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Web Developer's Cookbook [Paperback]

Robin Nixon
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £30.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2012 007179431X 978-0071794312

300+ Ready-to-Use PHP, JavaScript, and CSS Solutions

Web Developer's Cookbook contains more than 300 PHP, JavaScript, and CSS recipes you can use right away to create interactive Web content. All of the solutions are fully documented and their functionality clearly explained, along with customization tips. The recipes include HTML examples and screen shots showing exactly how to apply them in real-world situations. Methods for using HTML5 to make Web pages even more interactive and dynamic are also provided. Shorten development time and sharpen your programming skills with help from this practical guide.

Filled with tested recipes for:

Text processing * Image handling * Content management * Forms and user input * Internet * Chat and messaging * MySQL, sessions, and cookies * APIs, RSS, and XML * Incorporating JavaScript

Core functionality * Location and dimensions * Visibility * Movement and animation * Chaining and interaction * Menus and navigation * Text effects * Audio and visual effects * Cookies, Ajax, and security * Forms and validation * Solutions to common problems

Manipulating objects * Text and typography * Menus and navigation * Page layout * Visual effects * Dynamic objects * Dynamic text and typography * Incorporating JavaScript * Superclasses

Product details

  • Paperback: 992 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007179431X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071794312
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 18.5 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Robin Nixon has been a writer for 30 years, has written in excess of 500 articles for many of the UK's top magazines, and has authored over 20 books.

Robin started his writing career in the Cheshire homes for disabled people, where he was responsible for setting up computer rooms in a number of residential homes, evaluating and tailoring hardware and software so that disabled people could use the new technology, and writing supporting documentation and articles for a selection of national magazines.

After this Robin's career became a hundred percent writing-oriented when he joined a large magazine publisher, where he held a variety of different editorial positions, before leaving to become a self-employed writer.

With the dawn of the Internet in the 1990s, Robin branched out into developing websites (including the world's first licensed Internet radio station). In order to enable people to continue to surf while listening, Robin also developed the first known pop-up windows.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s Robin and his family moved to the USA a couple of times, once to run a web design company in California, and then again to set up an English Tearoom in Texas. In between times they ran several successful pubs, bed and breakfasts and nightclubs in England.

In recent years Robin has begun to focus more closely on motivation and personal improvement in his writing, while still continuing to produce more in his popular series of books on computing, which have now been translated into several different languages.

Robin lives on the south-east coast of England (where he writes full time), along with his five children and wife Julie (a trained nurse and university lecturer) - between them they also foster three disabled children.

Product Description

About the Author

Robin Nixon has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s. He is the author of several books, including HTML5 for iOS and Android: A Beginner's Guide, as well as more than 500 articles for leading computer magazines.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE 'must have' book for web-developers 9 Mar 2013
By maik
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second book I have bought from the author Robin Nixon _ and i am truly delighted to own it. Whilst the wealth of valuable content itself makes the purchase of this book a bargain_ what makes it stand out is the neatness and order of the 'recipes' that enable a web-developer to easily understand and implement the code they are reading _
The book (a better description would be '1000 page tome') is divided into 4 parts _
_ a detailed introduction that explains what you need and where to get hold of it online and 'how to use the recipes'
_ php recipes
_ Javascript recipes
_ CSS classes

the book is also linked to a dedicated website
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this book because i'm certain you'll be very happy with your purchase
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've begun studying these 'recipes' and am finding the process to be a benefit in my efforts to learn web development.
There are plenty to be going on with and I'm also combining this book with other more advanced ones.

It's very useful to see what problems exist and the solutions that are commonly employed in Web sites.. It's then really rather simple once you know and have seen how it's done

The core concept though, is that you can simply follow basic instructions to configure and add the code, hence avoiding 're-inventing the wheel' or even having to learn any code in fact.

The book itself is an impressive weighty volume, and the freely available code is well organised and compact .
You can simply add the entire library to your page or even modify and add to what is provided, building on what you have learned.

Why not 5 starts ? Well I have found some of the descriptions to be a bit on the long side. Some of the examples have so many settings and things to learn that you wonder if perhaps you should have just coded it your self to do what you wanted in the first place. I guess that's a limitation of any design pattern, to some extent. The descriptions raise the focus above the nuts and bolts of the code, but learning about the code is exactly what I am interested in ! I would also question the value of learning all the core JavaScript functions presented in this book. You may as well spend time learning JQuery for example, which does most of what these functions do and probably a lot more. The core functions are well documented though and learning about them is quite an educational process in itself.

