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Book Review: Dreamweaver 8 – The Missing Manual by David McFarland

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Coming in at over 900 pages, Dreamweaver 8 – The Missing Manual is not a book to read cover-to-cover. In the process of going through the functionality of Dreamweaver, the book imparts a good deal of knowledge in the basics of web development and web technology all together, making it a useful reference for experienced Dreamweaver developers and complete beginners alike.

Dreamweaver 8 is the latest version of the popular web design and development application used by millions to create some of the world’s best websites. As far as web development software goes, it is the gold standard. The only shortcoming is the lack of documentation and discernible instructions in how to use it. This book fills that gap.

The author, David McFarland, begins with the basics of how to navigate the software as well as the basics of web design and progresses to advanced features like database integration, CSS, XML, and XSLT. For the novice user, it gradually steps them up to the ability to make full-featured high quality websites. For experienced users, the book is compartmentally designed to provide quick access to the information you are looking for. Because the book covers not only Dreamweaver functions, but web design basics and other background skills, it can easily be used as one-stop-shopping for anyone wanting to be proficient in web design.

The tips and notes provide useful information that isn’t available elsewhere and hands-on tutorials help readers to develop and learn the skills as they read along. The author is particularly helpful in pointing out not only the lesser-known shortcuts and tips, but valuable extensions available to make the developer’s life easier. The writing is short and to-the-point which is welcome in a world of rambling non-coherent technical books.

The book is well-written and easy to access, making it an indispensable desk reference for novice and experienced Dreamweaver developers alike.

About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • Bliffle

    “…used by millions to create some of the world’s best websites. As far as web development software goes, it is the gold standard.”

    I’ve never seen a DW website that couldn’t have been implemented as well with standard tools, because the sad fact is that DW is NOT standard. In fact, it violates standardization rules of the IETF.

    The only thing DW is the ‘gold standard’ for is people and companies that are trying to confine WWW users to websites and tools in the hands of nefarious characters who want to subvert the internet and privatize a public interface.