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Design Bookshelf Editor takes a look at the three top Movable Type books...

movable type

The World Wide Web is a dynamic medium, and in today's world being the webmaster of a site isn't enough if you plan on a deep content web site. The very nature of building pages, linking directories and offering some degree of user interactivity demands some form of automation. Movable Type from Six Apart has been called the most advanced publishing application ever brought to the web. You do want to look into it for your publishing needs, but if you do -- you will need help. Unless you're a PHP/SQL/CSS guru, much of Movable Type will be very foreign to you. The documentation provided by Six Apart is sufficient, however if you add these books, you'll be on top of things for sure.

The first two of these books deal with the Movable Type world, and the third takes you into the uncharted territory of hacking, modifying and appending Movable Type. So you'll want to start with this one:

Teach Yourself Movable Type in 24 Hours

by Molly Holzschlag and Porter Glendinning Holzschlag

Of course, I love anything Molly Holzschlag does. I've gobbled up about all of her other books like Zen of CSS Design, Spring into CSS, and Cascading Style Sheets: The Designer's Edge. What ever Molly writes about, you'll learn it. So, it's true in her 24 well-paced chapters where you'll learn how to install, personalize, and configure Movable Type into an indispensable content management tool. I've never been much of a "learn in 24 hours" kinda' guy, but this is different. Molly features hands-on tutorials for finding Web hosting services, adjusting publishing preferences, customizing page templates, setting up multiple author accounts and extending the program with plug-ins and custom features, the authors show readers how to use everything from the most basic fundamentals of Movable Type to its most powerful features.

Teach Yourself Movable Type in 24 Hours - Paperback: 576 pages; Publisher: Sams; 1st edition -- List Price: $29.99; Price: $19.79; You Save: $10.20 (34%)

Next, you'll want to dive into...

Movable Type 3.0 Bible

by Rogers Cadenhead

best choice Once you've gotten your feet wet, and you're discovering how deep Movable Type really is, you'll need The Bible. As with all the Bible series books, Wiley makes a point to produce the most in-depth coverage of the subject. This becomes your operations manual -- exploring Movable Type's template-driven publishing system to developing your own plug-ins, here's what you need to know to create and maintain sites as adaptable as the Web itself.
Inside, you'll find what you need to know about Movable Type

While I haven't even scratched the surface with this one -- I'm seriously hoping they'll bring out an update because Movable Type has already moved on to a new version. The Bible covers all the foundations, and for new features the Six Apart updates should put you in cruise control.

Movable Type 3.0 Bible - Paperback: 432 pages; Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Desk edition List Price: $24.99 Price: $16.49 You Save: $8.50 (34%)

Hacking Movable Type

by Jay Allen, Brad Choatebest choice

Ready to push Movable Type to the max? This book leads the way. While I've been a bit reluctant to 'hack' into Movable Type so far, this book has given me insights into the program and the environment that the others haven't touched. When you push, poke, stretch, and otherwise coax it into producing even more, the possibilities for your Web content are simply superlative. Roll up your sleeves and get moving-here's the first book to tell you how.
Discover how to do all this and more

Hacking Movable Type (ExtremeTech) Paperback: 313 pages; Publisher: Wiley; List Price: $29.99; Price: $19.79; You Save: $10.20 (34%)

When all else fails...

Read the book! Six Apart has provided a fairly extensive instruction manual, however it's all web based and there are no downloadable PDF files. So you're chained to the web -- and your printer -- to utilize the manual. If the above books don't do it, you'll find the full Movable Type manual at

Thanks for reading
Fred Showker


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