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The Essential Guide to Dreamweaver CS3 with CSS, Ajax, and PHP (Friends of Ed Adobe Learning Library) Paperback – August 2, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1590598597 ISBN-10: 1590598598 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Friends of Ed Adobe Learning Library
  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (August 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590598597
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"The scope of this book is an ambitious one: to provide an intermediate-level guide to the entire new functionality of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 … via cascading style sheets (CSS) and dynamic interaction with Ajax. … this work is best suited for those Dreamweaver developers who know something about PHP, Ajax, and MySQL, but are looking to extend their skill set to use them together. … Powers provides a logical, well-written book that well serve intermediate developers who are looking to expand their skills … ." (Pascal V. Calarco, ACM Computing Reviews, October, 2008)

About the Author

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.

More About the Author

I specialize in writing about web design using Dreamweaver, PHP, and CSS. PHP is the most popular server-side language that brings life to websites by communicating with external data sources, such as databases, news feeds, and XML documents. Adobe has recognized my expertise in web development by appointing me an Adobe Community Professional (ACP) for Dreamweaver. You'll often find me giving help in the Dreamweaver forums and Dreamweaver Community Help. In 2010, I became one of the first to qualify as a PHP 5.3 Zend Certified Engineer.

Before turning my hand to writing about web design, I spent nearly 30 years as a BBC radio and TV journalist, working both in front of the microphone/camera and behind the scenes. That gave me a wealth of experience in explaining sometimes difficult concepts in straightforward, easy to understand language - experience which shows through in my books.

I spent a large part of my broadcasting career in Japan, first on loan from the BBC to NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and later as BBC correspondent. I have traveled all over Japan, and love taking photos, many of which end up being used in my books. Over the years, I have worked closely with the Shiki Theatrical Company, Japan's leading producer of musicals; and have translated several of their plays into English.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Great for beginner or expert users.
This book has saved me countless hours of headaches and frustration.
Akai Okami
A fabulous book so easy to follow and informative.
Paul Shortis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Kelley A. Rao on August 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a developer who is modestly adept with PHP, this book is a welcome addition to my library. With the recent release of CS3, it covers the nuts and bolts of the application(s) including the newly introduced Spry Widgets. Being a visual learner, I especially appreciated the chapter entitled "Creating a CSS Site Straight Out of the Box." The instructions were clear and concise and provided a great foundation for building future CSS based sites.

Every chapter, at least for me, was full of "Ah Ha" moments. I think I've learned more from this book than any other I've read in the past year (and there's been plenty). I even figured out how to get PHP My Admin running, thanks to this book! I recommend it highly.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By LCO on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are VERY comfortable with PHP and MySQL, this may not be the best book for you. (I say that with some reservations, though, because of the vast wealth of knowledge in this book between page 1 and page 729.) Also, if you don't know how to code in PHP, the "Introduction to the Basics of PHP" in Chapter Ten may not be enough instruction for you to comfortably appreciate this book. BUT, if you have some knowledge of PHP (for example, you are a self-taught PHP coder like myself), need the power of PHP and MySQL, and are curious about any benefits there might be from this new technology SPRY (Adobe's implementation of AJAX), this will be an excellent book for you. The writing is clear, concise (in spite of its detailed explanations), and logical.

The strength of Powers' book is providing you with the vast majority of tools you will need to create, test, and implement a dynamic Web site using the power of PHP, MySQL, SPRY, and more. For instance, Chapter Four has detailed instructions on setting up a PHP server on your hard drive to enable you to test your server-side programs. Those instructions begin with downloading the PHP installation files and end with trouble-shooting possible configuration problems, including all necessary steps in between.

The book continues with how to set up a PHP site using Dreamweaver, learning the rules, tips, and benefits of cascading style sheets (CSS), the advantages and creation of a SPRY navigation menu bar, and an in-depth examination of on-line forms and data validation.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Paul Shortis on September 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fabulous book so easy to follow and informative.
This brings Dreamweaver to today and has dropped completely the outdated use of tables that others (such as H.O.T.) seem to be stuck with when the industry trend is only to insert tables into a page when using excel spreadsheets and such and never to use them for page building.
The extensive introduction of Widgets is a delight and has completely replaced those Javascript drop menu's avoiding all the pitfalls they entailed. The author leads you into dreamweaver in the usual way, most of these titles use, then easily run through tutorials that demonstrate how to build a site from simple CSS templates and from scratch. Step by step the author leads one from simple site to the introduction of widgets (new to DW CS3) through to PHP pages and on to databases and includes.
Very easy to folow and brings one up to date on the new CS3 architecture.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By P. Connolly on August 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
As the author says, "this book isn't 'Dreamweaver CS3 for the Clueless', or 'Dreamweaver CS3 for Complete Beginners'". There are plenty of books flooding the market at the moment for those users, and if that's you, I recommend you look elsewhere.

This book is intended for those who are familiar with the basics of web development with an interest in PHP, CSS, Ajax and Spry (Adobes version of Ajax). It assumes that you know your way around Dreamweaver, but that you haven't developed database driven web applications before.

As a tutorial, it is undoubtedly excellent. The author has a light and friendly writing style which works really well with this book, and he rapidly takes you from 'newbie' status to becoming an experienced developer.

As a reference book, it doesn't quite work - but I don't think that was the intention anyway. There is no 200-page index at the back listing all possible PHP and MySQL commands, but the book is all the better for it. If you need reference material, it's free on the web anyway, and personally I don't like books which use such an underhand method of giving me 'quantity' over 'quality'. This Essential Guide is exactly, and just, that.

Just one word about support. Not a word you normally associate with books, but David Powers is very active on the Adobe Dreamweaver forums, and always happy to assist readers (and others!) with any PHP-related questions. Just knowing that makes me confident about buying future books written by him.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By The Commodore on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
As can be gleaned from the long title, this is an ambitious book. In almost 800 pages, David Powers overviews a wide array of technologies that can be used to build highly dynamic Web sites. The focus of the book is Dreamweaver CS3, the newest iteration of the leading Web development software from Adobe (formerly from Macromedia). After Adobe acquired Macromedia, it released Dreamweaver CS3, which incorporated the Spry framework--a library of code for creating AJAX applications. The book examines these changes, and provides demonstrations on creating Web sites using these new tools and making them work with other Web-related technologies such as PHP, CSS, XML and relational databases. Sample code is provided on the publisher's Website.

The first chapter highlights changes to Dreamweaver including Device Central and Adobe Bridge. Device Central is a feature that allows developers to preview what pages look like in handheld devices such as cell phones. Bridge is a program included with CS3 that manages images, multimedia and many other types of resources. Chapter 2 explores Spry effects, which provide ways to shake, squish, fade and otherwise manipulate elements on a Web page. Chapters 3 and 4 show readers how to create a local testing environment and how to set up Dreamweaver to work with PHP.

Chapters 5 and 6 detail CS3's support for CSS. This is helpful for those who, like myself, have written CSS by hand and have neglected support provided by Dreamweaver. The tools for handling CSS include the ability to drag page-specific styles to an external stylesheet and the ability to easily see which style rules affect a particular element on a page by using the CSS Styles panel. This section also discusses using CSS layout designs supplied by Adobe.
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