|Old News! for 1997||Click on the images to activate the guest applets.|
The lists are now in reverse chronological order--new titles are added to the top of the list. This should make it easier to tell exactly what is new.
The Applet is a variation of Arthur van Hoff's
Blinking Text applet (available from various Web sites as well as his book
Hooked on Java. It was compiled
with Symantec Café for Java,
an integrated development environment built onto Symantec C++ 7.21. (Click
to freeze/click to resume.)
I've been reading Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days and am pleased to say that Laura Lemay and Charles Perkins have written the first book to seriously teach Java programming. My only complaint (so far--through Ch. 6 of 21) is that there aren't enough programming examples and exercises to reinforce the ideas as they are introduced.
This has been a terribly slow week. I've never seen anything like it. There were only four new additions, all on Java and I had to stretch my imagination (if not my high standards) because two of them are in Japanese.
The Applet isn't an applet at all. Rather, it's an animated gif
contributed by Michael Partington, an artist, illustrator, and designer
who loves inventing new HTML tricks. Be sure to visit Michael's
Art Gallery and
Michael's Web sites are full of interesting graphics and art and he is a
master of HTML graphics tricks. To learn more about this animation see
write-up. If you want to learn more about animated gif files visit
Royal Frazier's GIF
Animation on the WWW page.
I'm still working through Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days by Laura Lemay and Charles Perkins and have reached Day 15. I cannot say loud enough how helpful the Symantec Café IDE (an integrated development environment built onto Symantec C++ 7.21) has been in going through the examples and testing things. I find that it greatly speeds up the edit/compile iteration usually involved in program development.
Another slow week. There were a few additions and some updates on existing books. Did you know that I generate all the book lists automatically from a computer program, including automatically sizing the statistics tables with the number of books. This means I only have to maintain a single ASCII file with the book information.
Special Update: 7 new Java titles added mid-week!
The Applet isn't an applet at all. Rather, it's an animated gif contributed by Michael Partington, an artist, illustrator, and designer who loves inventing new HTML tricks. Be sure to visit Michael's Art Gallery and URL Gallery. Michael's Web sites are full of interesting graphics and art and he is a master of HTML graphics tricks. To learn more about this animation see Michael's write-up. If you want to learn more about animated gif files visit Royal Frazier's GIF Animation on the WWW page.
I have finished Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days by Laura Lemay and Charles Perkins. It took about three weeks (duh). The last seven chapters were the most difficult of all. While they are very well written I was disappointed with the total lack of examples and exercises. All of the points were punctuated with only snippets of code. All in all though, I recommend the book for experienced programmers.
Don't forget to visit Stephen Pietrowicz's Java Books also. There is also a link to Stephen's page on my Resources page.
In brief: I highly recommend Liz Castro's HTML for the World Wide Web: Visual Quick Start Guide from Peachpit Press both as a first HTML book and as a reference text. It's brief and to the point and practically every single paragraph contains useful information. The book is full of browser illustrations which emphasize what is being done. And it's only $18. Once you've mastered that you'll want to follow it up with Ian Graham's HTML Sourcebook 2nd Ed. from Wiley. This book goes beyond HTML 2 and has lot's of detail on HTML 3, Netscape Frames, etc. This book is $30. Darrel Sano's Designing Large-Scale Web Sites: A Visual Design Methodology, also from Wiley, goes a step further with excellent advice on designing web page layouts with tables and frames--that is, beyond merely programming and onto what it's going to look like. It's $35.
The Applet is from the Japanese book site Java Nyumon and was contributed by NISHIMURA Toshihiro. The translations are on the right. (Notice that the applet is placed on top of a graphic image in a table using the table overlay trick described on the Stats page.)
Ther are 12 new titles this week. They are distributed among may categories with no exceptional entries. Sams.net has announced an all-in-one Web publishing kit with HTML, Java, VRML, and more. Check out the Professional Web Development Kit for a brief description.
In brief: I read Ed Anuff's Java Sourcebook (Wiley, $30). Although I thought it was well written, I was disappointed in the almost complete lack of examples and exercises and hence cannot recommend it for anyone interested in learning to program in Java.
Laura Lemay auf deutsch? If you don't believe me check out the German publisher Markt & Technik Buchverlag for these titles: Web Publishing mit HTML and Noch mehr WEB Publishing mit HTML.
The applet is called "Bill's Clock (the applet formerly known as J***X)" and was developed by Bill Giel. Drop into his Web site at Rocco V. D'Andrea, Inc. to get the source code for the latest version of the clock and see some of the other goodies he's developed in Java.
The applet is called 3-D Logo and was developed by Thomas Dunne (email@example.com) for dpunkt publishers in Germany. The colors are random but the background is always coordinated with the logo (click on Applet to reload with a different color). Also, the motion can be controlled with the mouse. I'm particularly impressed by the subtle differences in the shading as you slowly rotate the cube. Visit Thomas's Web site to see more examples of his work.
