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Beginning Dreamweaver MX [Paperback]

Charles E. Brown , Imar Spaanjaars , Todd Marks
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2003
What is this book about?

With this book you'll quickly be creating powerful, dynamic web sites with Dreamweaver MX - the latest version of Macromedia's powerful, integrated web development and editing tool.

You'll learn how to use the tools and features of Dreamweaver to construct three complete sites using HTML, JavaScript, Active Server Pages (ASP), and databases.

We start by creating a hobbyist site - The Cooking Place - that you can use to list your favorite recipes, ingredients, and dishes.

What does this book cover?

As you build this site you'll learn how to use Dreamweaver MX to

  • Plan, create, and set up a web site
  • Add web pages to the site and edit their content
  • Use Stylesheets and templates to create a consistent style across the site
  • Use tables, frames, and layers to lay out web pages
  • Add dynamic effects - like drop down menus - to web pages using JavaScript and DHTML
  • Interact with users via forms on web pages
  • Create dynamic ASP web pages to respond to user actions and input

As you progress through the book, the sites you create become ever more ambitious. The second site you build is a fan site for soccer that provides information on upcoming events for fans around the world.

As you build the second site you'll learn how to use Dreamweaver MX to:

  • Add logic to your ASP pages, so that you can display different information to different users, based on their location, or even the time of day
  • Keep track of users as they move around the site, so that you can learn what parts of your site are the most popular
  • Secure parts of the web site so that only authorized users are allowed to see sensitive information
  • Personalize the web site for individual users - so that the site appears in the colors of the user's favorite team or so that the user only sees events in their home country
  • Store and extract information about users and upcoming events in a database - and use this information to dynamically create web pages

The final site in the book shows off many of the advanced features of Dreamweaver MX, as you walk through how to design a modular, extensible, and scalable site, and create a set of dynamic building blocks that can be quickly modified and reused in different sites.

As you build this site - which is used to display a set of images that users can view and purchase - you'll learn how to use Dreamweaver MX to:

  • Create a set of building blocks whose look and content is determined dynamically by the settings in a database
  • Create a content management page that you can use to mange the database that stores information about the images on the site, including their title, price, and how they should be laid out
  • Put the building blocks you created earlier to a variety of uses, including a news blogger, a media display, and a product display
  • Use Dreamweaver Extensions to make our building blocks easy to reuse and to add e-commerce functionality to the site

At the end of some of the chapters you'll find a series of suggested exercises from the author that are designed to test your understanding of what's been covered in the chapter as well as to encourage you to experiment with the features of Dreamweaver MX and to modify and extend the example applications.

Who is this book for?

This book is primarily for complete beginners to web site programming who have access to Dreamweaver MX and want to learn how to create dynamic web sites with it.

But the book doubles as a comprehensive reference to the features of Dreamweaver MX, so it will also be a useful resource to more experienced web developers who want to learn how to use the latest version of Dreamweaver.

As you work through the book, you'll learn how to program using Active Server Pages (ASP), but this will prove useful even if you eventually want to use Dreamweaver MX to create web sites with JavaServer Pages (JSP), ASP.NET, PHP, or ColdFusion MX. Programming in any of these languages is very similar in Dreamweaver MX, and the core concepts you learn in building web sites with ASP are applicable and easily transferred to other languages. To help, the book includes four appendices that provide fast paced guides on how to get started using JSP, ASP.NET, PHP, and ColdFusion MX with Dreamweaver MX.

What do you need to use this book?

To run the examples in this book on your computer you'll need:

  • Dreamweaver MX
  • Microsoft Windows 98, 98SE, 2000 or XP Professional

If you don't have a copy of Dreamweaver MX you can download a 30-day evaluation edition from Macromedia at The evaluation edition is fully-featured, and you'll be able to use it to work through all the examples in the book.

If you have Microsoft Windows Me, Windows XP Home Edition, or a Macintosh you'll still be able to create all the examples in the book but to see them in action you'll need to use a remote server, as your operating system doesn't, by default, include a web server that can process ASP pages. Fortunately, getting access to an ASP web host is easy -- there are dozens available. And to make things even easier, the book includes detailed information on how to set up a web application to use a remote server or web host.

Product Details

Product Description

From the Publisher

This book is primarily for complete beginners to web site programming who have access to Dreamweaver MX (or are using the trial version to check it out), and want to learn how to create dynamic web sites with it.

As you work through the book you'll learn how to program using Active Server Pages (ASP). In addition, the core concepts you learn in building web sites with ASP are easily transferred to other languages. Therefore, this book will also serve you well if you plan to use Dreamweaver MX in conjunction with JavaServer Pages (JSP), ASP.NET, PHP, or ColdFusion MX -- the book includes four appendices that provide fast-paced guides on how to get started using JSP, ASP.NET, PHP, and ColdFusion MX with Dreamweaver MX. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Dreamweaver is used by 1.7 million developers and is the world’s most popular web development tool. With this book you’ll learn how to use the latest version – Dreamweaver MX – to create professional websites that you’ll be proud to publish.

Our fast-paced tutorials walk you through building three complete websites: a personal site to share your interests over the Web, a dynamic sports site that remembers your visitors’ personal settings, and an easily configurable online catalog built from reusable components. Along the way, you’ll learn all the skills that you need to work confidently with Dreamweaver MX.

