on July 18, 2012
Experts shouldn't feel left out, either. Developers tend to develop a particular style of writing, like many authors, and sometimes these styles stray away from the "proper" way to code. This recipe book can serve as a refresher on proper coding techniques, and also provide developers with a different view on a problem set, thus improving the developer's toolbox.
Web Developer's Cookbook is a fairly easy read, which is saying a lot for a book of code. Robin takes great care to provide the reader with a predictable flow to each chapter, and more importantly, each recipe. The chapters tend to begin with either the most simple recipes or core recipes that other recipes will build on. This not only eases the developer into the code, it creates a solid foundation to build on as well. Robin steps through each recipe, explaining in detail how it works. He also shows the reader how apply each recipe. Finally, he displays the recipe in its entirety for the reader to review.
Bottom Line: Buy the book. It will instantly become a treasured tool in your developer's toolbox.
Negatives: I'm going to be picky here because it is really hard to identify one negative thing about this collection. That being said, I would have to say this book is a little long. At 975 pages, it can be very intimidating, especially for novice developers. If the reader's goal is to read the book cover-to-cover (like mine was), it can appear to be a lot to digest.
Positives: There are so many! First, the recipes are plug-and-play. A cursory review of the recipes is all it takes to get started. Next, every recipe is explained in a way that a novice can understand. Another plus is how easy the book is to read. There is also a companion site for the book. There, you can download all of the recipes, saving you from having to write a ton of code. I could go on for days...
Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book for review. (I would still purchase this book - it's great!)
The recipes may be used in your own projects, and you may modify them, without giving any attribution (though you can if you want). Using these recipes can saves time from "reinventing the wheel".
A companion site is given, where all recipes can be downloaded, along with example files to experiment/play with, though you'll need a web server with PHP, but you can easily run one on your desktop by installing one of the packages that make it easy (more in chapter 1).
One thing I would have liked to see is more discussion about performance issues. Some of the PHP recipes seem like they may be CPU intensive, like the spell checking recipe (PHP #8) and some of the recipes that use regular expressions in loops (PHP #3). I also found some inaccuracies/typos, but they were relatively few and minor. There were also a few instances of what I would consider "bad advice" (like suggesting you can do something that results in corrupted HTML (PHP #49). However, in the grand scheme of things these issues do not detract much from the overall value of the book.
Even if you just use a few recipes from the book, this book could pay for itself in the time saved from "reinventing the wheel" or from preventing a security "disaster" that you may not have otherwise prevented by writing your own recipe. You'll probably also discover some techniques, methods, and solutions to problems that that you might not have otherwise thought of (which is always a good thing for a web developer with jobs to do and problems to solve).
Overall this 975 page book contains A LOT of useful "recipes" (which you can modify if needed) with a great potential to learn a lot just by reading the book and studying the recipes & explanations. 5 stars overall.
on June 10, 2012
I am programmer for more than 30 years. I consider myself a very good and experienced one - who doesn't :-) With cookbook type of books I am always a bit skeptical. Personally I have not gotten much out of them in the past. However, this one is somewhat different.
Overall I found this a good collection of useful programs, explained in detail so that you can apply some of the ideas to other tasks as well as expand the code snippets to better serve your purpose.
on May 19, 2012
As an aspiring web developer & designer, I found "Web Developer's Cookbook" to be exactly what I needed to confidently create a personal website and revamp an existing website. WDC provides hundreds of .php, .js and .css recipes that are fully explained, showing the specific recipe and how it should fit into your .htm or .html file. There are photo examples throughout the book illustrating how each recipe will display on your browser and a .zip file containing each example to view for yourself.
Implementing these recipes is as easy as downloading the files from WDC's companion website, adding WDC.js and WDC.css into your directory, referencing these files in your .html page and customizing the <script> to achieve the desired effects you are looking for. It's as simple as that!
This is the third of Robin Nixon's books that I have had the opportunity to learn from ("eML: eBook Markup Language", "HTML5 for Android & iOS" and now "Web Developer's Cookbook"). With the help of the author's vast knowledge of programming I've been able to create a number of Android eBook applications and websites, with more to come. I have nothing but praise and respect for his work and highly recommend investing time in the knowledge contained in his books. This book is easily a five star purchase.