Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animal on the cover of Practical RDF is a secretary bird. It is a bird of prey and is related to the hawk. It is so named because the crest of feathers located at the back of its head are thought to resemble quill pens, which were carried by male secretaries in the 19th century. It stands between 3 and 4 feet tall, and has mostly gray feathers, except for its wing tips and legs, which are black, and its face, which has orange and yellow markings.

Although it can fly quite well, the secretary bird tends to spend most of its time on the ground. It lives off a diet of snakes, insects, and any small animal that might be easily swallowed. The bird usually kills its prey by beating it with its feet, using its long wings to protect itself from counterattacks. These birds tend to choose one mate for life, and also remain loyal to their nest site. Instead of leaving, they add to the nest each year; nests can grow up to eight feet long. The secretary bird lays two to three eggs at a time, of which the incubation is about 45 days. The baby birds leave home at around eight weeks.

Mary Brady was the production editor and proofreader for Practical RDF. Norma Emory was the copyeditor . Claire Cloutier and Sarah Sherman provided quality control. Jamie Peppard, Derek Di Matteo, and Judy Hoer provided production support. Angela Howard wrote the index.

Ellie Volckhausen designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font. David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted by Andrew Savikas with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing. This colophon was written by Mary Brady.

The online edition of this book was created by the Safari production group (John Chodacki, Becki Maisch, and Madeleine Newell) using a set of Frame-to-XML conversion and cleanup tools written and maintained by Erik Ray, Benn Salter, John Chodacki, and Jeff Liggett.