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Preface

This book is for web developers, or anyone who works at the content end of the World Wide Web. Do you author or maintain web documents? Are you a programmer developing web-based client or server applications? Are you the administrator of a web site, responsible for maintaining and updating server software?

There are innumerable books and online resources for learning web-related skills. This book pares them down to a single desktop-sized volume for easy reference. You may be a whiz at JavaScript, but sometimes forget the details on an obscure function you seldom use. You may know HTML fairly well, but can never remember the correct syntax for creating tables. You might forget the directive for creating directory aliases on your server or how to enforce password protection on documents.

By no means is this book a replacement for more detailed books on the Web. But when those books have been digested and placed on your bookshelves with pride, this one will remain on your desktop.

0.1. Contents

In the years immediately after the first edition of this book was published in 1996, we watched the Web explode, with new technologies every month scrambling to make last month's technology obsolete. Then we watched the Web settle down, as standards caught up with features, and fiscal realities caught up with IPOs. The land grab was over as quickly as it began, and miraculously, the code you wrote last night still works after downloading the latest browser this morning. The Web has reached maturity.

As a result of the Web's maturation, this edition of Webmaster in a Nutshell is fairly stable. There haven't been new chapters introduced or old ones removed; what was relevant when we did the second edition in 1999 is still relevant today. The technology has improved and the feature set has expanded, but the paradigms remain the same.

This book is separated into eight distinct subject areas.

Chapter 1
Introduces the book and the Web in general.

0.1.1. Part I: HTML

Chapter 2
Gives a brief background to HTML syntax and introduces the features of the latest specification, HTML 4.01.

Chapter 3
Lists the current set of HTML tags and their attributes.

Chapter 4
Shows how to use HTML frames.

Chapter 5
Shows how to use HTML tables.

Chapter 6
Shows how to create HTML forms.

Chapter 7
Lists the special characters recognized by HTML.

Chapter 8
Lists the names accepted by HTML and CSS attributes for color values.

0.1.2. Part II: CSS

Chapter 9
Provides an overview and reference to the Cascading Style Sheets specification for HTML documents.

0.1.3. Part III: XML

Chapter 10
Provides an introduction and reference to XML.

0.1.4. Part IV: JavaScript

Chapter 11
Provides a reference for the JavaScript language, Version 1.5.

0.1.5. Part V: CGI and Perl

Chapter 12
Gives a general overview to the Common Gateway Interface, or CGI.

Chapter 13
Describes SSI, listing directives and environment variables and demonstrating their use.

Chapter 14
Provides a reference to the Perl module CGI.pm, which simplifies CGI programming.

Chapter 15
Provides a reference to mod_perl, an Apache module that can significantly enhance CGI performance.

0.1.6. Part VI: PHP

Chapter 16
Lists the syntax and functions of PHP 4, a server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language.

0.1.7. Part VII: HTTP

Chapter 17
Provides an overview and reference to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, Version 1.1.

0.1.8. Part VIII: Server Configuration

Chapter 18
Lists the configuration directives used by the Apache 2.0 server.

Chapter 19
Lists the modules that you can use with Apache.

Chapter 20
Gives specific suggestions for improving the performance of the Web.



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