HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (6th Edition)

HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (6th Edition)

03253 HTML 51ojpihsOXL. SL160  HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (6th Edition)

“…lucid, in-depth descriptions of the behavior of every HTML tag on every major browser and platform, plus enough dry humor to make the book a pleasure to read.”
–Edward Mendelson, PC Magazine

“When they say ‘definitive’ they’re not kidding.”
–Linda Roeder, About.com

Put everthing you need to know about HTML & XHTML at your fingertips. For nearly a decade, hundreds of thousands of web developers have turned to HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide to master standards-based web development. Truly a definitive guide, the book combines a unique balance of tutorial material with a comprehensive reference that even the most experienced web professionals keep close at hand. From basic syntax and semantics to guidelines aimed at helping you develop your own distinctive style, this classic is all you need to become fluent in the language of web design.

The new sixth edition guides you through every element of HTML and XHTML in detail, explaining how each element works and how it interacts with other elements. You’ll also find detailed discussions of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which is intricately related to web page development. The most all-inclusive, up-to-date book on these languages available, this edition covers HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, and CSS2, with a preview of the upcoming XHTML2 and CSS3. Other topics include the newer initiatives in XHTML (XForms, XFrames, and modularization) and the essentials of XML for advanced readers. You’ll learn how to:

  • Use style sheets to control your document’s appearance
  • Work with programmatically generated HTML
  • Create tables, both simple and complex
  • Use frames to coordinate sets of documents
  • Design and build interactive forms and dynamic documents
  • Insert images, sound files, video, Java applets, and JavaScript programs
  • Create documents that look good on a variety of browsers

The authors apply a natural learning approach that uses straightforward language and plenty of examples. Throughout the book, they offer suggestions for style and composition to help you decide how to best use HTML and XHTML to accomplish a variety of tasks. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t, and what makes sense to those who view your web pages and what might be confusing. Written for anyone who wants to learn the language of the Web–from casual users to the full-time design professionals–this is the single most important book on HTML and XHTML you can own.

Bill Kennedy is chief technical officer of MobileRobots, Inc. When not hacking new HTML pages or writing about them, “Dr. Bill” (Ph.D. in biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago) is out promoting the company’s line of mobile, autonomous robots that can be used for artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic research, and education.

Chuck Musciano began his career as a compiler writer and crafter of tools at Harris Corporations’ Advanced Technology Group and is now a manager of Unix Systems in Harris’ Corporate Data Center.

In the most recent edition of this acclaimed HTML guide, Musciano and Kennedy look closely at every aspect of HTML and show how to use it wisely to create top-quality Web pages. The book is up-to-date, covering HTML 4, Netscape Navigator 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4, and the various extensions of each.

HTML: The Definitive Guide is aimed at beginners as well as those who have more practice in Web-page creation. The authors assume at least a basic knowledge of computers, including how to use a word processor or text editor and how to deal with files. They teach you that learning HTML is like learning any other language and that reading a book of rules can only take you so far. Readers begin writing what may be their first Web page just two pages into the book’s second chapter. From there on, they provide a wide range of HTML coding to allow readers to learn from good examples. The book includes a handy “cheat sheet” of HTML codes for quick reference. –Elizabeth Lewis

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  1. "mat_aidin" says:
    43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    5 stars for beginners, 3 for old pro’s, August 25, 1999
    By A Customer

    When I bought this book I didn’t know HTML from JFK, CBS, or AT&T. After three days I had a good handle on the language. The authors don’t approach the subject as recreational material; it’s a serious introduction, and is quite good if you want to know how HTML really works. There’s also good info on browser compatability, and good sources for finding Internet material on a constantly-changing subject.

    5 stars implies a perfect book. Well, they don’t exist, especially when it comes to an Internet whose technology is in constant flux. The authors cover not only the language but some of its pitfalls, and they include good notes for beginners on quality HTML design. I could criticize some sections, such as the one on frames that tends to be confusing, and some sections that almost ignore a subject (such as META tags, which get barely half a page). But as a learning tool this beats its competitors by a wide margin and is intelligently presented.

    After several months of breaking in to web development, you’ll soon realize that there’s no single source for complete HTML knowledge. I can definitely say I learned good, responsible HTML from this book and learned it easily and quickly. Aspirants to power HTML programming will obviously have to seek out additional sources. But if you’re looking for a starting point and excellent reference material that you will use again and again, this is it.

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  2. Anonymous says:
    56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    If you want to code good HTML, buy this book, June 1, 1998
    By A Customer

    DO NOT buy this book if your computer experience is using computers, not programming them, and your boss wants you to build a few pages by the end of next week.

    DO NOT buy this book if you are a novice user and are just curious about building web pages.

    DO NOT buy this book if you don’t care at all about efficient, clean, bug-free code, and would rather just use (cough, spit!) MS FrontPage.

    DO buy this book if you care about content more than just flashy graphics.

    DO buy this book if you are a programmer or hard-core web designer that apprecieates clean, reliable, cross-browser code.

    Make no mistake, this book is not a 1000-page Que doorstop that talks you through every last step in page design. This book barely mentions editors at all, leaving that to your personal preference.

    What this book is is a concise reference of the HTML standard and common extensions to HTML code. It will tell you which tags are specific to Netscape or IE, and most of the different rendering quirks. If you are looking to build flashy, but browser specific pages, this book won’t help you a whole lot. It is current enough that I think some of the other reviewers must have gotten an old edition, because it covers the entire HTML 3.2 standard, with coverage of basic style sheets and JavaScript.

    Other books force you to adopt the author’s style as you go through the book slowly, step by step, building an entire site in the process. This book instead features a short tutorial at the beginning, which gives the basic structure of HTML, and mentions a few tips on good style. (indenting, comments, the importance of content over design, etc.) The bulk of the book is a rock-solid, well-written REFERENCE. NOT A TUTORIAL. This is not “The Definitive Guide to Building Web Sites”. It is a book on HTML code, and it will not tell you what to use the tags for, it assumes you know what you want, and the basic HTML elements you want to use (tables, vs. frames, for instance).

    In conclusion, if! you are not a programmer, that this should be the second, not the first HTML book you buy. However, if you already know some HTML, or you are a programmer that wants to learn a new language, then buy this book.

    Peter Mescher

    P.S. for the reviewers that said this was outdated: The most recent revision (3/98) goes up to Netscape 4 and IE 4, with a decent chapter on CSS. A good site does not use bleeding edge, non cross-browser tags anyway, so a book last edited two months ago should get the job done.

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  3. Anonymous says:
    28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent, November 7, 2001
    By 
    “mat_aidin” (Monte Vista, CO USA) –

    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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