The Mosaic Handbook

The Mosaic Handbook for the X Window System
The Mosaic Handbook for the Macintosh

Richard Koman, Dale Dougherty + Paula Ferguson

O'Reilly & Associates 1994
A book review by Danny Yee © 1994 http://dannyreviews.com/
One of the nicest things about using Mosaic to access the World Wide Web is that it is simple enough for complete novices to manage without ever opening a book or a manual. But those who want a guide to using the more advanced features of Mosaic and the Web will welcome the latest offering from O'Reilly. The Mosaic Handbook comes in three different versions — for X Windows, for Macintoshes and for Microsoft Windows — all coupled with the latest and fanciest version of Mosaic on disk or CDROM. It is aimed at novices and assumes no computing background.

The first chapter (on the internet and internet services) goes into a little too much detail about such things as ftp sessions and the distinction between clients and servers. This will scare some readers unnecessarily (I can't see the average Macintosh user wanting to know what a Unix ftp session looks like!), but starting with chapter two things become much more user friendly, with a slow, step by step treatment of the material, complete with illustrative snapshots of Mosaic windows. Chapters two through four cover the basics — getting Mosaic up and running, the World Wide Web and non-Web resources like gophers, WAIS and News. Chapters five through seven cover extras — customization of Mosaic, using multimedia with Mosaic and creation of your own HTML documents. The final chapter has information about the W3O project and sources of information on the WWW, the appendices have some reference material, and a glossary and an index finish off the book. This covers everything ordinary Mosaic users could want, and is sensibly structured. All the material is clearly laid out and explained, and The Mosaic Handbook is up to the high standards one expects from O'Reilly.

I haven't seen the Microsoft Windows version, but I assume it is very similar, since the X and Macintosh versions are pretty much the same, with the differences concentrated in the chapters on multimedia and customization. (The X book is so much longer partly because these are more complicated with X and partly because the window snapshots take up more room). I have two minor gripes — there's no Linux binary on the CDROM, and the X Windows window snapshots are barely readable (I think some verisimilitude should have been traded for legibility) — but otherwise have no qualms at all about recommending The Mosaic Handbook.

November 1994

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%T The Mosaic Handbook for the X Window System
%Y The Mosaic Handbook
%A Dougherty, Dale
%A Koman, Richard
%A Ferguson, Paula
%I O'Reilly & Associates
%D 1994
%O paperback, glossary, index, CDROM
%G ISBN 1565920953
%P xxiii,262pp

%T The Mosaic Handbook for the Macintosh
%Y The Mosaic Handbook
%A Dougherty, Dale
%A Koman, Richard
%I O'Reilly & Associates
%D 1994
%O paperback, glossary, index, floppy disk
%G ISBN 1565920961
%P xxiii,171pp