Years ago, one of us heard a sociology teacher say that technology advances exponentially. The professor used a snowball rolling down a hill to help us visualize the concept. The snowball starts off small, it grows quickly, and, after awhile, the snowball is, for most purposes, out of control and on an unknown course that we can't easily predict or refashion because it moves so fast and because it's so large. If it happens to roll over a few people on the way down, that's just the price we all pay. Eventually, a tree, a car, or even a change in gravity-something larger than its collective power- stops the snowball.
We gather around the now still but huge collection of snow and start grabbing pieces to compact into lots of smaller collections of the same snow. All that snow is eventually disseminated into lots of other snowballs as we continue to repeat the cycle. That's the way of technology, and most all of us have been a part of this amazing phenomenon via the Internet.
Our generation has witnessed one of the greatest growths in technology. Two decades ago, hardly anyone even knew the Internet existed. The snowball was just beginning to collect momentum. Now we are surrounded by snowballs at home, at work, and at play. Our grandmothers send e-mail, collect recipes off the Internet, and use media software to watch home movies of their grandchildren (sent via the Internet, of course). Some of you may even have a grandmother who's making her living using computers and the Internet! We even carry snowballs on our person in the guise of hand-held devices and phones that view e-mail and send instant pictures.
Sometimes growth applies a little pressure to keep up with and learn the latest technology. We seem to always want to push the envelope-to exploit the technology as far as we can and then to surpass it. Right now, developers of every ilk are finding their way onto the Internet because that's the current trend-developers are hearing a lot of "but we want it on the Internet."
It's becoming more and more difficult for the developer to stay on the cutting edge of technology. There are just too many things to know. We're wearing many caps and taking a lot of aspirin. The good news is, doors are opening, and opportunities are appearing where they never before existed. Since we can't know everything, technology is actually filling the void by creating products such as Dreamweaver MX-the technology has the expertise and does the work. Even if you have the expertise to do all the work yourself, why would you want to? There's no reason to spend hours writing script that Dreamweaver MX can produce in a matter of minutes.
Anyone with a need to create and support a data-driven website will benefit from Mastering Dreamweaver MX Databases. You may be a novice or an expert. Dreamweaver MX makes the development experience much easier for the novice and more productive for the expert. Either way, you really can't lose. This book is a broad look at an even broader subject. It isn't aimed at the novice or the expert or even one specific technology-it focuses on using Dreamweaver MX to create a data-driven website.