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Book Review of:
WebMaster in a Nutshell
by Ed Rios

Every now and then a product comes along to keep you organized. This is a big task for many web developers I know, including myself. There are myriad of resources available for little or no cost via the World Wide Web, but it's nice to reach for a thorough quick reference in one book. It seems my cluttered desk is becoming uncluttered. This is what you have when you purchase WebMaster in a Nutshell, Deluxe Edition (1st Edition September 1997; 1-56592-305-7; 374 pages, $69.95, Includes CD-ROM & book). 

 My quest for references, like many web developers, started on the Internet. I have downloaded and hole punched and "bindered" until I was blue in the face. I have quite a collection of unmarked unlabeled binders with awesome information. The problem is finding it in a timely fashion. Enter the era of quick reference books. I have a number of them. Some are good and some get shelved (or given to friends in the business). O'Reilly has always been known for comprehensive and complete reference books. They hit the mark with WebMaster in a Nutshell, Deluxe Edition. Not only is the content of the book excellent, the on-line reference library (5 books on the included CD) includes HTML: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition; JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition; CGI Programming on the World Wide Web; and Programming Perl, 2nd Edition. Each of these books alone is around $30.00. This package should look very attractive now. 

 As with many references, this book will not teach you HTML, JavaScript or CGI, nor is it intended to. There are other books out there for that (some included on the CD-ROM!). 

The book has five main parts. The first part of the book deals with HTML. It covers HTML syntax and reference information on creating tables and frames. It also gives a complete list of the Color names and values as well as the syntax for character entities. 

The second part is a reference for CGI and includes Perl and Windows flavors. This is great resource for web programmers who ask the question "What's the environment variable for. . ." 

The third part is an overview of HTTP, which is the protocol used for the World Wide Web. Included are definitions of the famous Server Response Codes (like "404 Not Found"). 

 The fourth part of the book deals with JavaScript. It includes syntax for all aspects of the scripting language. The last part of the book covers four different web server configurations (NCSA, Apache, CERN, and Netscape) on the UNIX operating system and WebSite which runs on Windows 95/98 or Windows NT. 

 For more information on any of the topics covered in the book, I have to look no further than the CD-ROM. I own previous versions of some of the books, so having an updated edition is nice. For once I can stop looking through my binders and asking myself "Now, which one did I see that in?" 

Find WebMaster in a Nutshell, Deluxe Edition at your bookstore or computer outlet. I have seen it for up to 25% off at some places. Add it to your library. You'll find that your copy gets as "dog-eared" as mine in a short time.