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Before You Begin
This Sams Teach Yourself Video Learning Starter Kit is about the two web development technologies that provide the interactivity and visual effects at almost all current web sites and applications today.
Before you get started watching the videos, however, we suggest that you first take a few minutes to review the material in this booklet. The information here will help you make sure you have all the equipment thats needed to watch the videos and do the exercises, and it will help you make best use of all the unique features of these courses as well as the software thats also on the DVD.
Over the last decade or so the World Wide Web has grown in scope from being a relatively simple information repository, to become the first stop for many people when seeking entertainment, education, news or business resources.
Web sites themselves need no longer be limited to a number of static pages containing text and perhaps simple images; the tools now available allow the development of highly interactive and engaging pages involving animations, visual effects, context-sensitive content, embedded productivity tools, and much more.
The list of technologies available for producing such pages is broad. However, those based on open standards have become, and remain, highly popular due to their typically low (often zero) entry cost, and to the huge resource of user-contributed scripts, tutorials, tools and other resources for these tools and applications available via the Internet and elsewhere.
In this video course, we give a detailed account of how to program fluid, interactive web sites using server- and client-side coding techniques and tools, as well as combining these to produce a slick, desktop-application-like user experience using Ajax.
About The Video Lessons
Sams Teach Yourself Video Learning courses are designed not only for beginners, but also for busy, time-crunched people who arent able to devote the large blocks of time often required to take a full class on a subject, or to read some thick tome that covers everything in more detail than youll ever need.
Each lesson in this course takes no more that 10 minutes to complete three basic steps:
The short video tutorials clearly explain key concepts, terms, and techniques, and are rich in diagrams and clear, real-world examples. Plus, you can stop, start, pause or replay any part of the video you want, as often as you want, until you feel you really understand it.
After youve watched the video tutorial, you then you get to try it yourself and put what youve learned to work in a unique hands-on learning lab that helps you begin to develop real live programs that you can use on your own web site.
The software that you need to complete the exercises is included on the DVD. And as you continue to watch the lesson on your computer, youre guided step by step through the process of creating your own usable code.
Once youre done trying things out in the learning lab each lesson ends with a short, easy quiz so you can test what youve learned before you go on to the next lesson.
Who This Video Learning Kit is For
This course is aimed primarily at web developers seeking to build better interfaces for the users of their web applications and programmers from desktop environments looking to transfer their applications to the Internet.
It also proves useful to web designers eager to learn how the latest techniques can offer new outlets for their creativity.
This course does not teach HTML. And although a thorough knowledge of HTML is not necessarily a prerequisite, the course does assumes a basic understanding of how web pages are constructed, where theyre stored and maintained, and how a user interacts with them through a web browser.
Whats on the DVD
How the Course Is Organized
Part I: Web Basics Refresher
The lessons in Part I provide a refresher on the fundamental building blocks of Web development:
Part III: Introducing Ajax
Part IV: Server-Side Scripting with PHP
The lessons in Part IV deal with using PHP to communicate with a web server and extend Ajax applications:
Part V: Advanced Ajax Programming
Part IV looks at some advanced Ajax techniques for handling data and at building a library of Ajax scripts
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