Joseph Lowery's Beyond Dreamweaver

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Joseph Lowery's Beyond Dreamweaver is for Dreamweaver designers and developers who are serious about increasing their productivity, expanding their skill set, and making themselves more valuable in the workplace. You'll find techniques for integrating Dreamweaver with your company's content management system, automating the creation of web pages from XML data files, and capitalizing on Dreamweaver's extensibility.

With Joseph Lowery's Beyond Dreamweaver, you combine general ...

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Overview

Joseph Lowery's Beyond Dreamweaver is for Dreamweaver designers and developers who are serious about increasing their productivity, expanding their skill set, and making themselves more valuable in the workplace. You'll find techniques for integrating Dreamweaver with your company's content management system, automating the creation of web pages from XML data files, and capitalizing on Dreamweaver's extensibility.

With Joseph Lowery's Beyond Dreamweaver, you combine general principles with specific Dreamweaver methods and strategies. Not only will you learn how to accomplish specific tasks, you'll discover how to enhance your productivity by:

  • Integrating Dreamweaver and your content management systems
  • Employing techniques for Section 508 compliance
  • Coding SMIL multimedia presentations within Dreamweaver
  • Incorporating XML content into Dreamweaver templates
  • Dynamically automating static web page creation
  • Building sequential navigation
  • Communicating efficiently with Flash[tm], Fireworks[tm], and Dreamweaver
  • Unearthing and applying Dreamweaver's extensibility layer

Joseph Lowery's Beyond Dreamweaver, your guide to overcoming productivity challenges and pushing your designs even further!

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Imagine that you wanted to use Dreamweaver MX as the front end of a content management system. Or, what if you wanted to build an extension that used Dreamweaver MX and Fireworks MX together -- perhaps to simplify the creation of individual thumbnails? Where would you go to learn how?

Dreamweaver MX is nearly infinitely extensible. More and more web developers crave this extensibility, but few Dreamweaver books offer them much help. Until Joseph Lowery’s Beyond Dreamweaver.

You probably know Lowery as author of the Dreamweaver and Fireworks Bibles, or perhaps as author of the extremely useful From FrontPage to Dreamweaver. You may not know that he’s written extensions which now ship with Dreamweaver and Fireworks, or that he created the Deva Tools™ for Dreamweaver for building sophisticated navigation systems in no time. With contributions from former Dreamweaver development team member Joe Marini, Lowery offers practical instructions and guidance for taking Dreamweaver far beyond the limits of conventional web design.

Let’s return to the example of content management systems -- the subject of this book’s first chapter. In many organizations, CMS has become a holy grail of sorts, promising to streamline the management of vast amounts of information, lower costs, simplify workflow, and allow writers and designers to focus on the tasks they’re best at. Dreamweaver can be jiggered to work with many content management systems, but how to do so isn’t self-evident.

Lowery walks you through the process, step-by-step. Two processes, actually: first, an easier approach that uses Dreamweaver templates, and then a better approach, in which you integrate a new document type into Dreamweaver. To do that, you must create a new document type XML file, save a prototype of your document in the New Documents folder; add the document’s extension to the Extensions.txt file, and make sure the file type is editable by Dreamweaver. Sounds complex, but Lowery walks you through every step. He then shows you the huge productivity payoff that comes with setting up custom tag libraries and Dreamweaver workspaces to accompany your new document type.

Next, Lowery covers techniques for designing accessible web sites with Dreamweaver. (Lest you still think so, accessibility isn’t just “nice” -- and it doesn’t just apply to federal government sites anymore.) Lowery then walks through using Dreamweaver MX to implement all 16 key guidelines, from text tags and color to electronic forms and navigation links. Yes, Dreamweaver MX has much-improved support for accessibility, but compliance requires you to do far more than just check a few Preferences boxes.

For example, notes Lowery, one readability guideline specifies that “documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet” -- and that can be a minefield for the unwary CSS user. Similarly, some interpretations of the standards for data tables are far more rigid that Dreamweaver’s; Lowery shows you how to add the extra markup Dreamweaver leaves out.

Gradually, Lowery moves from specific solutions (such as editing SMIL multimedia files with Dreamweaver) to broader issues of extensibility and cross-product integration. For example, there are detailed chapters on automating the production of web pages, first from XML data and then from other data sources.

Lowery walks through three approaches to streamlining the maintenance of navigation systems, one based on template expressions, another based on JavaScript, and finally, a data-driven navigation scheme drawing upon an external data source. There’s also a full chapter on integrating Dreamweaver with Flash MX -- a truly potent combination, even though Macromedia has discontinued support for Generator in Flash MX and hasn’t yet delivered a replacement solution.

