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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide Paperback – Oct 27 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 680 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Sixth Edition edition (Oct. 27 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527327
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #353,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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HTML is a familiar FLA (four letter acronym) but what about XHTML? Is it merely a typographical error or simply XML by another name? The readable preface to this book puts us right and there is more detail in Chapter 1 which is also an interesting potted history of the web and web technologies.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is for controlling layout and specifying hypertext links for documents viewed with a browser. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) controls its standardisation. XML (Extensible Markup Language), also defined by the W3C, is a standard that allows structured data to be presented in a standard way that it can be understood by many different technologies, for example, relational database engines and web browsers. Use of XML for the exchange of data between businesses on the Internet is increasing rapidly. Now, finally, comes XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), which is HTML reformulated to bring it into line with the XML standard.

The authors try to instil good habits and style considerations, as well as an appreciation of kumquats (a recurrent theme in the examples). They revile use of the blink tag extension that causes text to oscillate between two colour states and blink, constantly, irritatingly and advocate visiting a wide range of Web sites to learn what works and what doesn't.

The comprehensive coverage of the topic is divided into chapters like Text Basics, Formatted Lists, Forms, Frames and Executable Content. HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide is a feature-driven guide to what the languages can do rather than a guide to producing a finished item, but it should help a beginner to make good progress nevertheless, and is written in an approachable style. --Mark Whitehorn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A library that circulates this book may soon find itself
charging a lost item fee, because it can become an
indispensable reference in a short period of time. -- Molly Ives Brower, Internet References Services Quarterly, Vol 6, No 1, 2001

In-depth descriptions of the behavior of every HTML tag on every major browser and platform, plus enough dry humour to make the book a pleasure to read. -- Edward Mendelson, PC Magazine, April 23, 2002

It is a readable, fast moving and a compact book. Those of us with the need for a good reference book certainly appreciate this one. -- Miguel A Sepulveda, linuxfocus.org, Jan 2001

Those of us with the need for a good reference book certainly appreciate this one. -- Miguel Sepulveda, LinuxFocus.org, April 2002

When they say "definitive" they're not kidding. Definitive is defined as "clearly defined or formulated" and that's just what this is. -- Linda Roeder, Personal Web Pages, About.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sergio Beristain on Aug. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
I have bought this book and as someone who knows already HTML I do not find it useful at all.
Eventhough it tells you if attributes are supported by certain browsers, it does not tell you which of them.
On top of that the "tips" that it gives are merely basic rules of HTML.
If you want a good reference book try: Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference or Web Design in a Nutshell. Both of them succed in describing attributes and tags: they tell you which are supported and explain them clearly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark G. Woodruff on Nov. 13 2001
Format: Paperback
I expected this to be a solid reference of HTML 4.01. What I got was an incomplete guide, ambiguous attribute descriptions, an organization that requires one to constantly look in the index to find anything, and an index that gives multiple page references with no indication on which page an element is defined. This book provides neither guidelines on how to use HTML nor a reliable reference to its linguistic characteristics. Pass it by.
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Format: Paperback
The reviews for "HTML & XHTML" by Musciano and Kennedy are already overwhelmingly positive (save a few disgruntled readers here and there). I can see why readers heap so much praise upon this book. The author's intent is to show the reader how to write clean HTML, arguing that since web surfers can always change their browsers' appearance settings, content is still more important than style. I am a rookie at making web pages, yet after tinkering with HTML for a few days, I had already found myself thumbing through the book for reference.
I am not a programmer, and I think novices could still appreciate this book. However, I *strongly* recommend that potential readers have some exposure to HTML and understand how it works before purchasing. (Check out Jennifer Niederst's excellent "Learning Web Design" if you need a tutorial on the Internet and HTML.) In any case, the book is mainly geared towards experienced programmers, but I honestly believe that anyone can get the most out of this book if they are willing to experiment with HTML continually through trial and error.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a reference book about HTML, the markup language as defined by the W3C standards. It does not teach web design. The authors often shoot down "bad habits" of HTML authors in the book, because most HTML authors attempt to use HTML to control presentation (i.e. using tables to make a layout) or to create some whiz-bang effect. HTML was never meant to control presentation, nor was it meant for people to make hacks because of deficiencies in the HTML language. People criticizing this book for a lack of web design are not understanding the point of this book.
Coverage of CSS and XHTML (the ultimate replacement of HTML) is sparse, so a 5th edition should hopefully cover more.
If you want to learn web design as is used by the industry (tables for layout, one pixel transparent gifs, Flash, etc.), you need to go to another book.
The latest browsers (NS 6.x, Opera 6.x, Konqueror, IE 6.x, etc.) are very standards-compliant. By W3C standards, presentation characteristics should be handled mostly by CSS. To learn HTML the markup language, however, this book does its job.
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By "mat_aidin" on Nov. 7 2001
Format: Paperback
This book truly is a definitive guide and anyone interested in web development should have this on hand! The authors cover every single tag along with all the related attributes, even those deprecated in the HTML 4.01 standard, and unlike several other books I've looked at, they do not restrict the topics to the purpose of these tags but also advise the reader on when and where to use them. Clarifications of browser differences help the reader be more cautious when writing HTML. Furthermore, the book offers insight on effective design, both of the web page and of the HTML code itself, which I found to be very helpful. Also included is information on CSS, character entities, history of HTML, and HTML DTD's. Something else I found interesting is the assertion that HTML is not a programming language. I applaud the authors for making that distinction- it is a widespread misconception that HTML is a programming language, but actually, it is not.
The cover may be unattractive and the reader may think that the book is dry and technical, but that's not true. The authors do take a conversational approach, occasionally adding humor and sarcasm (but not in a condescending tone like other authors!) making the book fun and easy to read.
HOWEVER-- I would NOT recommend this book to the absolute beginner. The organization is not exactly suited to the needs of a beginner; the book gives more information than is necessary before moving onto the basics (in fact, even while discussing the basics of HTML, the beginner might be confused) Instead, this book should be read by someone who may have dabbled in HTML but now wants to be a serious web designer. For someone just starting out in web design, you might take a look at something from SAMs or the popular HTML Goodies by Joe Burns. (Just make sure that you get something that is up-to-date, as HTML standards are continuously under review and subject to frequent modification.)
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a technical summary of the W3 HTML specification, this book is for you. If you are looking for a book which will teach you terrible design principles, this book is for you. If you are looking for a book to teach you HTML/CSS/Javascript/etc for practical purposes, i.e. if you want your pages to have any aesthetic value whatsoever, this book is _not_ for you.
I'm serious, folks. There is a two-page discussion of whether or not background images or background colors should be used. There are discussions of Mosaic and Netscape 2.0 compatibility. The authors admonish HTML authors to _avoid_ making their pages look good. "Don't mistake style for substance", they say, in an effort to discourage any style formatting whatsoever. Have the authors never heard of graphic design, or visual art? Communication is not the same as information. Information must be presented well in order to communicate.
To top it off, after discouraging the use of backgrounds, the authors speak about the wonderful potential background audio has for the web.
Hmmm...
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