Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dreamweaver trio

Fresh from technical services and cataloged with a location of "resource center office" are three new Dreamwevar CS3 books. These lovely and colorful tomes arrived in my office accompanied by high hopes; I will be able to use them as reference while working on the library web page.
What lures me at this point are bright and shiny possibilities; things that can be done if only the right tools and a bit of instruction are employed. I need to temper them with a few actualities or I'll fall flat, landing uncomfortably on my good intentions.

100 Essential Techniques is a very nice Dreamweaver overview with tips, tools, well-placed screenshots, and simple language. What intrigues me right now are Spry Menu Widget options, technique #79: Inserting a Spry Menu Bar Widget (p. 240), #80 Formatting Spry Menu Bar Widgets (p. 241), and #78 Inserting Tabbed Panels (p. 238). My first endeavor with tabbed panels caused me to move further into the resource books and search through the H*O*T Hands-on Training title. There is a bit more information on the process located within this text; the language remains relatively simple and the screenshots and white space well placed within each page. However, much of this particular book relies on it's accompanying exercise files and videos. All great options, but a bit involved. Chapter 20: Using Spry Tools, includes definitions of what Spry items are (p. 449) and a great notes section on Spry Widgets (p. 465), but at first glance deals more with forms.The Missing Manual has an entire chapter, Chapter 12 (p. 457) devoted to Spry. This book is a bit more text heavy and vocabulary for a more advanced Dreamweaver user, but employs well-placed screenshots (obviously important to me, I'm a very visual learner). The chapter is extensive, well explained, and delves into XML and data sets that are beyond my needs right now.

I will probably need to pick and choose from all three of these books to find what I need. Conversely I can rely solely on my basic skills and create something a bit less dynamic without much fuss. But that is like knowing my car can go 125 mph and never seeing what it can do.

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