John Pew's Instant Java (Prentice Hall, $30/CD-ROM) has a large collection of Java applets (over 60) that you can customize for your Web site with little effort. Check it out. If you're looking for a VRML browser look at Mark Pesce's VRML Flying Through the Web (New Riders $35/CD-ROM). It comes with a variety of VRML browsers and instructions along with over 100 VRML files and links to the best VRML sites. This book is not about learning VRML.
Now, if you need a (colorful) break from Java take a look at two new titles on Web graphics: Laurie McCanna's Creating Great Web Graphics (MIS Press/M&T Books, $28) and Lynda Weinman's Designing Web Graphics (New Riders, $50/CD-ROM). Both are slightly larger format books with full color graphics throughout. If you are really interested in graphics, you've got to see the Tip of the Month which Michael Partington contributed to my most recent column in WWWiz. Michael tells how to create drop shadows on backgrounds.
If you are thinking about setting up a Web server and would like to see a comparative analysis of your options as well as an overview of Web servers you must get Web Servers: When You Decide to Buy: Analysing and Selecting (Mier Communications, $195). The material is very current (as of late March 1996) and has detailed analyses of 33 servers from 25 vendors.
The "applet" is a virtual reality model from Bernie Roehl, co-author of Special Edition Using VRML (Que, $50/CD-ROM). Bernie has been active in Virtual Reality for several years and is the author of two books on the subject: Virtual Reality Creations and Playing God: Creating Virtual Reality Worlds both from Waite. Visit Bernie's Web page to learn more about his diverse activities. In the meantime, play with the VRML scene by using your mouse or arrow keys (a few up arrow clicks will put you inside the book).
Attention Authors: We are always seeking guest "applets" (i.e., Java applets, animated GIFs, VRML scenes, Shockwave movies, etc.). This is a good place to strut your stuff! Write to Cye at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asha Dornfest's Do-It-Yourself Web Publishing with Word (Sybex, $25/CD-ROM) is filled with step-by-step instructions and is punctuated with zillions of screen capture images. It covers the basics plus tables, forms, and Internet Explorer extensions (marquees, video clips, etc.). The CD-ROM includes Microsoft's Interent Assistant.
(New Riders, $35/CD-ROM). It's very
functional and offers an interesting alternative to the way I have been doing
things (which is still there). Unfortunatley, the book was disappointing. For one
used here is the only one on the CD-ROM! The rest of it is the JDK 1.0.
This applet only works on framed pages. Anyhow, click away!
There are so many new Web technologies to learn that it's hard to know where to put your efforts. It's unlikely that you will master Java, VRML, Shockwave, Acrobat, etc., etc., etc. Richard Karpinski's Beyond HTML (Osborne, $28) may help you sort out which is best for you. It gives an overview and examples of each of these tools and more.
Speaking of IDG, they have launched a new Online Java Resource Center. There are lots of applets from their publications as well as book information and news articles. Drop in for a visit.
Finally, a new peeve (soon to be a pet). It bothers me when a book on writing applets has a CD-ROM with *.java and *.class files but no *.html files. Ergo, you can't view them with your browser directly from the CD-ROM. This means you'll have to move all the class files to your hard disk and type in a few tens or hundreds of short HTML files just to view the applets that you bought the book for. It's just too much trouble.
The Professional Web Development Kit from Sams.net ($100/book+2 CD-ROMs) contains just about everything you need to create a Web site. Specifically, it includes one book plus electronic versions of two others, lite versions of Café, HoTMetaL, Panorama SGML, Virtus VRML, and BestWeb Database, plus CGI & Perl tools, Web utilities, and Web page graphics. It's really too much to tell about here so visit their Web site.
The applet was written by Suleiman "Sam" Lalani, co-author with Kris Jamsa of Java Programmer's Library (Jamsa Press, $50/CD-ROM). This book is full of interesting applets, the likes of which I haven't seen before. Moreover, the authors give valuable suggestions on how to modify and extend them. This "eraser" applet allows you to erase the image shown to reveal another hidden below it. I provided the images of me from my home pages. It may take a short while for the images to load, but once you see the image go ahead and drag the eraser around with your mouse. After you've had your way with me, you can start over by clicking your browser's reload button or clicking on Applet in the top frame. (Reloads are very quick.) Try "erasing" my eyes, ears, and forehead for an interesting effect. Finally, you should take a detour to see the fractal image (98K) and the original protrait (24K).
Laura Lemay is apparently putting together a series of Web Workshop... books on a variety of subjects for Sams.net. So far there are 6 titles announced (see entries 506-511 under Subjects/All. She also has an updated version of Teach Yourself Java 1.1 in 21 Days coming out with co-author Charles Perkins.
With all the fuss over Java these days (I'm guilty too) we might lose sight of the fact that Web pages are still written in HTML. Java is just the icing on the cake. Therefore, I'm pleased to present this week's featured book, HTML 3 How-To by David Kerven et al. (Waite Group Press, $40/CD-ROM). I was impressed by its very thorough coverage of HTML 3.0 and its extensive list of HTML tags (many of which I've never seen before). It also covers Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Interent Explorer extensions, and it's the only book I've seen so far that covers client-side image maps (image maps for the rest of us).
