Milne Open Textbooks

The Missing Link: An Introduction to Web Development and Programming


Web development is an evolving amalgamation of languages that work in concert to receive, modify, and deliver information between parties using the Internet as a mechanism of delivery. While it is easy to describe conceptually, implementation is accompanied by an overwhelming variety of languages, platforms, templates, frameworks, guidelines, and standards. Navigating a project from concept to completion often requires more than mastery of one or two complementing languages, meaning today’s developers need both breadth, and depth, of knowledge to be effective.

This text provides the developer with an understanding of the various elements of web development by focusing on the concepts and fundamentals through the examples within, providing a foundation that allows easier transition to other languages and a better understanding of how to approach their work. The reader will be introduced to topics in a manner that follows most project development methods, from initial conceptualization and design through front end development, back end development, and introducing additional concepts like accessibility and security, while focusing on responsive design techniques. Each section of the text includes opportunities to practice the material and assess increased knowledge after examining the topics.

“While most web development texts opt to delve deeply into one or two of the tools in the belt of a web programmer, the author of this text takes a broad approach to teaching web programming and development. The result is a single resource that integrates good design practices, modern technologies, and all of the programming tools that one would need to build a successful, dynamic web site.” – Robert Olsen, SUNY Fredonia


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Section 1: Web Development

Chapter 1: Brief History of the Internet

Chapter 2: Current Trends

Chapter 3: Web Servers

Chapter 4: Network Basics

Chapter 5: Website Design

Chapter 6: Development

Section 1 Assessments

Section 2: Document Markup

Chapter 7: Markup Languages

Chapter 8: Creating HTML Files

Chapter 9: Page Layout

Chapter 10: Text Layout

Chapter 11: Navigation

Chapter 12: Graphics

Chapter 13: Tables

Chapter 14: Forms

Chapter 15: Canvas

Chapter 16: Media Support

Chapter 17: Mobile Device Support

Chapter 18: Tags to Avoid

Chapter 19: Rule Structure

Chapter 20: Layout Formatting

Chapter 21: Font and Text Decoration

Chapter 22: Responsive Styling

Section 2 Assessments

Section 3: Scripting Languages

Chapter 23: Server-Side and Client-Side Scripting

Chapter 24: Creating PHP Files

Chapter 25: PHP Errors

Chapter 26: PHP Output

Chapter 27: Data Storage

Chapter 28: Data Manipulation

Chapter 29: Email

Chapter 30: File Interaction

Chapter 31: Structures

Chapter 32: Functions

Chapter 33: Objects and Classes

Chapter 34: JavaScript Syntax

Chapter 35: JavaScript Examples

Chapter 36: jQuery

Section 3 Assessments

Section 4: Persistent Data Storage

Chapter 37: Database Types

Chapter 38: Data Relationships

Chapter 39: MySQL Data Types

Chapter 40: Normalization

Chapter 41: MySQL CRUD Action

Chapter 42: Advanced Queries

Section 4 Assessments

Section 5: Tying it Together

Chapter 43: Security

Chapter 44: Integration Examples

Chapter 45: Finishing Touches

Chapter 46: Now What?

Glossary of Terms

Michael Mendez

Michael Mendez, M.S., is a professional web developer and professor with a master’s degree received after studying computer science, business, and communications at the State University of New York, University at Fredonia. Having worked in the information technology field for over 12 years, he has provided the small to medium business market and public sector agencies with services in hardware and network installation and support, web development, systems support and maintenance, and solutions design and implementation. These experiences have involved academic, media, emergency management, non-profit, business to business, and business to consumer organizations.