HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide Paperback – Oct 17 2006
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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.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
I've been doing web design for three or four years now and I still managed to find quite a few new "tricks" in several chapters that I hadn't known about before. While the book may not be for total HTML novices, anyone with some HTML knowledge will learn quite a bit here. I certainly have.
This book is excellent, especially if you're looking for an in-depth HTML reference 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.
Lighter on examples to make room for intelligent discussion of web design, the book has already set me straight on some of the many "bad" habits I have picked up, and proved a painless and rapid transition to XHTML. Much of the focus is on understanding why it's good design to do something a certain way, and the reader is alerted to soon-to-be-deprecated tags and attributes, as well as good discussion of the newer ways of doing things.
I honestly believe that if you have never used HTML before, with this book and the ability to search the web for its many tutorials on HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, etc., a newbie could rapidly begin designing web pages effectively. Although there is a clearly logical progression through the book, each chapter stands on its own, such that it is quite possible to jump straight to one of the last subjects in the book and begin targeting the area of your choice.
Some Good Qualities: 1.)It really is a pretty comprehensive REFERENCE SOURCE. I say this to draw a contrast, in some ways, with its value as a TUTORIAL. More on that later...
2.)I liked the models for writing web pages. If you use this feature, and also get in the habit of using the "view page source" on your browser, you are on a productive path for learning HTML.
Some Poor Qualities: 1.)It's very dry. Obviously you shouldn't be expecting excitement on the level of, say, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", but even without lurid sex and/or violence, or, for example, the wit of Steve Martin, it seems like this could have been more engrossing. Just my opinion.
2.)This is sort of an extension of my last point, but... I think it's a little too heavy on the terminology for a beginners guide. Of course, you do need to learn it at some point, but that's part of what made it slow going in some ways. If you already have some experience with the world of HTML, you won't be slowed down by this kind of thing, but if you're coming to it fresh this makes for very slow reading, and it becomes difficult to remain alert to what the authors are trying to get across. This is what I meant before when I said that this is a valuable reference source, but imperfect as a tutorial.
Most recent customer reviews
I thought this book was very complete. I will disagree with quite a few reviews. I don't think this is for the beginner. Read morePublished on June 18 2003
The reviews for "HTML & XHTML" by Musciano and Kennedy are already overwhelmingly positive (save a few disgruntled readers here and there). Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2002 by macktheknife
Too bad there is no zero start rating.
I own about 10 O'Reilly books and this one is by far the worst. The book is so unorganized, full of replicates and useless comments. Read more
I didn't know anything about HTML when I started reading this book. When I finished it I understood tables, style sheets, formatting, and so much more. Read morePublished on April 28 2002 by bill homan
I found this book very interesting because I've seen and written a limited amount of html code and I was getting very confused about the latest versions, standards, browser... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2002 by Jeff Marzano
I wouldn't recommend this book for a beginner. It has great layout, and structure, targeted at intermediate users. Read morePublished on Dec 31 2001 by W. McCown
This book truly is a definitive guide and anyone interested in web development should have this on hand! Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2001
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... Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2001 by jonathan dahl
The authors cover every aspect of HTML in deliberate detail, including a bit of history, current standards, browser support, recommendations on style, and, of course, every tag and... Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2001 by Todd McFarland
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