The applet was written by John Pew, author of Instant Java (Prentice Hall, $30/CD-ROM). Instant Java is written primarily for people who would like to include Java applets on their Web pages but do not have the programming skills or inclination to write Java code and/or the artistic skills to create the images for an animation sequence. In other words, it's full of useful applets that can be readily adapted to your Web site.
O'Reilly & Associates has released two reference books that belong on the bookshelf of anyone seriously into personal computers or the Web. Mitchel Shnier's Dictionary of PC Hardware and Data Communications Terms ($20) has over 900 terms of interest to personal computer and network users including a multitude of obscure acronyms. The Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats, 2nd Edition ($80/CD-ROM) by James Murray and William vanRyper covers every imaginable graphics file format (and some unimaginable ones also). The CD-ROM contains the full text of the book, plus software tools for viewing, manipulating, and converting images, descriptions and sample images for over 100 formats, color depth and compression comparisons, and links to online resources. Both books are supported with Web sites to keep the information current.
Authors and developers! Your work can be featured here if you submit a guest applet (Java applet, animated GIF, VRML, or Shockwave).
There are 55 new books this week with 20 on Java, 14 in Miscellaneous (including many on ActiveX), and 7 on Servers (mostly on Intranets). We'll soon be breaking out the Scripts and Intranet titles and maybe JDE (Java Development Environments --Café, Latté, & Java Workshop) and ActiveX as well.
This week's featured book is
Web Page Design: A Different Multimedia
by Mary Morris and Randy Hinrichs. The book discusses many aspects of Web design
and (to its credit) doesn't get bogged down with HTML coding. Among the subjects
discussed are content, cognitive, and navigational design, layout, and thinking
ahead (planning for Web site growth and new technologies). There is also an chapter
on adding meta-information, i.e., information about the site content for
robot search agents and the like. Finally, there are case studies of three sites
that are considered to be well-designed.
This week's featured book is Hybrid HTML Design by Kevin Ready & Janine Warner (New Riders, $35/CD-ROM). The premise of the book is to teach how to optimize your Web pages for Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer while making them acceptable for HTML-challenged browsers. The book has all the Navigator 3 and Explorer 3 extensions as well as the attributes for plug-ins. (I finally learned how to accomodate browsers that don't recognize plug-ins.) In addition to a complete discussion of HTML 2 & 3 and browser-specific extensions, there is an extensive list of helper applications and plug-ins and how to get them. The thorough list of HTML tags and online resources in the Appendices makes this a book that is certain to be referred to frequently.
The applet is an animated GIF contributed by Kevin Ready, co-author of
Hybrid HTML Design (see above).
There are 24 new books this week, of which there are 20 foreign and 16 Java titles. I've continued to clean up the list and removed duplicate ISBN numbers.
There are 24 new books this week, with 9 new Java titles (in German and Chinese). There are now a total of 717 books with 219 Java titles in 7 languages (including English).
This week's featured book is Café Programming FrontRunner by David Friedel et al. (Coriolis Group, $30). This is the first book available on Café and I recommend it as a companion to Café because the program doesn't come with any printed documentation. The book covers all aspects of Café such as using the wizards for rapid application development and also covers the debugger and Café Studio, the visual resource (menus, buttons, etc.) editor. Café Programming FrontRunner can also serve as a Java tutorial if you are new to the language.
This weel I've selected another applet from
Suleiman "Sam" Lalani,
co-author with Kris Jamsa of
Java Programmer's Library
(Jamsa Press, $50/CD-ROM).
This book has many interesting applets, with suggestions on how to modify and extend them.
The "magnify" applet shown this week gives the impression of moving a magnifying
glass over the image. In all fairness, at this teeny size you can't see its full
impact, but I think it's an impressive piece of work. Finally, you should take a
detour to see the
fractal image (98K) and the
original protrait (24K).
There are 58 new books this week, with 26 new Java titles. There are now a total of 775 books with 245 Java titles in 7 languages (including English).
This week's featured book is HTML 3: Electronic Publishing on the World Wide Web by Dave Raggett, Jenny Lam, and Ian Alexander. This book begins with an overview of the Web and HTML and then goes into designing and debugging a Web site. This is followed by a detailed description of the current and proposed HTML tags (thru HTML 3.2) including Netscape and Microsoft extensions. There are complete chapters on style sheets and mathematics as well. The Appendices contain the usual reference material plus an interesting collection of annotated examples of tags. This book is recommended for anyone who needs to stay on the cutting edge or is just plain interested in HTML and its future.
