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Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unprofessional, November 11, 2009
This review is from: Building Web Sites All-in-One For Dummies (Paperback)
I just finished reading this book from cover to cover and, sadly, I have to agree with the negative tone of most comments here (up to the time of writing, that is).

- As heard though the grapevine, I concur that the book is published with too many "foolish assumptions" (as the authors themselves call them) in mind. Without any apparent reason, they assume the reader is going to do web designing for a living, repeatedly gearing every subject towards client-designer relations, client satisfaction and the such. There are whole chapters that would make little to no sense without this bias.

- Here comes a major problem for me. The authors' professional work as designers, as well as programmers is, well, not impressive. I guess I can't provide their URLs here, but just try Googling for their names and check them out. Oh, and try "Antonio's Winter Haven". That's good as well.

- They're not ashamed of it, either. Almost every example of web-designing they provide in the book refers to their own personnal or professional sites. In a book 762 pages long, that's a lot of self-promotion.

- In the same vein, well, this may be just me, but I'm also bothered by the authors' constant reference to how "Doug" or "Claudia" (the authors' first names) did this or that. Focus on the reader, will ya?

- The authors are an ex-web designer and a professional photographer, part-time web designer. They repeatedly claim throughout the book NOT to be programmers, which supposedly frees them from the hassle of providing any expertise on the subject. I don't claim, mind you, that they should go into fine detail concerning programming languages. What's more, it is certainly fine that they provide hints as to how to skip the programming part and use instead all the resources that the web provides. What bothers me is the uncertainty they leave you with. What with all the trickery they insist on using to escape the tough programming bits, and after seeing what they have to offer for themselves in the personnal pages they so wildly promote, I wonder if there are many things left unexplained, many resources they don't know about or are unable to handle?

********

In general, I can't say I'm unhappy about having bought and read this book. I DID learn many things I needed to know about web designing, web maintenance and so on.

I did not have a problem with tools such as Photoshop and Dreamweaver being used as teaching material for the book. After all, they are the sector standards, so if a piece of software is to be used as example, let it be them. The authors do, in general, offer choices as to what software to use for each particular task (although there does seem to be an obvious bias towards Adobe products).

This just could AND SHOULD have been a better book in so many ways. I very much enjoy 'Dummies' books spirit and approach, but if this is where they're going, I'm opting out. Readers of a book do not need to excel in the field concerned. Authors do.
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