Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook

Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor with an intuitive user interface that has enough depth to make quality graphic designs with an attractive layout comparable to what you would make using Illustrator or CorelDraw. But choosing the right tool and the best approach to creating the desired effect can be challenging. Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook makes it super-easy for you to make your own vector-based graphics with the powerful Inkscape editor.

Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator’s Cookbook provides you with the latest recipes to quickly create scalable vector graphics. Recipes in this book teach you about some of the most useful time-saving features in Inkscape accompanied by a list of keyboard shortcuts that you can easily memorize. In addition to covering use of Inkscape tools and their advanced features, examples from the recipes uncover solutions to common graphics problems.

The book starts off with familiarizing you with the tools and techniques in Inkscape that you can use to draw 2D shapes, calligraphic shapes, and 3D boxes easily. It then guides you through the most common color-changing steps performed in Inkscape along with some convenient procedures that can save your time when dealing with colors. It explains drawing using linear and radial gradients, which are irreplaceable, usage of clones to create interesting effects in illustrations, and live-path effects that can help you speed up constructing a shape and make the process more natural. You will learn how to make those tweaks on some of the ready-made filters, and in the final recipe we will create a filter from scratch. This practical book also contains recipes showing how to use Inkscape as a raster editor and how to achieve photo-realistic effects in Inkscape. For each important technique and skill, you’ll see some simple recipes, then some more advanced recipes followed by an explanation of how Inkscape works to produce the desired effects in your illustrations.

By the end of this book you will be confident enough to create your own vector-based graphics with Inkscape.

Get solutions to common graphic problems to achieve photo-realistic effects with Inkscape

What you will learn from this book :

  • Introduce you to the fascinating world of two-dimensional, calligraphic, and three-dimensional objects, using the Inkscape’s powerful tools
  • Assist you in adjusting color using hue, brightness, saturation, and stroke width, until you find the perfect look and feel
  • Guide you in recreating iconic images from cult movies, with the help of gradient colors and complex vector shapes
  • Leverage Inkscape 0.48’s advanced path editing tools and techniques, producing great looking text and beautiful drawings
  • Help you produce professional looking posters, calendars, and wallpapers, packaging them so you can print or share them on the Internet
  • Illustrate the spectacular, and often surprising, effects of the many extensions and image filters found in version 0.48
  • Teach you to develop a standards-compliant and gorgeous looking Web 2.0 site layout, complete with widgets and buttons
  • Help you design and build your very own HTML5 and AJAX powered web games, presentations, and business applications, using JQuery powered SVG animation
  • Aid you in extending Inkscape by writing your own plugins in the Python programming language

For more information, visit www.packtpub.com/inkscape-048-illustrators-cookbook/book

Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook review

The Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook is one of Packt Publishing’s cookbook series meaning that it contains recipes. This book contains over 80 different recipes to use extensions to add maps, image galleries, slideshows, audio  and video players, security, forums, shopping cart, guestbook and other functionalities to your site.  Each recipe is a articles with an idea and how to work it out (step by step), just like a regular cookbook.

Joomla! is an open-source award-winning PHP/MySQL based content management system (CMS). Since its available under the GPL license it`s free to download, modify and use it for your website.

This book is written for Joomla! 1.5 users without programming or webdesign knowledge. Basic knowledge of setting it up is recommended.

For basic Joomla! Knowledge I can recommend Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook which I reviewed earlier: Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook review.

Most of the content of this book is also valid for Joomla! 1.6, although not all extensions will work fine. The same counts for users of PHP 5.3.

Continue reading “Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook review”

Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook

This month im going to review another book; Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook by Packt Publishing. The review will be published on  this site, like always.

The Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook is one of Packt Publishing’s cookbook series meaning that it contains recipes. This book contains over 80 different recipes to use extensions to add maps, image galleries, slideshows, audio  and video players, security, forums, shopping cart, guestbook and other functionalities to your site.  Each recipe is a small articles/paragraphs with an idea and how to work it out, just like a regular cookbook.

What you will learn from this book :

  • Implement access control list by creating groups and assigning permissions to groups
  • Create backups that can be restored on any other Joomla! site and relocate a site to another server without any hassle.
  • Add an Ajax contact form with custom fields using AiContactSafe extension and add Ajax search to Joomla! site using PixSearch extension.
  • Import hundreds of users from a CSV file enabling them to log in without registering themselves using UserPort extension
  • Integrate phpBB with Joomla! so that users from phpBB can access Joomla! and vice versa without further registration and by a single login using JFusion extension
  • Send tweets automatically upon publishing articles in Joomla!
  • Add project management functionalities to your Joomla!-based sites and get notified about new contents from time to time (for subscribers)
  • Add attachment to an article in a much easier way using Attachment plugin
  • Build a document repository for Joomla! using DOCMan extension for sharing files through your site or if you want to provide downloads
  • Add a Google Map in content articles to find your place.using Google Maps plugin
  • Display PDF documents inside Joomla! content items using Embed PDF plugin
  • Watch your visitors in real-time using JoomlaWatch extension
  • Improve banner ads on your site and add classified ads to Joomla! Site
  • Use Google Adsense with Joomla! contents
  • Preview the page on which you just altered the contents instead of preview button taking you to home page by default

For more information I recommend that you visit the official book page at www.packtpub.com/joomla-1-5-top-extensions-cookbook/book

WordPress 2.8 Themes Cookbook review

When you look for a WordPress theme design books, there isn’t much choice. I looked at the country’s best book store and found nine books when I search for “WordPress themes”. Five of them are published by Packt Publishing. Some of these books only feature a chapter about WordPress theme design or studies, only some are actually interesting.

