Web design and programming books

As I’m pretty new to this game, my developers bookshelf is pretty small, but certainly growing. I like to get books that I think will get well thumbed. These types of books are expensive, so I don’t want to be forking out hard earned cash just to find one chapter useful, or even less. With novels, especially classics, you can get them second hand and that’s ok. But with these sorts of books, they need to be up to date and they go out of date fast! I reckon these will still be valid by the end of 2007. But they may go out of date before then. Who knows. If I need to know something quickly I tend to just search on the web and up pops a tutorial. But for reading on the train or in the bath, you need a book. And it’s nice to switch the computer off now and again. And to go lie in the sun in the park in the summer, curled up with a css book. Why not.

More Eric Meyer on CSS

More Eric Meyer on CSS (Voices That Matter)
I just have to big up this guy. He just explains css so well and makes it seem almost magical. You cannot help but understand it after reading Eric Meyer. Some of the tips and tricks and ways of working just seem so obvious when you read them that you wonder why you had never thought of it before.

I originally bought this book to help me to learn how to style a photo gallery, which I did. Here’s one:
new york gallery
These are photos of my wife’s trip to New York with her friend last year and the gallery was to help share the photos. But my knowledge was only just up to it. And with the help of Eric Meyer I did it and I managed to get it to work in all the browsers.

I have sinced had a look at the other chapters and keep going back to it for tips and ideas. There is even a zen garden design in the final chapter. It’s my dream to submit a design to zen garden, but I think it’s just way out of my league. But with a little help from Eric, who knows.

CSS Hacks and Filters by Joseph W. Lowery

CSS Hacks and Filters: Making Cascading Stylesheets Work
When I picked up this book from the shelves of Books etc, I didn’t even know what css hacks were. I just liked the idea of hacking and it sounded cool. But it ended up being something very practical indeed. CSS makes the web look pretty, but we all look at it through different coloured lenses. Browser compatability is a bitch. And once you get to grips with hacks and filters you’ll realise the true beauty of css and the ugly beast that it’s trying to tame.

But this book is more than just a list of browser bugs and filter codes. There are many invaluable tips, lots of resources, plus working methods that will make you love css all over again. It’s nice to have it all in one book.

Javascript in Easy Steps by Mike McGrath

Javascript in Easy Steps (In Easy Steps)

Teach yourself SQL in 24 Hours by Ryan Stephens and Ron Plew

Sams Teach Yourself MySQL in 24 Hours (Sams Teach Yourself)

Agile Web Development with Rails by Dave Thomas & David Heinemeier Hanson

Agile Web Development with Rails (Pragmatic Programmers)
I got this book when a friend recommended that I should take a look at Ruby on Rails when I asked him about learning PHP. He said that PHP is ok for small applications where the demand isn’t great. But for large scale demands try Ruby. Well, it took me a while to understand the difference between Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Duh, you may say. But then I am fairly new to this game. But this book explains it all. I haven’t read it all yet but it looks fairly straight forward. Most of the things are done for you such as e-mail modules and all that. But then why bother when there are so many free PHP applications out there that just need a bit of editing? I want to know what’s going on that’s why. And I want something that’s scalable. The PHP buffs are going to come in here and say now that they have a PHP application that serves x million hits a day with a database this big and has no problems whatsoever. But I can’t argue because I don’t know enough. I’m just going with the advice of my friend. I want to build an application from the ground up according to my own specs and this seems like a great place to start.

First you get a bit of theory, but not too much. You then invited to dive right in and have a go. You build an online store application and that’s how you learn about how to use it. After that you get into the nuts and bolts of Ruby on Rails. I think that’s a good way round because then you realise what is needed in a real world situation.

I guess I’ll write a bit more once I’ve finished the book and done all the tutorials.

2 thoughts on “Web design and programming books

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