There’s an amazing amount of power in Dreamweaver MX that even expert web designers and developers haven’t unearthed yet. Joseph Lowery’s Beyond Dreamweaver maps the terrain and points you towards the treasure. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735712775
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 10/29/2002
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. I Connections 1
1 Incorporating Content Management Systems 3
2 Meeting Accessibility Requirements 35
3 Streaming Multimedia Layout Using SMIL 65
Pt. II Automations 77
4 XML Transference from Data to Layout 79
5 Automating Static Page Production from a Data Source 105
6 Templating Navigation Systems 137
Pt. III Extensions 161
7 Communicating with Fireworks 163
8 Making Flash Connections 219
9 Coding with Classes and Libraries 251
10 Beyond JavaScript: Interfacing with Dreamweaver Through C++ 285
Index 323
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Joseph expands Dreamweaver even more!

    Joseph has written a very good book covering a bunch of topics that are sure to be useful to about anyone. I found the Fireworks section of particular use in my upcoming releases of my commercial Dreamweaver photo galleries (inTensa, inTensaLite and the new Augwa). The class and library usage helped clear up a couple of questions I've had on those items. Other sections of the book will come in handy as I've taken some ideas from each section on developing to the fullest extent that Dreamweaver will allow. Many users will find the 508 compliance, dynamic 2 static page generation (esp. useful now that Contribute is out) and Flash connection very handy. Windows users will be able to further explore the C++ integration in extensions as the final chapter of the book. A few good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2002

    Killer techniques.

    With an abundance of books on the market focusing on the techniques built into Macromedia's Dreamweaver MX product, reading this book was a breath of fresh air as it takes the product, and completely blows it apart. The techniques in this book, such as integrating DMX into your content management solution, extending the product using C++ as well as dealing with cutting issues such as accessibility will make you more productive and your workflow more refined. Lowery leaves no stone unturned, showing clearly how to integrate through the extensibility layer with Fireworks; and explains how to link data into Flash in a concise, easy to understand way. The techniques discussed are also fully extendable to your own ideas so the book will lay down a very important framework. A fantastic tome which should hold pride of place on your desktop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2002

    TAP INTO THE POWER OF DREAMWEAVER MX !

    If you have been working with Dreamweaver for some time now, and are ready to take your skills to the next level, Beyond Dreamweaver is the perfect resource. Through a concise and straightforward writing style, the author takes you on a broad exploration of development possibilities beyond Dreamweaver¿s ¿everyday¿ usage. The book begins with an excellent chapter on the ease of integrating Dreamweaver MX with Content Management Systems. While this chapter may not seem as relevant to developers since Macromedia¿s introduction of their content management system - Contribute, it clearly demonstrates the extensibility of Dreamweaver. In doing so, it opens the reader¿s mind to virtually unlimited possibilities for creating custom integrations. Additionally, it continues to be a valuable example for developers using other Content Management Systems such as Interwoven or BlueMartini. The next chapter provides an excellent overview of Section 508 website accessibility requirements. It also discusses new features available in Dreamweaver MX that will assist developers in ensuring that their websites are accessible. Beyond Dreamweaver goes on to provide a great introduction to XML. Examples clearly demonstrate how to use Dreamweaver MX, both to export template content to XML and import XML into Dreamweaver templates. The next few chapters present a variety of techniques that will enhance productivity. You will learn how to build Sequential Navigational Systems for both small and large scale websites; about Dreamweaver's ability to cross-integrate with other Macromedia products such as Fireworks and Flash; and how to go beyond Dreamweaver¿s built in capabilities and actually build your own custom cross-product extensions. If you are interested in creating your own extensions, Beyond Dreamweaver explains how to use the standard classes and libraries that ship with Dreamweaver as a starting point. And if you really want to dig in and explore under the hood, it gives you an excellent example of how to take this even further by using C++ to create your own extensions to JavaScript. The chapter ¿Making Flash Connections¿ was of particular interest to me as a designer/developer who specializes in Flash site development and dynamically generated database driven websites. A valuable example that was provided demonstrates the ability to pass data - either static or dynamically generated - from a Dreamweaver coded page to a Flash .swf file. Additionally, a second example demonstrates the new Flash Remoting features which allows Flash to send and receive more complete data structures. I particularly enjoyed exploring the possibilities of combining the Macromedia tri-product MX powerhouse - Flash, Dreamweaver and ColdFusion. Quite a combo! Beyond Dreamweaver does not extensively delve into any one topic. Instead it provides the reader with a broad range of examples that can be used as a springboard for further exploration.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2002

    Another Winner from Joe Lowery...

    Joe Lowery has once again written a "must have" book for web developers. If you are looking to get even more out of Dreamwever than you have been, then this is the book that will allow you to do that. The very aptly titled "Beyond Dreamweaver" does just that- it takes you beyond what the manual covers, deep into the heart and soul of Dreamweaver. While aimed primarily at the DW power user, anyone looking to stretch their web development wings will gain invaluable tips and skills from this book. Whether you're looking to incorporate a Content Management System into your site, concerned about meeting accessibility requirements, or looking to write your own extensions, you will find inspiration and good solid know-how in this book. Joe knows this program inside and out and that knowledge is evident throughout this book. Chock full of code examples, Joe explores deep into the heart of Dreamweaver and takes you on that journey with him. If you're looking to streamline your workflow, increase your productivity and take your skills up a notch, then this book should be on your bookshelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2002