Packt Publishing offered me  the chance to review “WordPress 2.8 Themes Cookbook”. And that’s what you’re reading right now!

A little about me:
I am Ramon “Ramoonus” van Belzen. A 22 year old webdesigner (HTML, CSS, microformats, Javascript, AJAX, jQuery, PHP/MySQL) and hobby programmer (Visual Basic) with over 10 different WordPress installations online. I`ve been creating webpages since 1997.

The WordPress 2.8 themes design cookbook is one of Packt Publishings cookbook series meaning it contains loads of recipes. Each recipe is a small articles/paragraphs with an idea and how to work it out. Just like a regular cookbook. I haven’t got compression material to compare the book with others of the same topic.

The book is called “WordPress 2.8 themes design cookbook”, which means it’s all about WordPress 2.9 theme designing. After reading the book you should be able to create and modify WordPress themes.

I bet you’re wondering if it’s outdated already since the release of WordPress 3.0? No it’s not. The book is actually until WordPress 2.9 and it should remain usable for the next several point releases. It contains the use of all implemented theme design features in WordPress 2.8.
For the book you will need to have prior knowledge of WordPress (how to use it) and experience with HTML, CSS and basic PHP knowledge. The PHP knowledge isn’t required but trustsme, it’s useful when it comes to debugging typos. Experience with Javascript and frameworks like jQuery is handy but not required. There is no knowledge of WordPress theme design needed.

The first chapter takes you through the basics of WordPress themes and mentions how to use some basic strings you’ll need in every template. It also describes how to make your first theme style.css, how to make a child template and how WordPress template files are organised.

The second chapter helps you create a navigation menu in several ways (horizontally and vertically) and tells you how to implement a search area in your template.

Chapter three explains “the loop”. The loop is the part where a page or post(s) show up. There are multiple ways of displaying the page content for category or tag archives and the homepage. It’s also possible to style sticky pages differently. Finally the chapter explains how to implement advertisement between posts.

The next chapter explains how to implement template tags like an edit button, previous/next link, using an excerpt and such. One of the most handy things is probably a search highlighters. No more use of third party plugins which break down too often!

The fifth chapter explains how to implement WordPress commenting features in your template.

Chapter six is also an important one (isn’t every chapter?!) since it explains how to work with sidebars. Sidebars can contains widgets by default or manually. The chapter also explains how to use multiple sidebars and pre-install widgets.

Chapter seven explains how to use custom page templates like a photo album or archive page.

The following chapter (eight)  explains how to use CSS and PHP to style images in the theme. It ends with implementing video`s in pages and posts.

Next chapter guides you through author pages and adding custom user fields (like a Twitter field). Creating a custom author page gives the author its own short page about himself.

Chapter ten is one of those you’ll probably need when your theme is nearly finished. Its about adding JavaScript effects to the theme. It also guides you through a simple installation of already in WordPress implemented JavaScript libraries like prototype, scriptalulous and jQuery (UI). This is followed by a JavaScript post slider (skinable), toggle-able widgets and a font-size toggle. Handy functions for every theme!

Template eleven is called Advanced WordPress Themes. It explains how to use a theme options page, use multiple color schemes, create a default theme avatar, how-to localize the theme, implementing your own shortcodes and information on publishing the theme to wordpress.org

The final chapter (twelve) contains more advanced features like a rotating header image, centring the main content, making draggable items, creating a tabbed navigation and adding a global toolbar to the theme.

I’m glad I got this book. After reading this book (in just a couple of hours – which is good) I can say to people I can design, create and modify WordPress themes.
The images included really show you what’s the point of what you’ve done and are a good addition to the text.
If you’re looking for a book about WordPress theme design to get started with modifying and/or creating themes, this is the one you should consider buying.

The book should be available at all good book stores right now. You can also order it online (on paper or as E-Books) at https://www.packtpub.com/wordpress-2-8-themes-cookbook/book. This is also the link for more information. A sample chapter (chapter 3 – the loop) can be found at https://www.packtpub.com/sites/default/files/8440-chapter-3-the-loop.pdf

Review by Ramon “Ramoonus” van Belzen

Written by Lee Jordan & Nick Ohrn

Book published in July 2010, by Packt Publishing (Open Source). 296 pages. Paperback

ISBN13: 9781847198440