Having said that this book is in essence a real gem of information, a way forward and a great learning tool. I also highly recommend the tutorial book on web development this author has written.He has a clear writing style and communicates technical details in a easily accessible way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warmly recommended 23 Oct 2012
By Philech
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a previous review intimated, clear, concise, without obfuscating the meanings or coding with a excellent support from the downloadable examples. NOT for complete beginners though. This is due to the subject matter requiring a little more in depth thought and experience than any failing on the authors part. I am using both as reference material and understanding the scope of the topics, with an eye to trying out the numerous new (to me) tricks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and brilliant 12 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Perhaps the best of the 35 or so books on web tech that I have read. Not for beginners, but clear, well-organised, relevant and supported by example files. This book is up-to-date too, which matters a lot.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book and A Great Tool 19 July 2012
By Tim Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Web Developer's Cookbook by Robin Nixon is an outstanding resource. Robin provides the reader with two things. First, there is the collection of over 300 PHP, JavaScript, and CSS recipes, all built by Robin, which the reader can use instantaneously in their websites. That in itself is enough reason to purchase this book; however, he doesn't stop there. He also provides the reader with an in-depth explanation for every single recipe. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Web Developer's Cookbook will prepare you to add interactive content to your site in no time.

Beginners - Don't expect to master PHP, JavaScript, or CSS. That is not what this book is about. These languages take years of learning and practicing to become an expert. You can expect, however, to learn how to think like a developer, and how to code the right way. Before reading Robin's book, I would spend much of my "free" time researching how to perform some action with JavaScript, most of which was wasted on looking at poorly structured, incomplete code posted in random blogs and discussion threads. Web Developer's Cookbook has given me all of that time back! Robin has expertly pinned down the most common issues developers face, and he has written clean, concise code that resolves those issues. Recognizing that not every problem is the same, Mr. Nixon provides tips on how to customize the code to meet additional needs.

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!)
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beefy cookbook with a lot of useful info & techniques 27 April 2012
By A. Wiersch - Published on Amazon.com
Web Developer's Cookbook is a beefy 975 page book that includes 301 "recipes": 100 PHP recipes, 101 JavaScript recipes, and 100 CSS recipes that are well explained and that can be tailored to your own requirements. The author claims each one has been developed and debugged and will save you a lot of time. Also, HTML5 and CSS3 features are used in various recipes, making this book more "up-to-date" with newer CSS and HTML standards. The book even mentions the new Microsoft Metro interface and Windows 8 (at the time of this review, Windows 8 is still months away from release).

The PHP recipes (part II of the book) include text processing (1-10), image handling (11-20), content management (21-30), forms and user input (31-40), "the intenet" (41-50), chat and messaging (51-60), MySQL, sessions, and cookies (61-70), APIs, RSS, and XML (71-80), incorporating JavaScript (81-90), and "diverse solutions" (91-100). The JavaScript recipes (Part III of the book) include "core recipes" (1-18), location and dimensions (19-30), visibility (31-42), movement and animation (43-52), chaining and interaction (53-59), menus and navigation (60-69), text effects (70-76), audio and visual effects (77-83), cookies, ajax, and security (84-89), forms and validation (90-95), and solutions to common problems (96-101). The CSS recipes (Part IV of the book) include manipulating objects (1-19), text and typography (20-32), menus and navigation (33-38), page layout (39-45), visual effects (46-57), dynamic objects (58-75), dynamic text and typography (76-85), dynamic interaction (86-90), incorporating JavaScript (91-93), and superclasses (94-100). As you can see, there is A LOT in this book.

Note that this is not a tutorial book for learning PHP, HTML, JavaScript, or CSS. However, the recipes are explained in detail, and one of the great benefits of that is that you will very likely learn some new things and pick up some new ideas from the code explanations, so in this regard this book can be a very good learning book, even worthy of reading/skimming through it all to make sure that you understand how everything is done. By reading the explanations of the recipes and examining the code, you can improve your knowledge about things like PHP functions, regular expressions, web client/server interaction, fighting spam, form validation, security, JavaScript, CSS, and more.

You can use the "recipes" simply by including one or more of three main files, one php file (which contains the PHP recipes), one js file (which contains the JavaScript recipes), and one css file (which contains the CSS recipes). Of course you can also create your own files to include with just the recipes you use (but some recipes rely on others so make sure any dependencies are also included in any of your custom include files).

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.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex Made Easy! Use and re-use again and again! 15 May 2012
By Hussain Al-Marzooq - Published on Amazon.com
Just got the books few days ago, while skimming through the chapters, I was thinking aha.. I can use this, this and that in my new application. Lots of the recipes are very easy to use and save lots of your time as developer.
The first book I bought for Robin Nixon was HTML5 for iOS and Android Mobile, it was a beginner guide to mobile apps programming and I am still referring to that book almost in regular bases. You can imagine what I will do with this cookbook!
I really recommend it for anyone who wants clean, fast and proven code ready to use.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and consise 7 Aug 2012
By TinaM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was written for developers of any experience level. The recipes are clear, consise and deliver from beginning to end. I don't use it every day, but it's there when I DO need it. It's not really a book to just sit down and read. It's more for becoming familiar with its layout and the content to know what is included, and then turning to it when a solution is needed. It's a book I'll have for many many years.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad 11 July 2012
By stat30fbliss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A comprehensive book with tons of great resources. The resource files are a bit tough to navigate but there's a ton of them, so its hard to complain about a bunch of great scripts. Due to the size of the book, its not necessarily portable, but still a great desk companion.
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