I really wish I had read the other reviews of this book prior to purchasing. Most of the books in the "Programmer to Programmer" series that I have read have been excellent...this one isn't. I've just finished reading Chapter 2. I'll continue to read the book (because the concepts presented ARE useful); but, my expectations are much lower than they used to be.
First, let me start by stating what I expected. I was expecting the book to present an overall problem involving the construction of a full-featured commercial website. In each chapter, I expected that problem to be broken down into sets of discrete "problems", a design presented that solves those problems, and then clear incremental instructions on how to implement the design so that, by the end of the book, you have a fully functioning, well-designed, well-written website.
Now, let me tell you my impression of the book so far. First, it's obvious that the author isn't building a website from scratch. In fact, it feels as if the author created the complete working website, and then tried to go back and reconstruct the process from the completed code. Unfortunately, the code provided in the early chapters appears to have been extracted from the completed website and contains references to web controls, CSS classes/styles, and even pages that haven't been created yet. And the presentation seems to "jump around", almost as if they couldn't decide what order to present the material in, and shuffled all of the content together without doing a proper job of going back and re-editing the material. Toward the end of chapter 2 (page 53) the author says "You're done! Run the project; by default you'll see the home page shown earlier in Figure 2-7..." There's a couple of problems with this...First, implementing what has been provided in the "Solution" portion of the chapter, I've got 17 compiler errors, 24 warnings, and 2 messages about obsolete HTML attributes. Second, nothing has been developed in the way of actual content for the website. I'd be fine with being told to download content (text, images, etc) from the website; but the only download available from the website is the fully completed website. Many of the other texts I've read in the series provide separate "solution" downloads for each chapter. This allows you to see what the solution looks like at then end each stage (chapter) of development without having to enter all of the code yourself (though most developers, myself included, feel like they learn more by entering the code themselves). This book would definitely benefit from this sort of breakdown.
As I said above, I've just finished the first two chapters and I will finish reading this book (I'm just stubborn that way). I'll post updates as I progress; but I can't say I'm looking forward to reading the coming chapters.