Who is this book for?

If you’ve never built a website before, we’ll show you how to build powerful and professional sites that impress. If you’re an experienced web developer, we’ll show you how to migrate your existing skills to Dreamweaver MX.

Learn how to:

  • Add dynamic effects to web pages (such as drop-down menus) using JavaScript and DHTML
  • Let visitors interact with your site and leave you feedback by using forms
  • Create personalized, up-to-the-minute content for each visitor with ASP (Active Server Pages) programming
  • Apply authentication and authorization techniques to protect private information from unauthorized users
  • Dynamically update and extract content stored in databases

We will then go even further and introduce you to a cutting-edge approach to site development, reusing a component called the building block, which enables fast website development. You’ll also learn about Dreamweaver MX’s built-in support for the ASP.NET, JavaServer Pages™, PHP, and ColdFusion® MX programming languages.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
First I thought this book over explains everything. When I started encountering territories that I'm not familiar with, I started to greatly appreciate the author's method of teaching. This book teaches you by getting you working on real projects from scratch. While you are following the step by step instructions, the author explains the science and whys of these instructions. The only drawback of this book is that project 1 seems to be tested only on Internet Explorer. I tried the files with Netscape 4.79 and 6.2 they both showed some flows that took me hours to figure out how to fix. Also I had to use a behavior extension to recover the mess, in Netscape, made by adding layers. Apart from that all my projects have worked perfectly. The second part is code intensive which I really appreciate. This book will show what's going on behind the scenes. Therefore you won't be limited by what Dreamweaver can offer. It will show you the way to go beyond Dreamweaver's ability. This is not a "for dummies" type of book. You have to follow the instructions very carefully. All the mistakes in this project turned out to be mine. For the effort made to write this book I cannot give less than five stars. I wouldn't hesitate to buy Professional Dreamweaver MX if it exists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with some Reviews May 17 2003
By A Customer
I just purchased this book because I am a new user of Dreamweaver. After going through this book, I have to disagree with the negative reviews I read here. Like Charles Brown's Fireworks MX book, it teaches both the program and the principles of web design.
First of all, the book has the reader build three fairly complicated website step-by-step as promised. However, unlike other step-by-step books I have read, they require careful reading and understanding. As an example, Chapter 2 has the reader build a complex system of embedded tables. The reader is warned to take this slowly and carefully. It took me several tries before I fully understood the concept and completed it successfully but the end result was an incredible learning experience. The book was complete and correct. These are not knock-off exercises.
By the time I completed the book, I had a thorough knowledge of the program and web design. I had built sites with database and JavaScript behaviors. Again, this book was not a quick read but it works.
From what I see at the Wrox site, Wiley just took them over and will be reopening the site soon. I have to agree with the reviewer that this is the best book on Dreamweaver MX written. I will stick with Charles Brown's books as they come out.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not the same quality as other WROX publications May 29 2003
By A Customer
I purchased 3 WROX books in the past this with good success. I expected the same thoroughness, but unfortunately, couldn't find it in this one.
As a somewhat seasoned developer using both Visual Studio and GoLive on our Corporate Intranet, I only needed to acquire familiarity with the features within Dreamweaver for my own personal use.
I enjoyed the overview and first few chapters in this book, and soon began to appreciate the potential this book might have. At the end of chapter two, I compared my project with the illustration in the book. They didn't look the same. I was determined to find out why, so I compared my code with the downloaded code. They were different. I rechecked the steps in the book looking for the missed steps, but didn't see it.
If you want to learn Dreamweaver MX, and don't mind checking your code with the downloaded code, then this book might work for you. For me, I'll look elsewhere.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with this book May 13 2003
By A Customer
I purchased this book from our local bookstore. I browsed through the pages and liked what I seen. I then brought this book home and excitingly began reading and attempting to follow the "Try It Out" exercises. In reality, I spent too much time struggling with the typos, inconsistencies and missing steps.

After about two weeks, I gave up using this book. I just recently discovered Amazon and more importantly, discovered the customer review section. I'll pay special attention to this section and choose my next book when both a "Look inside this book" feature is provided, and after I decipher which reviews are real versus those from those sponsoring the book (two highly rated reviews from the same location on the same day).
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2.0 out of 5 stars Beginning Dreamweave MX April 13 2003
By A Customer
I purchased this book hoping to learn how to build complete websites as mentioned on Wrox's web site. It's not happening. I tired to follow the exercises, but found way too many errors. Pictures don't match what your asked to type, you're given wrong instructions (type: Enter vs. press: Enter etc), and one exercise instructs you to open a file that doesn't even exist. I tried Wrox's site to look for corrections, but according to them, "There are no errata for this book". I hope they do better in the next revised publication. Still searching for a good book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Ever for DWMX May 2 2003
I bought this book with lots of worries that I won't benefit from it cuz it says beginning but I did learned a lot.
This book is meant for ppl who know HTML, ASP and JavaScript. It teaches you step by step how to benefit from DWMX to expedite your code or to automate parts of your code such as the repeated regions and navigation tools.
Most of the problems I have face, I discovered that they were a typo from me or syntax error that I did.
I really recommend it
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