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Understanding Web Development Interactive Workbook

   by Arlyn Hubbell

  Textbook Binding:
    Prentice Hall PTR
    15 December, 1999


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Editorial description(s):
To design and maintain Web sites on the very popular Apache Web Server on Unix or Linux, beginners need to know a little of this and a little of that. Understanding Web Development starts from square one, with an extremely concise series of tutorials and hands-on exercises that teaches the skills needed to run Apache Web sites successfully. Aimed at the novice Webmaster, this book contains the essentials of Unix administration and HTML.

The most notable thing about this book is its simplicity. The author, a longtime teacher of Web development, has condensed essential administrative and HTML tutorials into very short sections and simple hands-on exercises. These tutorials are the real reason to buy this book. Master common Unix commands and basic HTML design firsthand with a series of easy-to-handle tasks. The book covers only the most essential information for the would-be Webmaster, such as using ftp and telnet for remote administration, common Unix shell commands, and an introductory-level HTML tutorial. One standout chapter shows how to restrict permissions on Web content for certain users on Apache (using the .htaccess configuration file), and how to add password protection to Web pages. Changing permissions is an essential administrative task, and the books explains just what you need to know.

Unix administration can be daunting to the novice. Instead of trying to be comprehensive, Understanding Web Development gives the bare essentials to get up and running with Web administration and simple Web design. It's a great choice for a first book about what's available on the Apache/Unix Web platform. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered:
  • Introduction to Web development for Apache Web Server and Unix
  • Basic ftp and telnet console commands
  • Unix for administrators (listing, copying, and moving files)
  • Unix directories
  • Managing file and directory permissions
  • Web site design guidelines
  • HTML tutorial
  • Basic HTML tags
  • Text style elements

  • Lists
  • Changing backgrounds
  • Anchors and links
  • HTML tables (beginning and advanced options)
  • Nested tables, frames, forms, and form elements
  • Submitting form data
  • Server-side includes
  • Restricting access to Web content and password protection in Apache
  • Introduction to style sheets
  • Hands-on lab exercises

Book Info
Designed to help establish a firm understanding of how to create an effective Web site in a UNIX environment. Provides a solid base enabling you to proceed in the direction of your own choosing.

From the Back Cover

Want to be a Web professional? Start right here!

Understanding Web Development is the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to become a Web professional! Get a great jumpstart with hands-on labs and exercises covering everything you need to know upfront—backed with simple explanations, practical techniques, and a companion Web site full of resources just for you!

Discover the essentials of Web content design and development, from HTML to basic site security! Coverage includes:

By the time you're finished, you'll even be comfortable with advanced techniques: CGI scripts, server-side includes, password protection, customized error messages, and more. Web design and development is one of the world's fastest-growing, most lucrative fields—and Understanding Web Development is just the ticket to get you in the door!

Includes access to a FREE companion Web site that provides additional practice questions, as well as a message board where you can interact with other students.

About the Author

ARLYN HUBBELL has been involved with the Internet since 1979. After nearly a decade on Wall Street, she joined Academic Computing Support Services at Bates College, training students, faculty, and staff in Internet technologies. Formerly Manager of Web Support Services at a major regional ISP, she now teaches at Merrimack College's Webmaster Certificate Program.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


The purpose of this book, Understanding Web Development, is to help you establish a firm understanding of how to create an effective Web site in UNIX environment. You will learn the fundamentals of setup, design and maintenance through a series of examples and exercises that build on each other and you are encouraged to apply the concepts you learn in each chapter to a project of your own. As you master the techniques and ideas presented, use them to create your own Web pages and combine them in ways that are pleasing to you.

The idea is to learn by doing, and it is hope of the author that the process will be an enjoyable one for you. As you work through the chapters presented here, do not hesitate to question and experiment. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, or do something simply because you like it. While learning the foundations of design and development is essential, it is taking it all one step further and creating your own style that will bring you the most satisfaction.

