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Introduction

Introduction

Eight years ago when I used Dreamweaver 1.0 for the first time, I was amazed at how far ahead of its time it was. The capability to create JavaScript behaviors, layers, styles, and pinpoint accurate designs truly amazed me. I was a skeptic when it came to WYSIWYG editors and preferred Notepad whenever possible. Dreamweaver changed that for me and made me look at Web development in a whole new light.

Dreamweaver has become the industry's leading Web development environment, far surpassing any other. Still, many consider Dreamweaver a simple WYSIWYG editor that accomplishes little but aides in the development of static Web pages. The mindset is that WYSIWYG editors lack the true complexity that it takes to create rich and powerful Web applications that encompass client-side technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript while leveraging server-side technologies such as ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, JSP, and ColdFusion MX. Dreamweaver obliterates the stigma by captivating the developer in an intuitive and feature-rich environment.

This book introduces you to the many features available through Dreamweaver. In the book, which is separated into parts, you will learn about the following:

Part I—Getting Up to Speed with Dreamweaver MX 2004 Whether you are a reader new to Dreamweaver or a seasoned veteran using the book as a reference, this part will introduce you to all the new features within Dreamweaver MX 2004.

Part II—Static Web Page Creation Pushing forward, we move into creating your first Web pages using Dreamweaver MX 2004. Here you will learn about the basic page-formatting features within Dreamweaver MX 2004, including the revamped CSS functionality.

Part III—Adding Interactivity What are layers and behaviors? Technologies and methods that promote interactivity and navigation within your site are explained within this part. You'll also learn about the exciting integration of Flash within Dreamweaver and how to add video and audio into your Web pages.

Part IV—Introduction to Web Applications Moving away from static Web page development, Part IV introduces you to Web applications. In this part you'll learn the differences between static and dynamic, and you'll learn about Dreamweaver MX 2004's rich features for creating Web applications.

Part V—Middleware Getting into the meat of the book is Part V. In this part you'll learn about the various technologies for creating dynamic Web applications in Dreamweaver MX 2004, including ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, and ColdFusion.

Part VI—Database-Driven Pages Riding the wave of application development, we move into the integration of Dreamweaver MX 2004 and databases. In this part you'll learn about databases, the language used to extract data from databases in SQL, and you'll even build applications within Dreamweaver that interact with databases that you'll create from scratch.

Part VII—Appendixes Part VII rounds out the book with general information not mentioned earlier, including accessibility, language resources, references, and so on.

As you can see and as you will read, Matt and I have covered all aspects of Web development using Dreamweaver MX 2004. While reading, you can follow along with our step-by-step projects by downloading the support files at this book's companion Web site located at www.dreamweavermxunleashed.com. Thank you for picking up a copy of this book—and enjoy!

Zak Ruvalcaba and Matthew Pizzi

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