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Matthew MacDonald is a developer, author, and educator in all things Visual Basic and .NET. He's worked with Visual Basic and ASP since their initial versions, and has written over a dozen books on the subject, including The Book of VB .NET (No Starch Press) and Visual Basic 2005: A Developer's Notebook (O'Reilly). He has also written a number of Missing Manual titles on Excel 2007 and Access 2007 (O’Reilly).
Matthew MacDonald is a science and technology writer with well over a dozen books to his name. He's particularly known for his books about building websites, which include a do-it-from-scratch tutorial (Creating a Website: The Missing Manual), a look at cutting-edge HTML5 (HTML5: The Missing Manual), and a WordPress primer (WordPress: The Missing Manual). He's also written a series of books about programming on and off the Web with .NET, teaches programming at Ryerson University, and is a three-time Microsoft MVP.
In everyday life, Matthew is endlessly amazed by the odd, unusual, and just plain bonkers workings of the natural world. Those who don't have tech problems to solve can check out Matthew MacDonald's science books, where he debugs the quirks and complexities of the human brain (Your Brain: The Missing Manual) and body (Your Body: The Missing Manual). Both books include a mash-up of full-color pictures, trivia, and philosophical head-scratchers. Matthew lives in Toronto, with his wife and two daughters.
I'm a newbie. I bought Creating a Website. At about chapter 8 I realized that reading the text, trying to follow the examples but then having to review the solution html was not sticking in my head. The book, to me, is not didactic for a newbie.
So I bought Head First HTML & XHTML with CSS. **AWESOME newbie boodk**
After completing, literally, that whole Head First book, I'm enjoing Creating a Website.
Think of it like HTML & CSS 101 and 102!
If you are a beginner, get the Head First book first.
Let's say, theoretically, you actually want to create your own website about...something. You have no idea what to do, you have no formal background in computer science, and you're looking for a place to start.
You go to the bookstore or to Amazon looking for one book that will do it all for you, because if you actually want to create your own website, you certainly don't want to pay a lot of money to have a professional do it for you, and why spend hundreds of dollars on your own education in books and materials when you can do it for less?
And here it is, all-in-one and ready to go. The blurb on the back proudly announces: "Answers found here! Think you need an army of skilled programmers to build a website? Think again. With nothing more than an ordinary PC, some raw ambition, and this book, you'll learn how to create and maintain a professional-looking, visitor-friendly site. The Missing Manual gives you all the tools, techniques, and expert advice you need." Clearly, this book will slice, julienne, and make brunoise for you.
I think that blurb is the single biggest exaggeration I've ever read in publishing.
There are two kinds of readers who will enjoy this book and find use in it: amateur and early-stage professional website developers who are looking to take their skills to the next level, and fully-fledged professional front-end website developers who are interested in specific parts to enhance their understanding of the bigger picture. If you are the theoretical reader I postulated at the beginning of the review -- this ain't the magic book, bub. It certainly wasn't for me, either.
This book is a whiz-bang lightning-round introduction to many aspects of basic web development.Read more ›
O'Reilly Publishing provided me access to an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
Matthew writes this book as if the reader has no previous experience with coding and even no experience with really understanding how the web works, i.e. how servers render webpages and understanding how a URL works. So if you have lots of experience with these areas then this book probably isn't for you. If however, you've never designed a webpage before or it's been a long time since you've coded this is the book that you want to pick up. The book is divided into five parts:
Having previous experience designing webpages I started reading and reviewing this book as a chance to find a guide that would be a handy reference or a bit of a refresher course when my mind decided to go to sleep. The good: Each chapter is written in a clear, easy to understand format that covers the basics of getting started. The bad: I did have a few problems with some of the information given and how it was worded.Read more ›
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