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Ryerson Library Publishes New "Web Design Primer" Open-Source Textbook

Press release from the issuing company

"Web Design Primer" is a new open-source eBook published by the Ryerson University Library by authors Richard Adams, Associate Professor in the School of Graphic Communications Management, and Ahmed Sagarwala, Manager of Industry Relations in the Digital Media Zone (DMZ). The book explains the basics of the HTML and CSS codes used to create web pages, and related technologies including JavaScript, jQuery, audio, video, and animation. The book is designed to accompany a one-semester course on web design.

Users can read the book online or download it in ePub and PDF versions from https://pressbooks.library.ryerson.ca/webdesign/.  Printed versions can also be ordered from the site. The eBook has been published under a Creative Commons "Share and Share Alike with Attribution" copyright license (CC BY, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). This enables other instructors to download, edit, and use the book for their classes, royalty-free, the only requirement being to credit the original authors. The eBook was written on the Library's Pressbooks publishing platform. It can be output in several formats, including online, .epub (tablets), .mobi (Amazon Kindle), .pdf, and print.

The Library points out that students like opensource eBooks for several reasons, including that the books are free, they cover material only relevant to the class, they are easy to access online and without going to a bookstore or library stacks, and they can be read on lab computers or on a tablet or laptop. Coauthor Rich Adams points out, “Students consider web design to be a fun but challenging topic, so we wanted to provide the most vital information in a succinct and easy-to-access format. Our previous textbook was about 2 in. (3 cm) thick, weighted about 2 lbs. (1 kg), and cost around $100 used. Compare this to the weight of a student’s laptop or tablet that they are already carrying to class, or to a lab computer that's already in the lab, and you can see what this means for accessibility.”

Rich Adams and Sally Wilson, Web Services Librarian at the Ryerson University Library, with the cover of "Web Design Primer." Photo by Marissa Frosst.


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