Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Ok... this book is the last thing I would've bought if I had just browsed around the web (that's the I-already-know-everything talking).

My roomate bought it and the second I started turning the pages I actually told my students to get a copy for class. I got one for myself and even though I have 8 flaming years of experience in web design (note the sarcasm please) I really found every single bit of information extremely valuable.

Elizabeth restructured the way I work in the web and the I-already-know-everything guy recieved his lesson as in the old days.

Simply get a copy. I can't say much more.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2007
As a man of 70 years with no clue as to how to create a web page, I purchased this book along with its primer, "Creating a Web Page with HTML" by the same author, and in no time I was able to structure a web page for an architect friend of mine which received rave reviews. Castro's ability to walk you through the process of the protocols with ease made the project a cakewalk. I had previously purchased Dreamweaver thinking it would be easier to not have to learn the html language. However, I got frustrated with the software which is what precipitated my going out to try to find a simple, easy but complete book on how to build a site. After building my first website, I now feel quite comfortable with the html language and with the ability to create more sites.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2007
This was my first intro book to HTML and CSS. The writing by Elizabeth Castro is actually very clear and pleasant to read, but the style of writing is not conducive to learning the material in my opinion. Every page is like this: a brief intro paragraph at the top, then a list of steps for writing the HTML laid out in nauseating detail, then another list of "tips" that didn't fit anywhere else. The steps for writing the HTML are so wordy, it destroys your train of thought and makes me want to put the book away for another day. For example, and this is just a small example among countless others, she feels the need to write this, and I quote:

7. To add the final parentheses, type ")".

That's nothing. Unnecessary details and wordiness like this abound in this book. It is definitely clear enough, but it borders on sounding like it's written for the mentally challenged at times. Personally I would prefer well written paragraphs integrating any info from the "tips" sections, and to do away with the verbose steps, which probably take up half of the book's content.

To make matters worse, the format of the book, like all the Peachpit Quickstart books, breaks the page into two columns, one for text and the other for pictures. This is just poor typography in my opinion, with an average of 6-7 words / line, and it makes actually trying to read what is written very irritating, and it will try your patience. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't like the format of this book at all.

Now, for the actual content of the book. It advocates some things I find questionable in this day and age. For example, in the chapter on Tables, it actually advocates that you use tables for the structure of your website, and CSS for everything else, suggesting that this would be easier than jumping fully into CSS right off the bat. Tables are NOT easier to use than CSS, first of all. Personally, and I think most people would agree with me, tables are not the way to go at all for website structure these days. Yet she uses most of the chapter on tables to explain how to use them for exactly this purpose. Granted I'm sure this is just carried over from older editions of the book when CSS had not taken root yet. But for a 2007 edition book to continue down this path is just bad advice. This is but one example of several where the book advocates using outdated techniques in making websites.

As this book gave me my first formal intro to CSS, I think it actually does a disservice to those wishing to learn to use CSS effectively. It explains the basics such as selectors, properties, and values (although that takes only a page or two to cover). And it tells you how classes and ID's work at a basic level, which is simple. But it doesn't do nearly enough to show you how to write neat and concise markup, so that you don't find yourself adding extra div's, classes, and even style attributes in your markup.

HTML is incredibly simple, but this book treats writing it like a difficult proposition. How many times do you have to be told how to type an element and close it properly? Do we have to constantly be reminded that attributes should be in lower-case and be enclosed in quotations? An HTML book should serve as a reference of HTML elements and common attributes. But many CSS books already include that stuff!

So, what I'm saying is, if you want to learn CSS, just skip this book and get Simon Collison's "Beginning CSS Web Development: From Novice to Professional", an excellent intro to CSS, which I think includes enough HTML that you probably don't even need to get an HTML book. It will tell you everything you need to know about creating a great looking website that is easy to style using concise markup and CSS. That's my opinion. If you feel you need more grounding on some basic concepts of HTML, you can probably find what you're looking for on the web and save yourself the cost of this book.

I'm still giving this book a 3 out of 5 though, because I think it's well-written and does contain a lot of useful, factual information, and it can serve as a good reference. It's just not the best way to go if you really want to learn how to make great websites. If you get it, read the first six chapters, and bits and pieces of some of the others, and then go get a good CSS book!
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2010
There are several reasons I couldn't bring myself to give this book five stars, although I would have liked to. The author writes well and covers a lot of ground, but the pace is uneven and I feel it comes up short on the treatment of some important topics.

I first learned (X)HTML by studying the fourth edition of Thomas Powell's "HTML & XHTML: The Complete Reference" HTML & CSS: The Complete Reference, