REVIEW: "Web Developer.com Guide to Building Intelligent Website
- BKGBIWJS.RVW 20000509
"Web Developer.com Guide to Building Intelligent Websites with
%A Nigel Ford n.ford@...
%C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
%I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O U$34.99/C$62.50 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448 rlangloi@...
%P 340 p.
%T "Web Developer.com Guide to Building Intelligent Websites with
When Ford uses the word "intelligent," he means it. Where other books
might be content to have intelligence measured in remembering your
name, or creating dancing fonts or shimmering logos, Ford attempts to
bring the principles of artificial intelligence to Web site
programming. In this, alas, he does not altogether succeed. You
intelligence to create a smart site from this book.
Chapter one starts out with a number of examples that could have been
built with CGI scripts or frames. There is also an odd confusion with
Java in places, even though the book does point out the difference.
forms are in chapter two, mostly using onClick. This also points out
one weak area of the book: the content does not often explain the
would likely be confused. Chapter three takes off, covering prompts,
alerts, variables, arrays, functions, conditionals, and operators.
There is still no talk of design (or even decent HTML). The material
is easy to copy, but not necessarily to understand; the discussion of
arrays and the examples are correct, but the novice would not
necessarily be able to figure out that array entity numbering starts
although there is some talk of design, it isn't very good. This
chapter also betrays the Netscape specific nature of the text.
Chapter five promises artificial intelligence, but while it starts to
deliver, the content is primarily concerned with drill and practice,
conditionals, and boolean functions. Trying for a knowledge based
presents an array based tree database along with objects.
Interpretation of user input, in chapter seven, starts with simplistic
input validation, and then tries to expand that to include natural
language parsing. Chapter eight doesn't really get into game theory,
it just gives some code for three puzzles and one game. DHTML
(Dynamic HTML), cascading style sheets (CSS) and various commands
dealing with appearance are covered in chapter nine. Chapter ten
looks at server-side programming, but with some confusion and
contradiction. For example, the text refers to server-side scripts as
being compiled into bytecode (another possible confusion with Java?)
but also talks about commands in the HTML code of the page. Chapter
usefulness is doubtful.
code artificially intelligent applications with it. However, this
artificial intelligence for the novice in either to have a good chance
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2000 BKGBIWJS.RVW 20000509
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to
err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so
experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings
of that precious right. - Mahatma Gandhi, (1869-1948)
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade