译者：Nate Koechley 序
原版书书名：Developing Large Web Applications
The animal on the cover of Developing Large Web Applications is a Newfoundland.
Also known as a “Newf” or “Newfie,” this massive dog is 26–28 inches tall at the
shoulder and weighs 100–150 pounds. As its name implies, it originated in Newfoundland,
Canada, where it was used by fishermen to haul nets, carry boat lines to shore,
and retrieve items that fell overboard. An agile swimmer, the Newfoundland has
webbed feet and a water-resistant coat, which can be black, brown, gray, or white and
Newfoundlands are “gentle giants” known for their sweet, loyal dispositions and obedience
to their masters. They rarely bark, but are protective when necessary. They are
generally very good with children and other animals. They are well suited for apartment
dwellers, as they tend to be relatively inactive indoors; for exercise, a daily walk is
usually sufficient, though they do enjoy opportunities to play and swim. In keeping
with their heritage, Newfoundlands prefer colder climates and do not do well in hot
weather; they should never be left in the heat without water and shade. They are prone
to certain health problems, including hip and elbow dysplasia, cystinuria (a hereditary
defect indicated by calculi stones in the kidney or bladder), and subvalvular aortic
stenosis, a common heart defect that can cause sudden death at an early age. Their
average life expectancy is 10 years.
Thanks to its muscular build and swimming prowess, the breed is frequently used in
water rescues. Indeed, it seems to have an innate lifesaving ability in general: Newfoundlands
have been credited with saving shipwreck survivors (the 1863 wreck of the
Dispatch, which carried more than 100 Irish immigrants, and the 1919 wreck of the SS
Essie); navigating through blizzard conditions in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands during
World War II to provide ammunition and supplies to soldiers; and, according to legend,
keeping Napoleon Bonaparte afloat when rough seas knocked him overboard following
his escape from exile on the island of Elba in 1815. One particularly heroic story involves the Newfoundland mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada, called Sergeant Gander. During
the Battle of Lye Mun on Hong Kong Island in December 1941, the courageous dog
retrieved a grenade thrown at the battalion and carried it off, saving several lives and
sacrificing his own in the process. In 2000, nearly 60 years after his heroic act, Sgt.
Gander was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, given to animals displaying
“conspicuous gallantry” in times of war.