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January 30, 2003

Making the Webmaster's Task a Little Easier--O'Reilly Releases "Webmaster in a Nutshell, Third Edition"

Sebastopol, CA--When selecting a name for their theorem, Professors Peter Salamon and James Nulton settled on the evocative but unlikely title, the "Horse-Carrot Theorem" (short for "The Geometry of Separation Processes: A Horse-Carrot Theorem for Steady Flow Systems"). The name refers to a process whereby a horse is coaxed along a chosen path by holding a carrot just ahead him. This is an excellent metaphor for a theorem about controlling a thermodynamic system (say a pot of water) so that it moves along a desired path (say becomes hotter) with minimal energy consumption. Professors Salamon and Nulton might also have been describing a webmaster's task.

Behind every successful web page is a webmaster, often overworked and unappreciated, whose job is to draw visitors along a desired path--the web site--with, one hopes, a minimal amount of resistance. The webmaster needs to make sure that the information on a site is accessible and usable, that the site is always available, that performance is good, and that users can get to the information they need. As an alternative to dangling carrots in front of their visitors, webmasters can turn to Webmaster in a Nutshell, Third Edition by Stephen Spainhour and Robert Eckstein (O'Reilly, US $34.95) for complete and in-depth information about the tools at their disposal. This invaluable resource is the only quick reference available for all core web-related technologies, and is sure to make the task of the webmaster a little bit easier.

The new edition of "Webmaster in a Nutshell" is a collection of reference material on everything web developers need to know to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. A classic reference book for webmasters since its first edition, the third edition has been updated to the latest versions of Apache, PHP, and JavaScript. It also includes more detailed information on mod_perl and on improving performance on the Web. The book covers:

  • HTML 4.01
  • CSS
  • XML and XSLT
  • JavaScript 1.5
  • PHP 4
  • HTTP 1.1
  • Apache 2.0, and much more

This thorough, clear, and accessible reference makes it easy to find the information web developers want about the technologies they use. They may keep their other books on the shelf, but they'll keep "Webmaster in a Nutshell" next to their keyboards.

Praise for the previous edition:

"As always, O'Reilly's books are clear and to the point. If you devote some hours of your time to reading and using this information, you will come away with a fountain of information. I rated this book as a 10+."
--Barbara Rhoades, St. Louis Web Developers & Web Designers Organization, December 2000

"The book bills itself as 'A Desktop Quick Reference,' and O'Reilly certainly lives up to the task. Very little is left out in this informative book."
--Nick Disabato, dotcomma.org, April 2000

"This is another in O'Reilly's great 'In a Nutshell' series of reference books. It is a fantastic introduction to HTML, XML, Java, CGI and Perl, PHP, and HTTP. Beautifully indexed by subject, it starts you out easily and then gives you a lot of informational bang for your buck! Both the beginner and the expert will find useful information in this great reference book. Every webmaster needs this book in his library."
--Heinz Scheuenstuhl, "Golden Gate Computer Society Newsletter," September 2000

"Publisher O'Reilly is known for its computer programming manuals, and designers might shy away from this reference guide's obviously technical slant--but they shouldn't. For those who want (or need) to go beyond basic HTML, authors Spainhour and Eckstein offer a thorough, clear, and accessible reference that covers everything from special characters and Cascading Style Sheets to XML, CGI, and JavaScript. Other guides can show you 'how to' but this is the one reference book that calls up the specifics, whatever the technology."
--"Critique Magazine," February 2000

"On today's wired campuses, students are well positioned to become self-taught webmasters, picking up skills as needed on any available equipment. And web building skills have become a key resource for academic or community projects--not to mention a handy source of employment. The new edition of O'Reilly's 'Webmaster in a Nutshell' by Stephen Spainhour and Robert Eckstein is densely packed with pointers and references for almost every technology a web developer uses: HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, CGI/Perl, PHP, HTTP, and Apache. Although the book won't hand-hold you through the basics, it's an excellent resource for the ambitious student."
--CNET, Back to School Feature, August 1999

"'Webmaster in a Nutshell' by Stephan Spainhour and Robert Eckstein answers all those geeky questions like server configuration settings, all the valid attributes of an HTML tag, configuring Apache for server side includes, and so on. Even if you aren't planning to actually deal with these arcane issues, it can be handy to know what exactly all of those 505 hits really mean in your web stat report. Or to be able to ask pertinent questions of the hosting services you're considering, to make certain they know what they're doing. If you are handling the maintenance in-house or are having meetings about dynamic options and e-commerce on Apache servers, you would do well to add 'Webmaster in a Nutshell' to your essential web reference shelf."
--Carolyne Cooper, "Elements of Web Style," January 2001

Additional Resources:

Webmaster in a Nutshell, Third Edition
Stephen Spainhour and Robert Eckstein
ISBN 0-596-00357-9, 561 pages, $34.95 (US), $54.95 (CAN), 24.95 (UK)
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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