Reviewer’s Notes

It is always a challenge to teach a course in web design or web programming. Systems that run on the World Wide Web must necessarily change with the emergence of any sort of new computer technology, creating a rapidly evolving landscape. The students that enroll in web development courses are a particularly diverse group; the subject attracts strong programmers with weak aesthetic design skills as well as those who are more aesthetically inclined with little knowledge of programming. Finally, the visibility and mission criticality of web platforms makes the design and security of these systems paramount.

The Missing Link attempts to bridge the gap between these conflicting educational demands. While most web development texts opt to delve deeply into one or two of the tools in the belt of a web programmer, the author of this text takes a broad approach to teaching web programming and development. The result is a single resource that integrates good design practices, modern technologies, and all of the programming tools that one would need to build a successful, dynamic web site.

Unlike many texts, this one begins by giving the readers a solid foundation in the technology that runs the Internet along with a sense of what technology is currently coming of age. This is followed by both a process and pattern-oriented slant on web design that focuses on the Model-View-Controller structure which underlies the rest of the text. HTML and CSS covered for the development of web interfaces. The PHP and JavaScript sections enable readers to develop the controllers for those interfaces. Finally, a concise introduction to databases and SQL allows for the development of robust data models.

In addition to the unique combination of content found in this book, the tone is also one of practicality. The author doesn’t mince words and gets right to the point with examples meant to be referenced quickly and often. Although this directness may put off some readers who prefer to read texts cover to cover, all software developers know that this is how texts are used in the real world.

In the end, the broad approach that The Missing Link takes to web design and programming combined with the text’s concise presentation of information makes this a web programming text unlike any other.

Robert Olson, M.S.

Professor Robert Olson is a Visiting Instructor of Computer & Information Sciences at the State University of New York at Fredonia where he teaches courses in computer programming, computer security, mathematics, and artificial intelligence. He also teaches Microcomputer Applications at Jamestown Community College. Professor Olson received a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from SUNY Fredonia on May 2007.

License

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Reviewer’s Notes by Michael Mendez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.