This week's featured book is HTML Publishing for Netscape, Windows Edition by Stuart Harris and Gayle Kidder (Netscape Press, $40/CD-ROM). This is a good book for an aspiring Web author to sit down with and go through from cover to cover. It also discusses the future of HTML and the markup tags proposed for HTML 3. Besides a solid foundation in the basics, the book goes into design and multimedia. More advanced Web authors intersted in expanding their Web sites with Graphics and Multimedia should take a look at Multimedia Publishing for Netscape by Gary David Bouton (Netscape Press, $50/CD-ROM). Finally, Java programmers may be interested in the two Java Reference Cards from SSC, $7 (that's all!). These two cards cover the applet, awt, & util and lang, io, & net class references, respectivley.
The guest applet is a Live 3D (animated VRML) scene by Robert M. Free of Grafman's VR World. This miniature does not capture the full impact of the original, so go over and take a look at it. Robert has done some unique things with VRML that really separate him from the crowd. He is truly a creative and prolific designer. While at Grafman's VR World don't miss the Guide to VR World Demos which I highly recommend.
There are 19 new books this week, with 5 new Java titles. There are now 853 books including 277 Java titles in 8 languages (including English). You can view all the new additions for the week here. There are always revisions and corrections as we find them.
This week's featured book is the Creating Killer Web Sites by David Siegel (Hayden; $45). I have admired David Siegel's work on the Web for a very long time. In fact, a year ago in WWWiz Magazine, I recommended seeking him out on the Web for advanced concepts of Web design. Now he has followed through with a beautiful and well-written book which covers a spectrum of macroscopic (paradigms for third-generation Web sites, page layout) and microscopic (preparing images, rendering type) concepts of Web site design. There is a companion Killer Web Site to the book you can visit, but I highly recommend buying the book and studying it. This book has something for all Web designers from newbies to masters.
The guest applet is called ColorBox and was adapted from one appearing in
Web Site Programming With Java by
David Harms et al.. You may click on the image
to stop/start it.
This week's featured book is for the artistically inclined. Start with a Scan by Janet Ashford and John Odam (Peachpit Press; $35) is more than a book about scanning images. It's really a visual, step-by-step manual for transforming scanned images into something more interesting and artistic using the popular image processing programs such as Photoshop. The book itself is a visual feast and color images abound on practically every page. This book is aimed at professional (and student) designers and illustrators, but I would recommend it to anyone who is doing their own Web graphics and uses a scanner. As an aside, I came across The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet by Evan Morris (Random House/Fawcett; $13) in the bookstore last week. If you like books as much as I do, you might want to check out this interesting literary resource.
The guest applet is called SpaceFlight and was developed by
Bennet Uk [soon to be a student of
computer sciences at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich].
Actually, I used six instances of the same class file in this applet. To stop it,
you'll need to click on each one individually. The learn more about this applet and
get the class file, visit the
SpaceFlight Web Site.
Click on the image to engage the applet, but beware that it crashes Microsoft IE 3.0
unless the JIT is disabled. I've also had reports of trouble with Netscape Navigator Gold 3b5.
This week's featured book is
(John Wiley & Sons; $45/CD-ROM).
points you to the right pages in the book or gives some snippets of code to answer the questions.
Another chapter contains almost fifty "plug and play" routines to assist you in building your own
has a Web site for the book which is kept current.
This week I'm featuring another guest applet from
Bennet Uk [soon to be a student of
computer sciences at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich].
This applet is called SpaceScroller. The user has complete control over the text,
colors, image, number of stars and speed of each element. This is an applet you
can use without worrying about someone else's looking exactly like it. You can click
on the applet stop it. The learn more about this applet and get the class file, visit the
SpaceScroller Web Site.
This appears to work with Netscape Navigator 3.0 but not with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0.
There are 50 new books this week, with 16 new Java titles. There are now 957 books including 308 Java titles in 8 languages (including English).
This week I discovered how to make seamless frames with Netscape frames. Once again I've come across an undocumented Netscape extension, this time just by trying it because it seemed reasonable. You can set the size of frame borders with a FRAMESET tag attribute that looks like this...
where X is the width of the frame in pixels. Unfortunately, if you choose a width of zero to create a seamless frame, as I have here, you lose the ability to adjust the framesize, same as as if you used the attribute NORESIZE. The same effect can be had with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 as follows...
Naturally, you should use both sets of attributes to be compatible with both browsers.
This week's featured book is The Java Language Tutorial: Object-Oriented Programming for the Internet by Mary Campione and Kathy Walrath (Addison-Wesley; $40/CD-ROM). This book is a thorough tutorial on the Java language, but is intended for those with some programming experience. The book is structured so that you can go straight through or choose your topics at random after the introductory section. I particularly like that the larger code examples are relegated to an appendix so as not to interrupt the flow of the text. The CD-ROM contains the tutorial and all the code samples as well as the usual complement of Java tools such as the JDK and Café Lite. This is a serious book for learning the Java language. At the other end of the spectrum, Tricks of the Java Programming Gurus by Glenn Vanderburg et al. (Sams.net; $40/CD-ROM) is a collection of advanced techniques and tips for experienced Java programmers.
I'm happy to see that
has revived the Que Quick Reference Series of the late 1980's. I have many of these
books and still refer to them occasional1y. Two titles currently available are
HTML Quick Reference by
Robert Mullen ($20) and
Java Quick Reference by
Michael Afergan ($20). Both books are laid out in the handbook style with items listed
in alphabetical order for easy access. In the HTML book each tag or tag attribute includes
a section on compliance, syntax, definition, example(s), an occasional graphic of an actual
implementation, and related elements. The Java book is laid out differently. There are seven
major sections for the Java API libraries plus sections for exceptions and errors. Each of the
library sections includes the classes and methods, with definitions, plus infrequent examples
available now and Perl Quick Reference is due out soon. The nature of the Web is that it
is dynamic. I hope the authors and publisher can keep up with it in a timely manner as these
books are no doubt already out-of-date. Readers who need even more information about Java should
check out the recently released
The Java Language Specification by
James Gosling et al. (Addison-Wesley, $37).
This is the latest entry in the Addison-Wesley Java Series and purports to be the definitive
technical reference for the Java programming language. Next, I didn't even know you could do
Java with Borland C++. Well, Chris Pappas and Bill Murray tell all in
Java with Borland C++ (Academic Press, $35).
Finally, Pascal programmers will feel right at home with the railroad diagrams in the French book
Java: De l'esprit à la méthode
by Michel Bonjour et al.
(Int'l Thomson, 240 FF). You can check out the
railroad diagrams in
The guest "applet" is actually an animated GIF contributed by David Levine, author of Live Java: Database to Cyberspace (AP Professional; $25). This book addresses many of the non-programming issues surrounding Java such as: "What is Java?" and "What do I do with it?" as well as "How do I implement it?". You can learn more about it at the author's Web site.
The guest "applet" is actually a VRML scene from Matthew Poli, co-author of
VRML: Exploring Virtual Worlds on the Internet by Walter J. Goralski,
Matthew Poli, and Peter Vogel (Prentice Hall, $40/CD-ROM). This book is a
guide to installing & using VRML browsers and a tutorial on how to program in VRML to
create your own virtual worlds. It has just been released and has not been reviewed yet.
Of course, this is a fully functional VRML scene that you navigate with your mouse
and arrow keys.
This week's featured book is Moving Worlds by Ellen Adams and Donald Doherty (Prima, $35/CD-ROM). This is the first book with complete coverage of the VRML 2.0 specification. It is not a tutorial on VRML but rather a guide for the experienced (or interested) programmer on the features to be found in the next generation of virtual reality on the Web. The new specification will allow objects to be animated, interact, and even sound off. The CD-ROM includes VRML 2.0-compliant browsers and plug-ins with many exciting examples of VRML 2.0 scenes.
Another book that caught my attention this week is The Java Virtual Machine Specification by Tim Lindholm and Frank Yellin (Addison-Wesley, $37). This book covers the Virtual Machine definition, structure, class file format, and instruction set. It also includes discussions of compiling the Java source to bytecode and security issues. Definitely not for the novice. The is the latest entry in the Addison-Wesley Java Series. Both of these books are aimed primarily at programming professionals.
There are two featured books this week.
Official Netscape Navigator Gold Book, Windows by
(Netscape Press, $40/CD-ROM).
This book is first and foremost a tutorial on Netscape Navigator Gold, but
it also goes into depth on frames (for which there are no WYSIWYG tools in
graphics, plug-ins, secure transactions, and more. In short, this book gives
you all the tools you'll need to create a content-rich Web site for personal
or business use plus the know-how to use the browser to its fullest extent.
I'm also pleased to say that the author has used our own
WWWiz Magazine Web site as an example
of a "real" Web site in the book.
(Adobe Press, $60/CD-ROM).
This book is about the intersection of business, computer technology, and design and
using design to bring order out of the chaos that technology is generating in the
busines world. Ultimatley it's a book about design written for designers but I think
there is lot here for those with an interest in or need to understand design. The book
discusses design principles and punctuates them with real world examples and case
studies, many of which are displayed in multimedia on the CD-ROM. The book is richly
illustrated. Clement Mok is a highly regarded designer with several major projects to
his credit. Visit
(formerly Clement Mok designs, Inc.) to see examples of his work and an interesting
multimedia promotion of the book.
This week's guest applet is an animated GIF contributed by
Lynda Weinman to celebrate the release of her
Deconstructing Web Graphics
(New Riders, $45). Look for a review here
in the weeks to come. I'm also pleased to say that Lynda's smash hit
Designing Web Graphics has been translated into French and
There are several featured books this week. Java How to Program by Harvey & Paul Deitel (Prentice Hall, $45) is an honest-to-goodness college textbook on Java. The examples in the book are complete working Java programs and I like that each chapter has many student exercises (homework!). The book is punctuated with hundreds of tips on common programming errors, good programming practices, performance, software engineering, testing and debugging, and portability. An interactive, multimedia CD-ROM version of the book (Java Multimedia Cyber Classroom) is also in the works for next month.