It is most important, though, to keep in mind that everything is subject to change in the world of Web design. HTML standards change, available technology changes, and tastes change over time. This is likely not the first book about Web design you have looked at and we guarantee it will not be the last if you work in the field. Learning the basics here is only the beginning; you will find that keeping up with all that is latest and greatest is a constant and never-ending process that can often be as frustrating as it is exciting.

Our goal is to provide you with a solid base from which you will be able to proceed in the direction of your choosing.

How This Book Is Organized

In this book, and the others in this series, you are presented with a series of interactive labs. Each lab begins with Learning Objectives that define what Exercises (or tasks) are covered in that Lab. This is followed by an overview of the concepts that will be further explored through the Exercises, which are the heart of each Lab.

Each Exercise consists of either a series of steps that you will follow to perform a specific task or a presentation of a particular scenario. Questions that are designed to help you discover the important things on your own are then asked of you. The answers to these questions are given at the end of the Exercises, along with more in-depth discussion of the concepts explored.

At the end of each Lab is a series of multiple-choice Self-Review Questions, which are designed to bolster your learning experience by providing opportunities to check your absorption of important material. The answers to these questions appear in Appendix A. There are also additional Self-Review Questions at this book's companion Web site, found at

Finally, at the end of each chapter, you will find a "Test Your Thinking" section, which consists of a series of projects designed to solidify all of the skills you have learned in the chapter. If you have successfully completed all of the Labs in the chapter, you should be able to tackle these projects with few problems. There are not always "answers" to these projects, but where appropriate, you will find guidance and/or solutions at the companion Web site.

The final element of this book actually doesn't appear in the book at all. It is the companion Web site, and it is located at:

This companion Web site is closely integrated with the content of this book, and we encourage you to visit often. It is designed to provide unique interactive online experiences that will enhance your education. As mentioned, you will find guidance and solutions that will help you complete the projects found in the Test Your Thinking section of each chapter.

You will

Reader review(s):

Good overview for a solid foundation, January 4, 2003
Arlyn Hubbell's "Understanding Web Development" provides for a solid grounding into the world of web design, HTML and the basic web technologies. For a beginner, this book is a good start to understanding how the World Wide Web works and what it takes to publish documents to it. For those who are more advanced in the field this book will probably not tell you anything new and you can take a pass on it (and stop reading here). If you are looking for the basics though, you've come to the right place.


Here are the topics that Hubbell addresses:

1. Introduction to Webmaster's UNIX including FTP and managing your directories

2. Pre-planning your web side including analyzing your audience and laying out your web site

3. Basic HTML tags

4. HTML text tags, image tags, lists and background tags

5. Working with Tables

6. Working with Frames

7. Designing HTML Forms

8. Server-Side technologies

9. Restricting web site access through .htaccess

10. Overview of CSS


Overall, this book is a great teaching and learning tool to the basics of web design. Hubbell has struck that fine balance between covering in good detail the basics of what you need to know versus information overload. Overall the book is very thorough and takes you through the web design process for beginning to end and it manages to do so without overwhelming you.

Each chapter is broken up into small lessons and at the end there are exercises for you to follow. All of them are well designed and good you and good grounding into the basics.

Hubbell also does a great job of presenting the various HTML tags. She goes over what they are and also thoroughly discusses the various switches that accompany them and their functions. She also includes the source code as well as a screen shot of what the completed web pages look like. While not going into things completely in depth on the source code as some other books do, this book accomplishes its task well, giving you a "basic" understanding of HTML. Students can easily go through and pick apart and learn the code on their own from the basics that Hubbell provides (which ultimately when you learn a programming language you're going to have to do anyway, pick it apart and do trial and error...).


Overall, Hubbell does a fine job of covering the various technologies and issues that deal with web development. This book was used as a text for an e-commerce web design course I took during the Fall of 2002. Whether you are studying this subject independently or whether you are an instructor looking to use this book for your course, Hubbell's "Understanding Web Development" is a fine choice.

Highly Recommended

I loved it!, June 28, 2000
The material was very relevant and the text was easy to read. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in a Web career.

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