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INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTIONWho Should Read This Book?
Expression Web 2 is a powerful Web development product, and there are plenty of books about it. That puts readers in a tight spot when trying to figure out which book to purchase to learn how to use Expression Web 2 to its fullest. I've read a lot of technical books in my career, and the ones that I find most helpful are the ones that teach me everything about a particular product instead of only teaching me the features and techniques that the author prefers. If that's the kind of book you appreciate, then this is the book for you.
I have also found that many technical books are frustratingly light on any meaningful content. In fact, most of them are just complex rewrites of the documentation that ships with the product. I get the documentation with the product, and I'd rather not pay for it again from a third party. Instead, I want a book that tells me what the documentation doesn't tell me.
That's exactly what this book will do. It will show you how to use the features in Expression Web 2 for real-world Web design. I'll give you pointers on how to effectively use several features together to achieve a common goal. I'll give you a strong foundation in the technologies involved (for example, Cascading Style Sheets CSS, Extensible Hypertext Markup Language XHTML, ASP.NET, PHP, and more) so you aren't working in a vacuum.
When the first edition of this book was released, I read plenty of quotes from people saying that, because it is comprehensive and covers all features in Expression Web, it was best for advanced users. I agree that this book is a greatresource for advanced users, but it also is great for users new to Expression Web 2. If you want a book that will continue to provide you with valuable information as your knowledge of Expression Web 2 and Web design grows, this book is a great choice for you.
The goal of this book is to equip you to be a better Web designer using Expression Web 2 as one of the tools in your arsenal. If that sounds like something you're interested in, keep reading!Why Use Expression Web 2?
Ask any professional Web designer what features are important for a Web design application and he or she will tell you that it must adhere to current Web standards and make creating and maintaining a standards-driven Web site easy. Not only that, but a solid Web design tool should be created from the ground up to support ASP.NET and PHP from a designer's perspective. Expression Web 2 meets all those needs.
You'll not only be able to create dynamic, standards-compliant Web sites with Expression Web 2, but you'll be able to do so in a way that allows you to take advantage of your creativity. It doesn't drag you down with complex dialogs and frustrating code changes. After using Expression Web 2 for a while, you'll never consider going back to your previous Web design tool.How This Book Is Organized
This book is broken up into multiple sections so you can quickly find the information you need. Here is the rundown on all the sections:
Part I, "An Overview of Expression Web 2"Part I comprises an overview of Expression Web 2. You'll receive a complete tour of the Expression Web 2 feature set, along with some tips and tricks on using the interface.
Part II, "Web Sites in Expression Web 2"The chapters in this section teach you how to work with Web sites in Expression Web 2. You'll learn about creating sites, publishing sites, managing sites, and working with other site-related features.
Part III, "Creating and Editing Web Content"In this section, you'll learn how to create Web pages and add content to them. I not only talk about adding and formatting text, but also how to add graphics and dynamic content. Finally, this section covers the details of how to take advantage of some of the great productivity features in Expression Web 2.
Part IV, "Using CSS in Expression Web 2"Instead of including CSS as an afterthought, I've dedicated two complete chapters to using this important design concept. You'll learn not only the details of CSS in general, but also how to use the powerful CSS tools in Expression Web 2.
Part V, "Optimizing Your Web Site"A good Web designer doesn't just slap pages together. It's important to make your site work well in all the major browsers, and it's also important to pay attention to accessibility issues. You'll learn about both in this section.
Part VII, "ASP.NET and PHP Development in Expression Web 2"Expression Web 2 fully supports Microsoft ASP.NET and provides some support for PHP. In this section, you'll find out what ASP.NET gives you as a Web designer and how to use Expression Web 2 to create some pretty powerful site features, all without writing any code. You'll also learn how to take advantage of the PHP support included in Expression Web 2.
Part VIII, "Accessing Data in Expression Web 2"Connecting a Web site to external data has become commonplace. In this section, you'll discover how to easily design a data-driven Web site with ASP.NET and Expression Web 2.
I've also included three appendixes that cover using Expression Web 2 to make money on the Web with e-commerce solutions, my insights into the future of Web development, and a resource guide on Expression Web 2, Web design, ASP.NET, and PHP.
Appendix A, "Taking Advantage of E-commerce"
Appendix B, "The Future of Web Development"
Appendix C, "Resources on Expression Web 2, Web Design, ASP.NET, and PHP"
Throughout the book, you'll find some special elements that are designed to make it easy to locate important information or special tips to help you get the most out of Expression Web 2.
When an important term is used for the first time, it is printed in italics and defined close by. When instructions require you to enter text or values into a dialog, the data you are to enter appears bolded. Finally, for those of you who find it faster to work without a mouse, hotkey indicators appear for all menu commands. Simply press Alt and the underlined character.Cross-References
Nothing's worse than a technical book that assumes you will read it from beginning to end like a novel. Most folks use technical books like reference materials, so this book makes generous use of cross-references.
If a feature is mentioned that is covered elsewhere in the book, there is a cross-reference directing you to where you can find details on that topic.Notes, Tips, Cautions, and Sidebars
You'll find numerous bits of information in these special elements.
Note - Notes include additional technical information or links to important information.
Tip - Tips provide information to make using a feature easier, or provide information you might not have considered.
Caution - Caution elements prevent you from shooting yourself in the foot. They point out problems so you can avoid them and save yourself time and possible headaches.
Read Sidebars for the Big Picture - You won't find sidebars in every chapter; they're designed to give you more insight into a particular topic. If you're the kind of person who wants to know all the details, you'll find sidebars extremely valuable.
The "Troubleshooting" section is where you can go when things don't quite work out right. Chances are you'll find the solution to your problem there.
I've included notes in the chapters to direct you to these sections.
This is what a Troubleshooting note looks like. Text here describes a possible problem and tells you where to look for the solution.
In keeping with the concept of this book as a reference book, it includes a complete table of all the troubleshooting topics from the entire book. You'll find this table after the Table of Contents at the front of the book.?Lagniappe (lan yap') n., a gift or bonus
I always include a special section at the end of each chapter that gives you some bonus material. I wanted this section to have a name with characterone that truly illustrates the purpose of the section. I chose lagniappe as the name of this section. Lagniappe is an American French word that refers to a special gift given out of gratitude by a merchant at the end of a transaction. I felt that lagniappe was the perfect name for this section because it truly denotes the intent. (Thanks, Dad, for the recommendation.)
I sincerely hope you enjoy this book and find it to be an invaluable resource as you build Web sites with Expression Web 2.
Thank you for purchasing this book, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it for you!
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