Next we have The Java Class Libraries: An Annotated Reference by Patrick Chan and Rosanna Lee (Addison-Wesley, $48). This is the latest addition to the Addison-Wesley Java Series, and it's a behemoth at over 1600 pages of solid information. This book is a comprehensive reference to the Java API with complete coverage of all the class libraries in the core packages, Window Toolkit, and Applet packages. Each class and its methods are described in detail (syntax, parameters, etc., with examples). This is not a Java tutorial, but rather a reference work. It would seem to be a necessity for all serious Java programmers.
Two more books caught my attention this week. First, the Camel Book is back! Perl programmmers rejoice. The second edition of Programming Perl by Larry Wall et al. (O'Reilly & Associates, $40) has just been published. This is a definitive Perl 5 reference, straight from the horse's (er, camel's) mouth. The book contains an overview of the language and syntax, complete reference section for all Perl functions, etc., object-oriented features, and much more.
Web Publishing with Netscape for Busy People by
Christian Crumlish and Malcolm Humes
(Osborne, $23) is a tutorial on Web page
construction with Netscape Navigator Gold. I admired the clever use of graphics;
my hat goes off to the book's designers. This book is recommended for beginners.
This week's featured books are the Java Language API SuperBible by Daniel Groner et al. and Java Networking & AWT API SuperBible by Nataraj Nagarathnam et al., both from Waite Group Press at $60 each with CD-ROM. These are companion volumes that cover every method and variable in every Java package. The Language API SuperBible covers the basic classes, execution classes, Java I/O, and debugging tools. The Networking & AWT API SuperBible covers Java's windowing, applet, and network API's. Each book provides and in-depth explanation of Java's classes, variables, and methods. Each method listing has a description, syntax, package, imports, constructors, parameters, returns, exceptions, comments, and an example. Each chapter concludes with an project which emphasizes the concepts covered in the chapter.
There is no guest applet this week so I threw together a Java animation using some
pictures from the WWWiz print edition that are hard to
find online. The Java code is the ubiquitous Animator developed by Herb Jellinek
and available online and on the CD-ROM included with many books. If you wish to see
the animation just click on the static image to get it started (and click to stop).
Let me know if you prefer to have the applet remain optional in the future. If you want
to see full-size images start at my
This week I'm pleased to have a book review from Stephen Pietrowicz. Concurrent Programming in Java: Design Principles and Patterns by Doug Lea (Addison-Wesley, $40) covers how to use threads effectively and common design issues in multithreaded programming.
Most books will tell you the mechanics of how to use threads. This book goes a step beyond that and discusses in detail when using threads is appropriate, and when it is not. Many topics are covered (Synchronization, data flow, scheduling, etc) and there are numerous examples throughout the book. Each chapter also includes a "Further Readings" section that lists other books and papers that are useful references.
I highly recommend this book. I think it's one that that every serious
Java programmer should own. However, I caution novice programmers that
they might find some of the topics a bit difficult to understand.
Addison-Wesley Developers Press has two new books of interest to VRML programmers. The VRML 2.0 Handbook by Jed Hartman and Josie Wernecke ($30) contains a tutorial on VRML 2.0 and a node reference. The book covers all the new VRML 2.0 features such as animation, sound, visual effects, collision detection, sensors, and scripting. There is also a chapter on improving performance. Makes you wish you had a Silcon Graphics computer. 3D Graphics File Formats: A Programmers Reference by Keith Rule ($40/CD-ROM) describes the seven most commonly used 3D formats (including VRML) and provides the author's 3D file format converter on the CD-ROM.
This week's featured books are on the subject of design. Multimedia Graphics: The Best of Multimedia Design by Willem Velthoven and Jorinde Seijdel (Chronicle Books; $50) showcases 36 multimedia projects selected for their creative designs and imaginative use of interactive media. The selections were chosen by an international panel and include examples from CD-ROMs, Web sites, and computer games. This is a large, sumptuous book, full of pictures and descriptions of the designs.
Deconstructing Web Graphics
(New Riders, $50)
likewise looks at eleven Web sites. In this book she takes you behind the scenes
into the very details of how some of her favorite Web sites were created and
implemented, describing in detail all of the technical elements as well as the
how-tos, techniques, and tips. The book goes into sufficient depth so that you
know exactly how everything is actually done.
This guest applet is a QuickTime VR node by
Sandy Ressler, author of
The Art of Electronic Publishing
(Prentice Hall, $40/CD-ROM).
Click on the image to access it (~180K).
Apple's QuickTime plug-in
and the virtual reality component to view this.
This QTVR was created using KPT Bryce
(an amazing program) using the 360 degree panorama option. Each sphere is texture mapped
with a photo taken with an Apple QuickTake camera. The resulting panorama was converted
into a QTVR node, something you can do with Apple's free
Make QTVR Panorama utility.
You can also view the orignal KPT Bryce panorama
Sandy used for the QTVR (~350K).
There is an online version
of the book you can visit.
This week's featured book is Beyond Humanity: CyberEvolution and Future Minds by Gregory S. Paul and Earl D. Cox (Charles River Media; $21/24 Paper/Hardback). This book contains a review of the current status of computer science and neuroscience and speculates on the confluence of the two in the future to the point where our minds may be downloaded into cyberspace or robots that will be more efficient (and longer lasting) than our human bodies. This is much different than the usual Web design and authoring books discussed on these pages and I'm finding it to be interesting reading. Look for a full review in a future issue of WWWiz Magazine.
There are two featured books this week. Web Publisher's Construction Kit with Netscape Plug-ins by Jonathan Angel (Waite Group Press; $40/CD-ROM) discusses virtually all the plug-ins for Netscape Navigator. There are several chapters of introductory material followed by separate chapters on Audio, Video, Presentation/Animation, VRML, Graphics, and Document plug-ins. For each of about 40 plug-ins there are "lessons" on installing the plug-in and embedding presentations on your Web page, including a thorough list of EMBED tag attributes for each plug-in. The book finishes with a brief description of some 30 of the more obscure plug-ins and a chapter on plug-in resources. The CD-ROM contains over 30 plug-ins and helper applications.
The Ultimate Web Developer's Sourcebook by Ben Sawyer (Coriolis Group Books, $50/CD-ROM) is just that, a sourcebook. The book covers most aspects of Web development with a brief description of each plus a very impressive list of resources including hardware and software vendors (with URLs, addresses, and phone numbers), Web sites, magazines, and books. There are also practical tips on various aspects of Web page design and graphics and examples drawn from the Web. The book is rounded out with a few chapters on business aspects of the Web including employment opportunities in the Web industry, market analysis, advertising, financing, and legal questions. The CD-ROM contains a variety of HTML and Java authoring tools plus applets and audio and visual clips.
The guest applet is adapted from one I found in
Java How-To by
Madhu Siddalingaiah and Stephen D. Lockwood
(Waite Group Press, $40/CD-ROM).
(You can click on the applet to stop it.)
Like other books in Waite's How-To series, this is not a tutorial but rather
a step-by-step problem-solving approach in the question-and-answer format. I found
that this book had a number of interesting problems and solutions for the somewhat
experienced Java programmer. The book contains chapters on graphics, threads, events,
user interface, networking, and miscellaneous advanced topics. It's the sort of book
you like to look things up in before setting out to program them yourself. The CD-ROM
contains the examples from the book.
GIF Animation Studio: Animating Your Web Site by Richard Koman (O'Reilly & Associates, $40/CD-ROM) is the first book on animated GIFs. The book contains specific instructions on using animated GIF software for the Mac and Windows. There is also coverage of color palettes, assorted tips and tricks, optimization, and use of Photoshop and Kai's Power Tools filters. The book is balanced with in-depth examination of some extraordinary animated GIFs. The CD-ROM contains software for the Mac and PC plus the animation files from the book, and more. The author also maintains a Web site for the book. I know it sound trite, but I created my first animated GIF within 10 minutes of installing the Windows software and following the instructions in the book.
This week's featured book is 24 Hours in Cyberspace: Painting on the Walls of the Digital Cave by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt (Que; $50/CD-ROM). This book, from the creators of the "Day in the Life" series, is a collection of photographs (and stories) taken on a single day in February 1996 by 150 photojournalists around the world. Their images capture our life in cyberspace from the mundane to the exotic. Among my favorites are the Intuit children shown crossing the tunda on dogsleds and later surfing the Web. The book is replete with paradoxical images like these. While I usually discuss books about authoring for Web, this book is for looking at and contemplating the potential of the Web for our future. The CD-ROM contains an interactive version of the book with some multimedia enhancements. The is a also an official book Web site with many photographs not available in the book, but what you see on-screen doesn't compare with the image quality in the book.
Here is some more important book news this week: Prentice Hall has just released the second editions of four of the titles in their highly acclaimed Sunsoft Press Java Series. The new releases are Instant Java, 2nd Ed. by John Pew ($35/CD-ROM), Java by Example, 2nd Ed. by Jerry Jackson and Alan McClellan ($35/CD-ROM), Just Java, 2nd Ed. by Peter van der Linden ($35/CD-ROM), and Core Java, 2nd Ed. by Gary Cornell and Cay S. Horstmann ($45/CD-ROM). Each of the books has been revised and updated with new material. I've tested the 75+ applets in Instant Java plus the 60 bonus applets on the CD-ROM and they all work. Believe me when I tell this is the exception rather than the rule with CD-ROMs included in books. These applets are well documented and come complete with Java source code and sample HTML code with all parameters. They are ready to use by substituting your own text or images. The CD-ROM is very well organized and designed so that applets can be downloaded individually in Zip or Tar format. The CD-ROM also includes trial versions of Symantec Café and Sun Java WorkShop.
