on August 4, 2002
on February 2, 2002
My critiques of this otherwise fine book are as follows:
1. It tries to cover too many topics.
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.
on January 19, 2002
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.
on June 7, 2001
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.
on May 16, 2001
This is not that book!!!!
The authors don't follow their own rules/guidelines in the examples. Also, they tell you to do things but never explain how. For example, they talk at length about writing code that will "degenerate gracefully" in different browsers but never give ANY clues as to how to do this or any examples to study. They also tell you not to do other things but don't explain how to achieve the same effect with any other technique. For example, they strongly state that tables and frames should NOT be used to structure the layout of the page but they never explain any other way to visually organize your content ACROSS the page.
The book is also filled with typo's, missing words, and code examples that don't work. They have a website for posting corrections; it currently has just three! After submitting one correction to them, I began keeping a list; planning on submitting one giant list when I was finished. By the fourth chapter, I had given up. The list was too long.
If you are brand new to computers, this book gives a gentle, if somewhat vague, introduction to HTML and site design concepts in the first half. There are much better books out there for beginners! Try the "dummies" book or the "quickstart guide" by PeachPit if you want a gentle but through introduction.
If you are looking for a book that can serve as a reference for HTML/XHTML, this entire book is a waste of paper; even the index is next to useless. I finally purchased "XHTML in Plain English". That book is a comprehensive, alphabetical reference on both XHTML and CSS, with tutorials on both in the back. If you already know what <html> <head> <title> <body> and <table> mean, I would recommend that book.
I will think long and hard before purchasing another Wrox book.
on October 24, 2000
Although the title indicates this book is for beginners, there is material of worth for advanced web authors within this volume. Notably, considerable attention is given to XForms and FML (Forms Markup Language). Xforms and FML effectively update the w3c standard for HTML Forms, which has not been ammended since the release of HTML 2.0 in 1994. Xforms and FML enable XHTML authors to build dynamic XHTML applications and allows for modularization of an XHTML documnet, thus a single document has the ability to contain several pages, or cards.
on August 26, 2000
This is a good book for learning XHTML. It is not as "programmer-ish" as the other two major contenders (XHTML: Moving toward XML and XHTML Language and Design Sourcebook). Containing both very good examples (yes, there are some mistakes name me a computer book that has none) and some of the best descriptions and graphics of difficult topics I have seen to date, this book illustrates a difficult (relative to HTML) topic well.
I have read through it twice now and paid particular attention to not just the text but the flow as well and must say it is well designed. Yes, I see the incontinuity here and there though I do not believe this is a major issue as it makes its points quite well.
It has excellent coverage of the media tag and also how the whole parsing process is done. As a person who has helped to write courseware for some pretty major companies I understand the challenges in covering a topic like this. It is bound to have some issues here and there as they are basically attacking a moving target. Yes, there is a specification put out by the W3C, but that does not make the topic stand still. If I were to pick one book to begin teaching someone XHTML this would be it. Then I would move on into others, like maybe reading the spec from the W3C itself.
The only caveat I have on recommendation is that this technology is NOT for beginners. One needs a grounding in HTML 4.1 before starting on this book. Go through a book on that first. A good one is the one by Peachpit Press "The Visual Quickstart Guide to HTML 4". Great stuff. You don't need to be an expert to go on to this book, but it would help to have some vocabulary and basic ideas down before reading this book.
Have fun with it and welcome to a new age of web design!
on June 18, 2000
...but I want to make a point to Wrox Press. While the book is a valuable resource in terms of offering a fairly comprehensive overview as is commonly the case with the Beginning... series, there are two cases in which there is a glaring lack of professionalism. The most egregious of these is the chapter on FML. One of the authors has a company that produces a software tool that (ostensibly) allows you to make quick work of FML. This author wrote the chapter on FML. Surprise - the entire chapter is about how to use his company's software product. Furthermore, at the beginning of the book there is a passage that is essentially an indictment of Microsoft for alleged anticompetitive practices. I am not used to seeing such abominations as these in titles from Wrox Press; say what you will about Microsoft, the author's software, etc., the point is that none of it has anything to do with the subject at hand, on which Wrox Press typically focuses like a laser. The editors really dropped the ball in a couple place on this one - there were two authors who sorely needed to be kept in check.
on June 6, 2000
My one complaint is that the publisher must have been rushed to get the book to press. It is team written and different chapters are written in different styles and don't relate easily to what is written in other chapters. It is much too verbose. The book could be about 2/3 the size without losing anything, but gaining some clarity.
The book is written at an intermediate/advanced level (I started using it in my advanced web pages class with great results). As a result, the reader should have a good grasp on HTML and how the web works before approaching this volume. For those individuals, it is an excellent reference.
on August 6, 2000
I am a complete newcomer to HTML, and I am very disappointed in this book. The book starts off pretty well, and really captivated me, but then in their own examples, the authors start violating the principles they set forth. For instance, in the chapter on tables, the authors state that the thead, tfoot, and tbody elements have to appear in that order, but then in subsequent examples the authors employ those elements in a different order, and my browser (IE5) didn't seem to mind. When you couple this problem with the numerous typographical errors and poor editing overall, the book becomes confusing as to what is proper form for XHTML, and becomes an ineffective guide. The different sections of the book are obviously written by different people as they do not fit together very well, sometimes repeating things in previous sections, or not illustrating the relevance of the point at hand. I intend to buy another XHTML book and start over.