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Beginning XHTML [Paperback]

Frank Boumphrey , Dave Raggett , Ted Wugofski
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 2000 Programmer to Programmer
XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language) 1.0 superseded HTML 4.01 in January 2000 as the next generation W3C standard for marking up web pages. XHTML offers the functionality and widespread acceptance of HTML with the extensibility and the new audience that XML offers. No longer will multiple versions of the same page be needed for varying user agents - one XHTML page will suffice.

Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

The Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) is the next-generation base markup language for the Web. XHTML moves the now standard HTML to a valid XML syntax to fill the current compatibility gap between HTML browsers and XML parsers. Beginning XHTML introduces the reader to XHTML, but goes well beyond the relatively minor language differences to provide a well-rounded tutorial on Web markup.

This book easily meets the authors' goal as a "hands-on practical approach to learning how to build Web pages." Although the text begins with a straightforward explanation of why XHTML exists and its differences from HTML, most of its content explores particular markup topics such as frames, multimedia, style sheets, and scripting. Readers who follow the numerous examples closely will soon find themselves implementing the syntactical rules of XHTML, even if they are used to regular HTML code.

Plenty of tips and detailed explanations of important concepts distinguish this book from many of the other HTML books on the market. For example, the authors take the time to explain some of the subtleties of image size optimization like running solid colors horizontally in GIF files to maximize compression. Another quite useful example shows how to use JavaScript to pass data between separate pages in a frameset.

Tons of highlighted code snippets and screen shots illustrate the material, and the detailed blow-by-blow commentary gives the book a nice flow. If you're looking for an HTML tutorial, forget it and pick up this forward-looking XHTML title. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered: XHTML history, linking, image formats and optimization, tables, frames, meta-data, style sheets, XML, site structure, page design concepts, XHTML-supported media types, multimedia integration, XHTML forms, JavaScript, Document Object Models (DOMs), Mozquito Factory, and FML.

From the Publisher

Online discussion of the topics in this book available at Wrox's P2P site.

This book is for anyone wanting to mark up web pages and use scripting to enhance the quality of their pages. It will be useful for those who wish to enter the world of web development with an advantage over existing developers, for those who are already developing pages and wish to stay current with the latest technological changes, and for those who want to access new markets and reduce their workload.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners Aug. 4 2002
Format:Paperback
I am well versed in writing HTML and limited JavaScript, however I have learned all I know through disecting the pages of others. I wanted a book that would give me a more-or-less formal education on correct standards, etc.. for writing XHTML and at the same time introduce me to attributes I wasn't familiar with. This is the book I wanted. It is perfect for anyone wanting to learn XHTML but has no experience with it. It is also perfect for someone wanting to brush up to current standards, or someone looking for a basic reference manual (although I use a Black Book for that). The XHTML examples are throughly explained and easy to follow. The book also includes a full explanation of what XHTML is and why it was developed. The last few chapters deal with a brief, and very fast-paced intro to JavaScript. I think beginners would have a hard time following this part, but it a good jumping point for someone planning to learn JS in the future. If I included the JavaScript chapters in my review I would probably give the book 4 stars. But, as it is an XHTML book, and the JS composes a strong majority of the text, I haven't included it in the rating. If you don't understant the JavaScript, or have no intention of learning it, then don't read that part. The book is well worth the price regardless. As far as the previous one star reviews, I can only attribute this to narrow-mindedness and impatience on the on the part of the reviewers. Take your time, do all the examples, don't skip any paragraphs, and this is the perfect book for beginners.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Learning "Forward Compatibility" Feb. 2 2002
Format:Paperback
It is not for utter beginners. You need to know something about HTML and the Web before reading this book. That being said, it does a wonderful job of explaining XHTML, introducing XML and explaining where XHTML came from, and describing CSS. It also throws in a basic introduction to JavaScript and has a chapter on Mozquito, a program for producing XHTML Forms right now. The appendices are not reiterations of the book and are invaluable. For myself, the best appendix is the one on the XHTML DTDs. They clearly explain which element is supported by which DTD -- something which is not easy to find on the Web.
My critiques of this otherwise fine book are as follows:
1. It tries to cover too many topics.
For instance, the basic introduction to JavaScript was unnecessary, especially in light of the fact that Wrox publishes an excellent tutorial on the subject entitled Beginning JavaScript. The chapter on Mozquito is completely irrelevant to a person trying to learn XHTML. It's like trying to stick a chapter on Dreamweaver into an HTML book: it just doesn't belong.
2. It lacks an appendix on the XHTML character entities.
It's not a tragedy, but it is annoying since the character entities are just as much a part of XHTML as its elements and attributes are.
Despite these criticisms, I highly recommend this book, especially to anyone interested in making their Web sites "forward compatible." Fortunately, the book can work both as a reference and a tutorial on XHTML.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Intro to XHTML Jan. 19 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is absolutely wonderful when it comes to introducing XHTML to a web-developer or design student who is already familiar with HTML. It does contain several bugs and on ocassion its examples contradict what's been written in the text of the book. I wouldn't recommend it to the people who're just learning standard HTML.
To those beginners who've trashed a book on a fairly advanced web-design topic, get a book on basic HTML and actually learn it before you decide to learn something which assumes fairly fluent knowledge of HTML syntax, document structure, standards, and CSS.
A tutorial on webmonkey.com may be all you need to create simple HTML documents, but it doesn't cut it as far as being able to go on to more advanced topics and actually know when something may or may not be right in a book. Books aren't there to be the holy grail of <Insert Topic> they're there to give you a concsise, convenient introduction to whatever topic said book happens to cover.

