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Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing Paperback – 1 May 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers In (1 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558605347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558605343
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 19.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,751,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Computing and coffee tables go together like chalk and … artichokes, so this excellent volume comes as something of a surprise. There are no pages of closely packed type and dull screenshots here. Instead, expect amusing pictures (including ones of pig racing and Web-savvy dog Alex), well-chosen examples and engaging writing. Drawing on 20 years of Internet experience, MIT professor Philip Greenspun takes an in-depth look at the process of putting content on the Web. The book tackles a variety of conceptual and technical issues, including server set-up, building community, e-commerce architecture and how to learn HTML--in 21 minutes. Though the core of the book is quite technical, Greenspun's straightforward approach and amusing anecdotal style make the guide accessible to potential publishers of all skill levels.

Few introductions to Web publishing match this one in terms of insight, humour and adaptibility. Whether propped on a coffee table or used as office reference, it's sure to provoke interest and conversation. --Chris Russell

Review

"If you want to be a part of where the Web is going, you need to read this book... -Dave Clark, Chief Protocol Architect of the Internet, 1981-1989 This is required reading in my seminar on information design: a wise book on Web design and technical matters by an author with a good eye in addition to good programming skills. -Edward Tufte, WIRED Magazine, June 1998 Your book is the best one I've read about web publishing, bar none. -J. Paul Holbrook, Director, Internet Technologies, CNN

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Williams on 7 May 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is quite simply the best book that I've read on the topic. Although there is much technical material (not that I'm afraid of that) Greenspun's witty and didactic writing style manages to turn an SQL tutorial, for example, into light reading. He isn't afraid to tell it like it is: great web sites require programming, WYSIWYG editors and middleware platforms suck, web publishing is far from free. He makes a good case for the software he advocates (TCL on AOLServer talking to Oracle) but there's nothing to prevent you adapting the code to mod_perl on Apache talking to MySQL. Best of all, it is seriously amusing - and you don't often laugh out loud reading a techie book. A few people have complained about the photos and glossy pages pushing the price up; to be honest this book is no more expensive than books with titles like 'Teach Yourself Neurosurgery in 24 Hours' or 'Learn International Law in 21 Days' (you know the sort I mean) and is much better value. People who complained about the binding are quite right, however: it's useless. I could have done with a bit less of the Microsoft knocking as well; they're the biggest, they don't deserve it, live with it, I say. Also, SQL Server is a compelling reason to have a Microsoft box somewhere in your setup - 95% of the power of Oracle, 5% of the price. The faults are minor, however, and don't detract from this great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
Philip (Alex is his dog - don't ask) Greenspun has written -the- book on web publishing as far as I'm concerned.
Greenspun focuses on what you should put on the web, and why you should put it up. Topics most folk don't consider. The advice is invaluable to anybody who is contemplating any kind of web site - be it small or large.
There is quite a lot of techy stuff in there, but don't let that put you off. The techy stuff can be skipped over - though Greenspun is not bad at explaining it anyway.
Greenspun has put together some interesting sites that get a LOT of traffic, yet don't come littered with time-wasting bells-and-whistles. He knows a lot about creating useful sites, rather than eye-candy.
If you are creating an information based site, where content counts, then read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
This wasn't the book I expected. Instead of the usual tutorial style of computer book this is an iconclastic discussion of how good web applications work and why. From this discussion Greenspun draws some persuasive conclusion about the best approaches to take when building a real working site.
He is opinionated and this sometimes leads to odd digressions, but these work because of the quality of both his writing and thinking.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand how to build web applications, or indeed software generally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is not "HTML for Dummies". Thankfully.
If you were to compose a list of the most influential voices of the Web era, Philip Greenspun would undoubtedly feature. Veterans from the pre-Netscape era like myself will remember the collection of beautiful photo-stories he placed online, such as "Travels With Samantha"; this book is not only lavishly illustrated with his photography, but contains some of the smartest, well-justified advice and judgements on making the Web work that you're likely to read on- or offline.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Johnson on 5 Mar. 2000
Format: Paperback
I have only just started reading this book, but from the first time I received it I knew it was something special. Every chapter is fascinating with topics ranging from how you can make money on the web to practical real life code to very sensible predictions for the future of applications. Not only is it amazingly useful, but also manages to to be amusing. For the first time in several years thins book has rekindled my interest in the web, which has become a playground for the greedy and commercial side of business. This book shows how you can be a responsible developer AND still be financially rewarded. Philiå's web site gives free tools and even has the manuscript for this book and his last if you want to read it online - however it is a really nice glossy book so buy it. THIS IS THE BEST INTERNET/PROGRAMMING/DEVELOPER/DATADASE BOOK I HAVE EVER READ!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Shimali on 14 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the only truly funny and readable book about any computing subject I have ever read. There is a great deal to be learned from the pages of Philip's book with the added bonus of some nice photography. Although he does present very useful technical discussions of the various components of the setup he uses (Aolserver+Tcl+Oracle) more importantly he never loses sight of the big picture. Namely, what can the internet to do for us, and how might we move towards our goals. It's clear that the primacy of getting things done can result in useful and benificial web services, rather than frustration and eye strain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
*NOT* a book for learning fundamental skills like HTML, SCRIPTING, SQL, ... but it will inspire you to build a truely amazing web site. It is a really informative and enjoyable read for any one who wants to build a serious web site.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andy Bell on 14 July 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book. If you are thinking of building a database- backed website (as I was), this has got to be the best book on the subject. Every chapter is full of useful nuggets of information.
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