andy curates dConstruct, one of the U.K.'s most popular design conferences. He's also responsible for UX London, the U.K.'s first dedicated usability, information architecture, and user experience design event.

Andy was an early champion of web standards in the U.K. and has developed an intimate understanding of the CSS specifications and cross-browser support. As an active member of the community, Andy has helped judge several international design awards and currently sits on the advisory board for .NET magazine. Andy is also the driving force behind Silverbackapp, a low-cost usability testing tool for the Mac. Andy is an avid Twitter user and occasionally blogs at andybudd.com.

Never happier than when he's diving in some remote tropical atoll, Andy is a qualified PADI dive instructor and retired shark wrangler.

In October 2006, Simon Collision started Erskine Design based in Nottingham, U.K. which grew to become an eight-strong team of creative web designers and developers who are afraid of nothing. Some people say they're one of the best agencies out there, and their clients include major magazines, government stuff, software companies and polar explorers.

Moons ago, he was a successful visual artist, and founded an independent arts org and annual arts festival, putting his degree to some use at least. Then he caught the interwebs bug.

As lead web developer at Agenzia from 2002 to 2006, he worked on numerous web projects for major record labels (such as Poptones, Universal) and bands (including The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things, Beta Band), visual artists and illustrators (Jon Burgerman, Paddy Hartley, Lucy Orta, NOW Festival), businesses, community, and voluntary sector orgs, passionately ensuring everything was accessible and complied with current web standards.

He does a bit of public speaking here and there, and will generally do anything for a biscuit and cup of tea, but prefers hard cash.

He has lived in many cities, including London and Reykjavik, but has now settled back in his beloved Nottingham, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. He also drives a 31-year-old car, and has a stupid cat called Bearface.

Chris J. Davis is a Web developer and Mac enthusiast living in central Kentucky. He is a hacker on the WordPress Project and K2, the successor to the open source template Kubrick. Recently, he has begun working with the Apache Software Foundation.

A bio is not available for this author.

Phil Sherry is a self-taught web developer during the day in Liverpool, and a freelance web anarchist for the remaining hours of the day. With lingering bad memories of having to use dial-up connection for years, he still does his best to design sites for the lowest common denominator. That means lower resolutions too, as well as people with slower machines (let's not mention those poor Windows users). Working with Jake Smith, several rock gods have had their web presences greatly enhanced over the years, including Andy Rourke, the ex-bass player from The Smiths. Phil has previously worked on several friends of ED books, and also beta tested several key Adobe products. A self-confessed geek, Phil can usually be found in a room full of computers, surrounded by screens of ASCII.

David Powers is an Adobe Community Expert for Dreamweaver and author of a series of highly successful books on PHP, including PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy and Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8. As a professional writer, he has been involved in electronic media for more than 30 years, first with BBC radio and television and more recently with the Internet. His clear writing style is valued not only in the English-speaking world; several of his books have been translated into Spanish and Polish. What started as a mild interest in computing was transformed almost overnight into a passion, when David was posted to Japan in 1987 as BBC correspondent in Tokyo. With no corporate IT department just down the hallway, he was forced to learn how to fix everything himself. When not tinkering with the innards of his computer, he was reporting for BBC television and radio on the rise and collapse of the Japanese bubble economy. Since leaving the BBC to work independently, he has built up an online bilingual database of economic and political analysis for Japanese clients of an international consultancy. When not pounding the keyboard writing books or dreaming of new ways of using PHP and other programming languages, David enjoys nothing better than visiting his favorite sushi restaurant. He has also translated several plays from Japanese.

Product Details

  • Series: Solutions
  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (February 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590595815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590595817
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this tome of knowledge, and all I can say is: Wow. I was a little worried at first, when the book opened with the definition of a "web log," that perhaps this would be geared too much towards beginners, but by the time I made it all the way through, I knew my initial assumption was wrong. If this were an O'Reilly book, it would no doubt be titled Blogging: the Definitive Guide.