    The essential guide for the advanced Dreamweaver user

    Being a Dreamweaver author, instructor, and avid user, I see the amazing power that the tool has to offer on a day to day basis. Most people will agree that Dreamweaver's complexity ranges far beyond that of simply creating layers, attaching behaviors, and working with style sheets. This book dives right into the complexities that most people never see or use but probably should. Accessibility, XML, extension development, and content management are all covered within this book, in a way that only Joseph can captivate users.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2002

    Extend Yourself

    Beyond Dreamweaver MX is for designers and developers looking to take full advantage of the power of Dreamweaver MX. Instead of attempting to be a complete Dreamweaver reference, the book focuses on providing experienced users with tools to solve some common real world problems. In addition to addressing specific issues such as integrating with a content management system (CMS) or creating accessible sites, Beyond Dreamweaver MX provides so much great general information concerning customization, extensibility, templates and Flash/Fireworks integration that it seems certain to be useful to almost any user who is looking to increase productivity. This makes Beyond Dreamweaver worthwhile for developers who have specific needs as well as anyone just looking for ways to make their workflow smoother. What makes Beyond Dreamweaver different is not so much the features and topics it discusses, but that it covers them from a developer's perspective and places them in a real world context. There are other books that touch on the features mentioned in this book, but Beyond Dreamweaver presents some compelling real world reasons for utilizing these features as well as some helpful examples of how you can put them to work to make your life easier.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2002

    Waaaay Beyond Dreamweaver!!

    Holy Extensibility Batman!! IMHO, one of the most valuable features of Dreamweaver MX isn't its database-connectivity or it's easy to use GUI. Nope...what takes Dreamweaver MX beyond other Web development software is its extensibility and Joseph Lowery has created an incredible book that can take your Dreamweaver skills to the next level. If you're looking for new ways to allow Dreamweaver to work with Flash and Fireworks, this book has it! Or maybe you're trying to figure out the best way to bring your site into Section 508 compliance...this book has it! Joe has done an outstanding job of showing the reader how to take their Web development skills to the next level by extending Dreameaver waaaaay beyond its "out-of-the box" capabilities. For instance, my favorite chapter deals with making site navigation eaier to maintain. Anyone who has ever built a sequential Web site (like a step-by-step tutorial) using static pages knows that linking to the first, next, previous, and last pages can be a real pain when you have to insert new pages into the tutorial. Basically, you have to go back and change links in many of your pages. And the more pages you have to insert, the more links you have to update! This book, however, shows three different ways to streamline this task through the use of Templates, JavaScript, or a database and shows you how to accomplish each method in an easy to read manner. One note, however....this book is very code-oriented and it's obvious that Joe doesn't just want to show you how to perform a task but, instead, he wants to help you understand exactly what is going on in the background so you can apply the same concept in a different situation. Because the book covers advanced topics, this is not a book for those who are just learning to use Dreamweaver. In addition, there are some sections that require an understanding of JavaScript and C++. Because of the complicated topics addressed, this book is more of a guide for advanced Dreamweaver users who would like to find alternative solutions that can cut your development and maintenance time significantly. Basically, if you think you know all there is to know about Dreamweaver check out this book! I guarantee that Joe will show you some things that you hadn't thought of.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2002

    Dreamweaver for the Pros

    Dreamweaver is much more than a WYSIWYG HTML editor -- and this book shows you how to take advantage of that. If you're new to Dreamweaver, read one of the doorstop books and come back. But if you're an experienced Dreamweaver user, read this book! It'll show you how to extend, adapt, and take advantage of Dreamweaver for CMS, for non-HTML markup languages, and other things you may never have thought of. The book isn't a doorstop, and the authors approach the subject from a practical standpoint, so you'll have tons of ready-to-use techniques in short order.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2002

    If you think you know Dreamweaver, think again

    This book will show you what you didn't even know you need to know. I am a medium to advanced Dreamweaver user and I learned so much from this book, starting in the first chapter. I think this book is perfect for people who have used the software for a while, but don't really push it to its limits. Mr. Lowery shows you important things in two general categories: how to accomplish things you couldn't before and how to streamline your workflow to be more efficient.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2002

    Genie, Oh Genie... the Power....

    Joseph Lowery has done it yet again! `What has he done?¿ you ask. He¿s showing you how to go that one step farther with Dreamweaver in the book entitled Beyond Dreamweaver that you may only be dreaming of. This book covers the topics of Techniques to employ Section 508 Accessibility, Custom Tag management as applied to CMS & SMIL, but that¿s not all! He delves into the far reaches of extending Dreamweaver with the integration of extensions that call other Macromedia products such as Flash MX & Fireworks MX. This book also goes into Templates on the programmatic side of things to import dynamic data into static template pages as well as using the new template features in Dreamweaver MX to build a sequential navigation system. There is no CD for this book, but the downloads are only a browser session away which include sample pages and the extensions that Joseph has created to extend your productivity with Dreamweaver. A great read for the intermediate to advanced user or for the beginner wanting to know more about templates, sequential navigation and Accessibility.

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