When I spend a Saturday at a book store, I wonder why people spend money on these kinds of books. Everyone has seen the, “XYZ for Dummies” types; they are available for nearly every piece of software. So why do people purchase these types of books? I think it is because they are promoted as helpers, though they are quite difficult to work with. In general, I dislike these books.
I had never used Adobe’s GoLive before I got this book and it certainly got me hooked on the program.
The author of “GoLive6 MAGIC” is the infamous Paul Vachier. You might ask who is Paul Vachier. He has been actively involved in GoLive’s development at Adobe since the beginning. Vachier who had been a writer for a web-zine himself, worked at companies such as @home, Macromedia, Symantec and others, before he started working for Adobe on the GoLive team, where he has written lots of “actions” and the entire application’s documentation. Many of his “actions” are now part of the GoLive distribution.
The book is in fact made up of an entire team of authors. They all come from different computer-related backgrounds. Very skilled and talented people who have worked in the industry for some time and have gotten together to share their knowledge about and experiences with GoLive.
I believe New Riders (who are the publishers of this book) have a talent for chosing skilled authors. Or perhaps all the skilled people have their books publish at New Riders – who knows?
In any case, “GoLive 6 MAGIC” is different from other books. Do not expect the “We teach everything to do in 24 hours” attitude . “GoLive MAGIC” will take you beyond simple page editing. This is your seminar to become a GoLive MAGICIAN.
So what’s inside?
To begin, this book covers the topics you might expect it to. There are numerous pages on how to create basic HTML, CSS and DHTML. All very easy to comprehend and straight to the point. For example, topics covered include, CSS and the document object model, collapsible DHTML menus and a lot more.
What was surprising were the chapters about cHTML and i-mode. i-mode is the new mobile hype from Japan and a few mobile carriers are currently testing it in Europe as well. i-mode cellphones have a colordisplay and let you surf on websites with 48kbit/s – which is almost as fast as the speed of a standard modem. Fast enough to check stocks, news headlines or what movies are on at the theatre tonight – if you ask me.
Creating websites for i-mode is a pain. You have to follow certain standards (page width, height and so on, and so on), which is why I really welcomed that the book has a couple chapters about it. Thumbs up for that!
To continue riding the techie mobile train, there are also chapters on WAP – the Wireless Application Protocol. Another “wireless” thing (Yeah, duh!) and i-mode’s predecessor. Not too new, due to its lack of sucessfulness not important, but certainly nice to read up on it. Vachier’s tech editor made a typo when they said, “Wireless Access Protocol”, instead of “Wireless Application Protocol”. Read more on WAP.
And wait there’s more!
There is a chapter – which I had to read first – that explains how to create a small content management system (that is a set off scripts to manage the content of your website) with PHP and MySQL.
It is nice and easy to follow, specially for people who are new to all of this. When you have completed reading, you have the basics on how to get a installation of PHP and MySQL running, and how to set things up in GoLive. The CD included with the book provides you with the examples that they used in the book. Though it will not save you from learning more SQL-language, as a novice or intermediate individual, you are off to a very good start. If you are an advanced or professional user, this is old news to you.
I also found it quite interesting how they explain the terms – for example, middleware. Middleware comes up if you get into the dynamic content parts of the book. I disliked how Keniger absolutely does not mention any other type of SQL. There are at least a dozen different servers on the market and MySQL may be easy, but is by far not the best there is.
The remaining chapters cover Macros (very neat), Quicktime and GoLive’s very own site management tool, SDK, and a bunch more.
All “pro” and no “con”?
There is the “Index of Techniques”, which is too general in my opinion. For example, if you are looking for Flash, you have to read a chapter about Quicktime before you really get to it.
It might have helped if they had put down the actual page number the topic is covered on, and not the page number of the chapter it’s covered in. If you are like me, the index in the back of the book is what I go to for reference.
I definately recommend this book to those of you who have GoLive 6 and are struggling with it. If you own a copy already and did not know about two thirds of the things that I mentioned, go get it. It will help you.
If you are a “GoLive 6-Power User”, I think you are better off looking elsewhere. I recommend this book to novice and intermediate users.
Pro: Easy to read and understand. Great team of authors who have created a great set of tutorials walkthroughs!
Easy to read and understand. Great team of authors who have created a great set of tutorials and walkthroughs!
The — Index of Techniques — It’s not the best book on the market for advanced users.
Diplomatical spoken: If you need it, it’s worth the money.