The Internet Graphics Toolkit, Steve Rimmer

Now that you’ve paid for your own domain name, and invested the thousands of dollars into your Web server, you decide that it is time to put your company’s web page into place. Rather than jump immediately onto the bandwagon, and put up one of those incredibly annoying “Under Construction” pages, you decided to make sure everything was nice and clean before you went public. But after spending hours and hours writing the text and scanning in your product line, you find that something’s just not right. Maybe it’s the extreme graininess of the photo that you are using for your one-of-a-kind product. Or maybe you wanted that logo of yours to look like it is floating on the page, yet you can’t get rid of the ugly white box that is around it. You need help. Luckily, there’s plenty of help to go around, and one of the best for Web graphics is Steve Rimmer’s The Internet Graphics Toolkit.

Rimmer’s tools for manipulating graphics (such as Graphic Workshop) can be found on many places on the Web, including his own site. If all you need is the tool, the book is only so much packaging around the CD-ROM. But if you are interested in the why behind Internet graphics, or the history of computer graphic formats, Rimmer’s book is a nice and concise course. Without getting too technical, Rimmer is able to dissect the multitude of graphics problems and questions that most beginners have, and lead them on a path to better web-making. Intermediate to advanced users will likely find this information either trivial or not useful, although I find a book like this to be handy when dealing with Webmaster neophytes.

The speed at which the Internet has been evolving likely makes this review obselete even before it’s written, as new web servers and make-up programs hit the scene with even more power than Graphic Workshop. However, as an introduction to the increasingly complex graphical nature of the Web, Rimmer’s Toolkit is a basic screwdriver and hammer that can be used to build simple to complex sites, depending only on your experience.

[Finished 1 April 1996]

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