Cover image for Philip and Alex's guide to Web publishing
Philip and Alex's guide to Web publishing
Greenspun, Philip.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco, CA : Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxix, 577 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
New ed. of: Database backed Web sites / Philip Greenspun. 1997.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK5105.888 .G75 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



From the author's preface:This book is a catalog of the mistakes that I've made while building more than 100 Web sites in the last five years. I wrote it in the hopes that others won't have to repeat those mistakes.For the manager in charge of a Web publication or service, this book gives you the big picture. It is designed to help you to affirmatively make the high-level decisions that determine whether a site will be manageable or unmanageable, profitable or unprofitable, popular or unpopular, reliable or unreliable. I don't expect you to be down in the trenches typing Oracle SQL queries. But you'll learn enough from this book to decide whether in fact you need a database, whom to hire as the high database priest, and whom to allow anywhere near the database.For the literate computer scientist, I hope to expose the beautiful possibilities in Web service design. I want to inspire you to believe that this is the most interesting and exciting area in which we can work.For the working Web designer or programmer, I want to arm you with a new vocabulary and mental framework for building sites. There can be more to life than making a client's bad ideas flesh with PhotoShop and Perl/CGI.For the users of the world, I document a comprehensive open-source approach to building online communities and show a collaborative Web-based way that we can dig ourselves out of our desktop application morass.

Author Notes

Philip Greenspun teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the author of five books, "mostly on horrifyingly dull technical subjects." Greenspun is the founder of ArsDigita Corporation, an open-source software company, and ArsDigita University, a tuition-free post-baccalaureate computer science program.

Greenspun was born in 1963 and raised in Bethesda, Maryland. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Alex, his Samoyed, and Pi goddess Eve Andersson, who takes care of them both.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

A technical manual that is also a lavishly illustrated coffee-table book, this is the oddest, most interesting guide on web design and publishing this reviewer has ever read. "This book is a catalog of the mistakes that I've made while building more than 100 Web sites in the last five years," writes webmaster Greenspun, who teaches at MIT. Covering web publishing and web-based services in a lively, engaging tone, he makes complex technical ideas simple and accessible to beginners and nontechies who have to manage large web sites. Drop-dead photos taken by Greenspun and available for free on his site ( illustrate the text. Greenspun also gives away almost all the software he writes about and uses, and the entire book is available on the web (http://www. Still, all libraries should seriously consider getting one or two copies of the wonderful print version. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Envisioning a Site That Won't Be Featured in
Chapter 2 So You Want to Join the World's Grubbiest Club: Internet Entrepreneurs
Chapter 3 Scalable Systems for Online Communities
Chapter 4 Static Site Development
Chapter 5 Learn to Program HTML in 21 Minutes
Chapter 6 Adding Images to Your Site
Chapter 7 Publicizing Your Site (Without Irritating Everyone on the Net)
Chapter 8 So You Want to Run Your Own Server
Chapter 9 User Tracking
Chapter 10 Sites That Are Really Programs
Chapter 11 Sites That Are Really Databases
Chapter 12 Database Management Systems
Chapter 13 Interfacing a Relational Database to the Web
Chapter 14 Ecommerce
Chapter 15 Case Studies
Chapter 16 Better Living Through Chemistry
Chapter 17 A Future So Bright You'll Need to Wear Sunglasses