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DHTML and CSS for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) Paperback – May 30 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 2 edition (May 30 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201730847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201730845
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 943 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,130,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

An easy-to-read visual guide, DHTML and CSS for the World Wide Web presents two key Web standards, Dynamic HTML and Cascading Style Sheets. DHTML is a catch-all term for a set of browser technologies, including the Document Object Model and the ability to control it with JavaScript. CSS is a specification for formatting pages by defining and applying named styles. Microsoft and Netscape began to implement these standards in their version 4.0 browsers, but with huge variations that frustrate web designers.

This title is divided into four parts. The first two offer an overview and tutorial for CSS and DHTML in turn. Part 3 is a short guide to two popular tools, Adobe GoLive and Macromedia Dreamweaver. The fourth section puts it all together, with coverage of menus and controls, special effects, multimedia, and general guidance on effective web design. There are several appendices, including a skimpy reference.

The author takes a pragmatic approach, explaining how to build pages that work in both Navigator and Internet Explorer, and including brief coverage of browser-specific features. There is some coverage of Netscape 6.0, with its much-improved DHTML support. Although the author has a brief look at web design tools, the main focus is on the code itself. This is not an in-depth guide, and other titles such as Eric Meyer's Cascading Style Sheets 2.0 have more detail. The advantage of this title is its friendly style, plentiful tips, and clear step-by-step examples, making it a good starting point for those wanting to move on from basic HTML. --Tim Anderson

From the Back Cover

Add dynamic interactivity to your Web site with DHTML and Cascading Style Sheets!

  • Targeted to designers and content creators, not just programmers.
  • Visual, task-based format the ideal way to get up and running with DHTML.

This revised and expanded second edition is up-to-date on the current Web standards and browsers, and includes all new coverage of using DHTML to get information about the browser environment and adding multimedia to a site, as well as new basic and advanced dynamic techniques, such as making objects appear and disappear, moving objects in 3D, and adding dynamic content. This edition offers full cross-platform and cross-browser coverage. This book does not focus on the more complex aspects of DHTML, but focuses on practical examples of what really works with DHTML and CSS, making it useful for beginners just starting out with DHTML, as well as professional developers looking for a quick reference.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is required reading for anyone who wants the title of web design guru.
It is required that you have a working knowledge of HTML and Javascript prior to reading this book, as it is designed around the much more advanced topic of CSS/DHTML. People with little knowledge of Javascript should get a Javascript tutorial (I recommend SAM's teach yourself...) first.
Mr. Cranford-Teague has taken the trouble to explain both the documented use and the real-world implementation of CSS. He has taken away much of the testing that is often required when designing against the CSS2 specification. (He makes mistakes so you don't have to!) His quick reference appendix of what-style-elements-work-where should be the most heavily thumbed pages of any book in your HTML design library.
The book is a quick, delightful read with clear, textbook-class examples of every aspect of every CSS specification out there, along with a perfect cross-browser Javascript model that should be the industry standard.
The book is small, and cheap enough to keep up with the latest browser platforms. I own all three versions, and so do all my associate developers!
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Format: Paperback
Teague is thorough in his coverage of CSS, but there's nothing here that Castro's HTML book doesn't cover better, and the CSS appendix doesn't reference the relevant pages so it's harder to use. Teague appears to favor a hard-coded positioning approach over a more semantic style to achieve the same layout, so it's already behind the prevailing trend in design.
The DHTML section is short on foundations and uses object-oriented code without explaining how or why that aspect works. It embodies the worst of the Visual Quickstart Guide format: cursory descriptions (at best) for the first appearance of a bit of code, then it glosses over every subsequent use with not even a reminder. Thus it's not a good choice for someone new to Javascript or programming, and those who are familiar with Javascript and web design would probably choose another method over the bloated, API-style programming in this book.
If you're mostly interested in using Javascript's styles object in concert with CSS, this is a poor choice. Peachpit's Javascript book is easier to use and more in tune with web standards.
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Format: Paperback
I think the previous reviews all refer to the 2nd edition. The third edition out in 2004 has a great deal more focus on DHTML navigation and Mozilla-only code.
The navigation scripts he provides shows his complete grasp of both CSS and javascript. Unlike the examples in sites like and which are written by javascript gurus, JCT's scripts are hybrid models of both advanced CSS and javascript. The code and mark-up combination are so tightly written, it is absolutely necessary that every web developer gets this book. You won't find code like this anywhere else on the web!
Also, JCT provides excellent examples of code that shows the new directions taken by the Mozilla development team. He reveals a way of making rounded corners using only a few lines of CSS, and no graphics.
My one caveat is that the editors of JCT's 3rd edition did a piss-poor job of copy-checking. On the second chapter, one of the paragraphs in the tips section is duplicated word-for-word. And on page 105, the example is missing a period, thereby making it completely useless unless you spot the mistake. These are only the ones I spotted as I flipped through the book -- I am certain there are many more errors. Buyer beware!
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Format: Paperback
I always buy more than two books for each subject I want to learn. If I can't dig something out of one book, I can try the other(s). Well, it was finally time for me to really learn CSS, so I went to the bookstore and picked up a couple of books on the subject.
The next night I went to a different bookstore to find some ASP manuals. While there, I noticed another book on CSS so I added it to my ASP pile.
When I got home and started reading DHTML and CSS by Mr. Teague, I found it was not only easy to understand, it was delightful to read. It was better than having a friendly person sitting next to me in a hands-on session. This is the first computer manual that I can say this about, and I have a small library.
As it turns out, by accident I bought two copies of the book - I was rushing the second time because the store was closing. I've decided to keep one copy downstairs handy in my computer room and the other upstairs by my bed to browse before sleep.
If you have a chance, pick the book up and look inside. It's so easy to use it's actually fun. You need to know HTML and be familiar with JavaScript, which the author alerts you about. I'm looking forward to getting this book grubby.
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Format: Paperback
I have a background in HTML but I know nothing of Javascripting or DHTML. In CSS, I really enjoyed the author's insights into the W3C standards, Microsoft, Netscape, and it was well rounded. There were good tips in the extra blocks and the CSS examples were understandable, and easy to follow. The syntax was somewhat off, which should never be acceptable for a programming book, but it wasn't very difficult to get past in CSS because the syntax rules are stable for the most part. Also, the author boasts of how much money they've saved us by not including a CD and instead including a support website, and a contact address by which he can answer our questions. I submitted a question 2 weeks ago and I have yet to receive a response.
Once I got past the CSS section of this book, the author's definitions and explanations became cryptic and the tips consist of heavy criticism of Netscape and Microsoft. The website is a good start to supporting a book with syntax errors that doesn't indicate when it is referring to literals or when there is a space in something, or not. Personally, I would have preferred the CD.
This book is very good for CSS. However, it is not worth the price if more than half the book is not easily understandable to the person reading it with no previous experience in the language and its a waste of valuable time trying to understand it.
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