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Webmaster in a Nutshell 3rd Edition Stephen Spainhour and Robert Eckstein
Published by O'Reilly and Associates
ISBN:0-596-00357-9
576 pages
£ 24.95
Published: 3rd January 2003
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the June 2003 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

Hmm, this book feels mean. The print is small and set tightly, the book is the typical nutshell size - smaller than the other O'Reilly books. The content is mean too - CSS is 11 pages? Come off it. There is material on http, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, CGI, Perl (boo), PHP (hurrah) and Apache! But not really enough about any of them to be useful to someone who has to use them seriously. Oh, and there is nothing at all about Web Services - the authors think that that is not something webmasters need to worry about.

Most books in the nutshell series offer condensed information for people in a hurry that will get them up to speed quickly, or just act as a quick reference guide. The trouble with this book is that the information has been condensed so much that all the nutrition has been boiled away. O'Reilly have excellent books on all the topics listed above, for many of them in fact, the best books available. Much better to spend a little more money and get the full story on the topics you need than to get led a little way and then be abandoned just as you see the eyes of the wild animals glinting amongst the trees. Go first class with proper guides, not tourist.

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