Way 2 Web

Web development tips


 
Books

Finding a good technical textbook is harder than one would think. Too many are low on content, poorly written if not condescending in tone. Most are simply too boring.

We hope to save you some of that frustration and disappointment.

Below are a few books on various topics that we've found useful and enjoyable to read.

CSS

Rachel Andrew's book, CSS Anthology opened my eyes to the potential of CSS. My code has never been the same since.

This books leads the reader through a series of CSS examples of increasing levels of complexity, from basic CSS techniques to forms, dynamic navigation menus, and special-purpose table formatting (such as spreadsheet-like tables).

Each example, elaborates on the purpose of each bit of code.

Andrew also discusses CSS browser inconsistencies.

Clear and concise. Highly recommended.

Javascript and AJAX

Ajax in Action offers a thorough and high-quality treatment of AJAX, no small accomplishment in this emerging field.

It offers breadth, covering the background and various approaches to AJAX, linking you to many useful resources for further exploration.

At the same time, it has a very hands-on coding approach, and builds a basic AJAX application framework from the ground up.

Especially instructive is the appendix on object-oriented Javascript programming, and the ubiquitous emphasis on MVC and design patterns.

By professionals for professionals - a must have for anyone serious about AJAX. Worthwhile if only for the wonders it will do for your general Javascript coding.

Design Patterns

In Design Patterns Explained, Shalloway and Trott do a great job of introducing a potentially confusing topic.

Ever notice programmers, or even teams of programmers, move from VB 6 to .NET without really coming to terms with object-oriented programming? The result is the same old hack-job code, only this time in C#, and without leveraging the power, flexibility and elegance of well-designed OO code.

This book views patterns as a good approach to teaching object-oriented programming in general. They elaborate on the origin of "patterns" (in architecture, of all places!) and introduce patterns one by one, indicating how they can be used to solve real-world programming problems.

While touting the virtues of design patterns, the authors don't go overboard, and discuss to what extent patterns should be used in code and when over-use can cause problems.

Recommended.