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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improves upon the earlier version of the book., April 18, 2010
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This review is from: The Essential Guide to Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS, Ajax, and PHP (Essentials) (Paperback)
I bought the Dreamweaver CS3 version of this book and loved it. However, when Dreamweaver CS4 came out, I decided to get the updated book. While this book is completely revised and updated for Dreamweaver CS4, there is still some common content between the two books, and hence my 4-star rating.

Right off the bat, this book starts off with an introduction of the *new* features of Dreamweaver CS4, giving me a 'jumpstart' in using Dreamweaver CS4 and getting comfortable with it. The CS4 version dropped mainly three chapters from the CS3 book; Building Dynamic Websites with PHP & Ajax, Getting the Work Environment Ready, and Setting up MySQL and phpMyAdmin. The 'dropped' content wasn't as so much as cut out of the book entirely, but re-edited to suit other chapters in the book in a more seamless fashion. (i.e., instead of a full chapter on MySQL, the book now touches on it in talking about creating/accessing a database.) On thing that seemingly did get cut out from the CS4 book entirely was the 'Getting the Work Environment Ready' chapter, so readers may want to borrow a book (or two!) from a library about creating a LAMP server on the same machine or elsewhere.

The CS4 book has added new content, and updated other chapters. The new content mostly covered...
* Creating a Web Page and Adding Content
* Using Spry Dynamic Effects and Components
* Going Beyond the Basics with Spry and Ajax
* Working with Templates and InContext Editing
* Deploying Your Site on the Internet
* Generating XML with PHP

What I loved most about the new content focused on Spry, Ajax, and Dynamic website building. One particular thing I've loved about the book was that the author made several attempts to explain what the Dreamweaver server-side PHP (or client side Spry) code was actually doing, and how to 'tinker' with them in achieving a desired result.

Overall, this book will give you a solid introduction in using Dreamweaver CS4 in creating standards-compliant dynamic websites with a minimum amount of pain associated with hand coding.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 23, 2010 12:40:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2010 12:44:21 PM PDT
Fred Chapman says:
Todd,

Thanks for taking the time to write a very helpful and detailed review! I'm looking for an in-depth book on both client-side scripting with JavaScript and Spry/Ajax and server-side scripting with PHP and MySQL databases. It sounds like this book is it!

I have only one small criticism of your review. You wrote: "While this book is completely revised and updated for Dreamweaver CS4, there is still some common content between the two books, and hence my 4-star rating. " Todd, of course there is common content -- some of the features and capabilities of CS4 are the same as in CS3! That's to be expected with any software upgrade. Is it really fair to penalize the author for this? If "this book is completely revised and updated for Dreamweaver CS4," I'd say it has earned all five stars.

Thanks again,

Fred Chapman
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