Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing

by Philip Greenspun

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  1. Envisioning a site that won't be featured in
  2. So you want to join the world's grubbiest club: Internet entrepreneurs (revised)
  3. Scalable systems for on-line communities (revised)
  4. Static site development
  5. Learn to program HTML in 21 minutes
  6. Adding images to your site
  7. Publicizing your site
  8. So you want to run your own server (revised)
  9. User tracking
  10. Sites that are really programs
  11. Sites that are really databases
  12. Database management systems
  13. Interfacing a relational database to the Web
  14. ecommerce
  15. Case studies
  16. Better living through chemistry
  17. A future so bright you'll need to wear sunglasses

Is it any good?

Bruce and Bart at Harold's, Holiday Inn, Parsippany, New Jersey. I think it is much better than the old book, about which I used to say "my book is so good you can't find it in bookstores." If you don't want to read any of the above chapters and decide for yourself, you can

What was it like to write?

Magnolia biting Alex.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology. People kept asking me this about the first book. Originally I limited my comments to the words of Winston Churchill (1949, speaking at Britain's National Book Exhibition about his World War II memoirs):
"Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public."
Then I took to quoting Steven Wright: "I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done."

But I got so much email asking for more detail that I wrote The book behind the book behind the book....

Text and pictures copyright 1990-1998 Philip Greenspun. Most of the pictures are from, except for the cover photo, which is by Elsa Dorfman.
[email protected]

Reader's Comments

Two problems: 1) I haven't been able to put this book down ... my head keeps bobbing up and down, and I'm not nodding off.

2) Henry Ford said whenever two people always agree, one of them is unnecessary, and I'm very afraid it might be me!

The graphic designer is considered unnecessary to establish the user interface (I agree), but what about an editor ...

watt a boot the in poor tense of speling ... knot vary, eh?

The book is beautiful, and important, but the electronic version is full of typos which slows my reading rate.

Dick Dunbar, student 334

-- Dick Dunbar, August 8, 2000

If I actually start to write stuff down then maybe youll get that im trying to help not take the piss i know it sounds like shit everything does it just depends whose saying it that dictates weather you should laugh or cry, the IDIOT who decided that the internet should be viewed at 800 x 600 or better needs 2 retire coz I live in Southport in England and from January last year till earlier this evening people want machines for $100 which I actually sell and they do the internet with a hardware modem really really badly, come on we are using 7 year old technology here:-

486 33mhz Overdrive. 133mhz running faster than any Pentium diagnostics tool can comprehend but its a 486. 16 MEG RAM HA ha ha ha . Sorry try setting up a machine like this where u are and see if u time out or not 270 MEG HD (Windows 95 only, or if really brave Explorer) A Monitor that does VGA badly so 600 x 800 is out of the question. I will try to learn more about what you do before I ever do this again. dogoodshitallthetimebetterthanidothanx

-- Chris Barton, January 21, 2001

This is actually more of a question, but since it will probably be a very asked question I decided to post it.

When can we expect a new revision or new book on Web Publishing ?

I just read the Internet Application Design (the "new why" course) presentation. And there a lot of intersting subjects that are barely if even mentioned in "Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing",like SOAP,WSDL, .NET and the Wireless GPRS,WAP,VoiceXML subjects.

Although the provided links are helpful , you sooner or later end up reading titles like:

Very trite headlines....since the technology is so "new" there seems to be a lack of clear-cut objective information beyond the PR hype, let alone any landed project examples.

What makes me curious is that these technologies are initiatives by Microsoft and all of them have some OO design to them, some of these subjects were discouraged (OO-Java) if not trashed (Microsoft) in "Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing", even more curious is the fact that the Flagship product "ACS" in its newest version, is closely mapped to objects, everything seems to be an object of some type ( like Java ) in Oracle Packages & Tables, add to it the effort of "ACS Java", and it seems there is a certain gap between the current state of Web-Development and the previous book.

Where does .NET and OO design fit into the "Big Picture" on the Web ? the same kind of writing in "Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing" that closely links every subject, would be great work

Can we expect something like this ?

A book on this subject would clearly have a great impact on Web Development.

-- Daniel Rubio, February 12, 2001

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