For the rest of you, that know HTML, some CSS, and maybe a little java script and are wanting to move on to XHTML, buy this book. You may also want a companion text on XML. I recommend Elliotte Rusty Harold's XML: Extensible Markup Language. O'Rielly has some very good texts on CSS and JavaScript, which you'll probably want to check into after reading this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This book has mistakes! June 7 2001
Format:Paperback
I am trying a review for the first time. I totally agree with the review titled "Big disappointment!" by Kathy Carrington. I am disappointed too. I started out reading the book with the happy feeling that I would learn how to make XHTML web pages the right way. With each chapter I read, I found more and more mistakes. These mistakes may not seem like a big deal to someone who knows a lot about making web pages, but to me, the mistakes are a big deal. I am just learning and even an extra blank space where it souldn't be is bad.
I submitted mistakes I found but nothing ever showed up at the wrox website.
I also agree with the review "Too many mistakes" august 6,2000 by a reader from Chicago, IL USA. I also found that problem in the chapter on tables where the tfoot and tbody elements are in the wrong order in the examples.
I am still going to finish the book and would still possibly buy more books from wrox. I am still able to learn some things from reading this book. It just takes longer because I have to figure out what is wrong when I run across a mistake. I guess some of the people who helped write the book are also working for the W3c so they know a lot about how XHTML works.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent beginning
This is an excellent first text. I hadn't used HTML before, although I understood the principle of <tag>ing. Read more
Published on June 5 2002 by Jonathan Gold
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite XHTML coding reference
I am in my second college term learning web development. This recent purchase has become my best friend, my 'go-to' reference. Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2002 by David Hilt
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
This book is great!!!! Great, great, great! I had never programmed HTML or XHTML by hand prior to this. I was able to create websites and be proud fo them!!! Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2001 by My Store
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
This book is great!!!! Great, great, great! I had never programmed HTML or XHTML by hand prior to this. I was able to create websites and be proud fo them!!! [... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2001 by My Store
4.0 out of 5 stars Good review of HTML and good intro to XHTML
I don't think an introduction to XHTML has to assume the reader knows nothing about HTML. I enjoyed this book, although a lot of it was review (I've been using HTML for several... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2001 by Carl E. Olsen
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked the version of the book I read
Reading the previous reviews I wondered if everyone read a different book. I liked the one I read. I know HTML and a fair bit of XML and its related recommendations. Read more
Published on May 30 2001 by Mark Kelly
1.0 out of 5 stars Big disappointment!
When I started reading this book, I knew very little HTML... just what is presented in webmonkey.com's first few tutorials. Read more
Published on May 16 2001 by Kathy Carrington
4.0 out of 5 stars Good source of information for those who need it
I know it sounds like a cliche it might even be one. What I really want to say is save your money if you're already familiar with HTML the concepts are about the same and even... Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2001 by YB
5.0 out of 5 stars XHTML and Advanced Markup
Although the title indicates this book is for beginners, there is material of worth for advanced web authors within this volume. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2000
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