Blog Design Solutions is characterized by the literary flair typical of books published by Friends of ED. The list of authors includes many of the big names in the world of blogging and design: Andy Budd, Simon Collison, Chris J. Davis, Michael Heilemann, John Oxton, David Powers, Richard Rutter and Phil Sherry.

I for one am thankful that Phil Sherry decided to follow through on this book idea, and that he rounded up such knowledgeable people to help him with the task. This fearless group of world citizens takes you through the very basics of how blogs (web logs) came about, all the way through to writing your own content management system, touching on just about everything in between.

Ch. 4:

For me, this book really begins on page 114, not because the previous chapters aren't worth reading, but this is when Simon Collison unleashes his ExpressionEngine expertise with a fury. It should be noted that since the writing of this book, the EE Core now can be used free of charge for personal or non-profit purposes. So, you can safely disregard the section about the Trial Version and the Zend Optimizer, because this has essentially been replaced by the new EE Core. pMachine cares about people, even giving away $15,000 for their shootout.
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Format: Paperback
This book will be extremely helpful to the new blogger who desires insight into the ins and outs of blogging, as well as the logistical knowledge (geeky know-how) required to install and use four of the most popular blogging systems available today (MovableType, ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Textpattern). Its depth regarding the specifics of each blogging system is shallow, but given the obvious diversity of the content and targeted audience, this should be expected. To that point, most of the authors explicitly acknowledge only being able to give a small glimpse into the depths of each blogging system.

The four chapters, dedicated each to a specific blogging system, are an excellent starting point for the blogging newbie. However, this comes at a price. That is, in order to digest the four chapters which focus on a specific system, an individual must first digest the technical matters discussed in chapter 2 (LAMP, WAMP, MAMP). I don't see this as a downfall of the book, but rather as the place where the learning curve might jump beyond the targeted audience.

Once the reader has digested chapter 2, the book moves straight into the implementation and usage of MovableType. At this point, I think the authors made a critical error by not including a chapter dedicated to an objective overview and comprehensive comparison of the four blogging systems showcased. For example, ExpressionEngine has very specific strengths in the realm of user management that should have been compared and contrasted against the other systems. The reason being, that a majority of the noise found on the Internet concerning blogging is dedicated to this exact issue. As well, it never fails.
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Format: Paperback
Chapter seven.."write your own blog engine" alone is worth the price of the book. If you are a beginning to intermediate php "developer" and want to learn how to build a useful expandable CMS and blog, then buy this book. No goofy writer promoting their buddies add on products here. You get the information and clear guidance you need to build your own system.
I do stress that you should know some php to tackle chapter seven. If you do you can will see the flexiblity in the system and be able to take the blog engine presented in the book to new levels. Even if you don't know php, but can follow instructions you will build a blog that is as good as any packaged deal available.
If you are fuzzy on page layouts and css, this book will help clear it up.
If you are interested in writing your own software instead of reengineering someone elses then get this book. If you want to make one of the popular packaged blog engined uniquely your own, then buy this book. It teaches how to do just that.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a software designer / programmer for 30 some years, working at various levels from programmer to project director so I don't feel like I'm easily intimidated by "tech talk". I also recognize this to be an example of poor quality documentation and technical / tutorial writing and editing. This book seems to be written for "the insiders' community" i.e. experienced CMS, PHP, mySQL website developers.

I found the intro material shallow and repetitive, just filling up pages in some places. I bought the book particularly for the WordPress chapter - looking for documentation to take me from installation, through design options, explanation of concepts, and examples of a variety of blog types, how to design and implement them using WordPress tools and rsources. I found instead small examples of snatches of code to be inserted, who knows where and with little explanation of purpose or design / integration considerations (like no variables or links defined). There is also no adequate bibliography or background list of tutorials to create a conceptual environment or even to facilitate looking up terms.

If you had done this stuff before, these are probably useful tidbits and the name dropping and personal asides might be cute but between the insider jokes and jabs and lack of structured documentation, I found this material next to useless.

Needless to say, I returned this book - the first time I've availed myself of Amazon's return policy in about 100 purchases.
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