The Homegrrrl (Lynda Weinman) is back with <coloring web graphics>. This book was co-authored with Bruce Heavin and beautifully designed by Ali Karp (who also did <deconstructing web graphics>). This book has just about everything you would like to know about color for developing Web graphics. The book begins with the fundamentals: the difference between screen and print colors, browser-safe colors (that's the 216 color set that browsers can render without dithering), and Web graphics file formats. It then goes into detail on color principles and imaging techniques. The last half of the book contains a seemingly infinite number of color schemes (aestheticall) suitable for use on Web sites. The whole book is a riot of color starting from the front cover. I also like that you can read the book in random order and are likely to glean useful information anywhere in the book. Did you know that the browser-safe hex combinations are always formed from variations of 00, 33, 66, 99, CC, and FF? Those of you who are interested in more technical aspects of computer color should check out Using Computer Color Effectively: An Illustrated Reference (ISBN 0-13-939878-3) and Number by Colors: A Guide to Using Color to Understand Technical Data (ISBN 0-387-94685-3).
A couple of other books caught my attention this week as well. Interactive Web Publishing with Microsoft Tools by Evangelos Petroutsos (Ventana, $50/CD-ROM) is an ambitious tome on Web authoring with an emphasis on the various tools available from Microsoft. In addition to giving the basics of HTML (and the Internet Explorer extensions), multimedia Web elements (images, imagemaps, video, and sound), and server scripts, the book goes into detail on the various Microsoft Internet Assistants (for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access), FrontPage (including setting up a personl Web server and Intranet), VBScript, and ActiveX controls. This is an impressive, clearly written book and there was a lot of material that was new to me.
Netscape Plug-in Power by David Wall (IDG Books, $35/CD-ROM) contains descriptions of over 70 plug-ins, over 30 of which are on the CD-ROM. What I found appealing about the book is that for each plug-in the author tells you who built it, what it does, where to find it, what platforms it supports, plugged-in sites with good examples, and most importantly where to find authoring tools.
For those with programming interests other than the Web, there's 1001 Programming Resources" by Edward Renehan (Jamsa Press, $50/CD-ROM). Here you'll find the best Web sites on all aspects of computing from AI and Assembly to Visual Basic and Windows and everything inbetween. Like all the 1001 Web Sites series from Jamsa each site has a single paragraph description plus some screen capture shots. The CD-ROM contains a full hyper-linked version of the book with links to the Web sites.
The guest applet comes from
Black Art of Java Game Programming by Joel Fan et al.
(Waite Group Press, $50/CD-ROM).
Following a brief review of Java fundamentals the book goes right into animation and
sprites and then building a video game. From there it goes on to advanced gaming and
graphics techniques (networks, multi-player games, image processing, 3-D space, and
more). Finally, 8 games of diverse types are developed in various levels of detail. Of
course, the source code for all the games and other material in the book are on the CD-ROM.
Now, I'm not a game player, but I can appreciate a lot of the mathematical detail that
goes into game programming. Thus, my only complaint with the book is that a lot of the
math is treated in the simplest possible way (particularly the coordinate transformations),
with a heavy penalty on performance. (Click the image to start; click to pause/play.)
Cutting-Edge Java Game Programming by Neil Bartlett, Steve Simkin, and Chris Stranc, is another in a recent trend of Java books that concentrate on one particular topic. This book is a valuable resource that leads you through many aspects of game programming, and shows how to build game components. The games presented as examples grow in complexity as the book progresses. One of the last chapters is written by a group of people that wrote the game Fred, a DOOM-like clone. (Or at least as good as you can do with the current release of Java.) That chapter is really interesting because they explain some of the problems they ran across while writing Fred, and how they went about solving them problems, where possible. If you're interested in writing you own Java game programs, take a serious look at this book.Stephen R. Pietrowicz.
A couple of other books caught my attention this week as well. Unfortunately, I haven't time to review them because of the holidays and all. But if your at the bookstore I think you should check out the following titles:
Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days, Professional Reference Edition by
Laura Lemay et al.
How to Progam Java by Peter Coffee (Ziff-Davis Press, $40/CD-ROM),
Photoshop Web Magic by Ted Schulman et al. (Hayden, $45/CD-ROM), and
Photoshop Type Magic 2 by Greg Simsic (Hayden, $40/CD-ROM).
Each week we've brought you up to date with the latest book announcements and several brief book reviews. In all, there are over 75 book reviews, plus full-length reviews of several titles in my WWWiz Magazine. There have also been 24 guest applets (Java applets, GIF animations, VRML scenes, or QTVR). You can see peruse all the book reviews and guest applets in the Old News! section.
I'd like to express my gratitude to you for visiting this site and hope I will have your continued support in 1997. I'd also like to thank the publishers for the many review copies of books I have received. Also, thanks for your feedback and (mostly) kind words. Please feel free to write to me at email@example.com with your suggestions, etc. Now, down to business...
There are 31 new books this week, with only 3 new Java titles. There are now a total of 1812 Web authoring books, including 562 Java titles, in 15 languages.
The guest applet is an animated GIF I threw together (very quickly) with
GIF Construction Set for Windows.
These are the covers of all nine WWWiz Magazines to date.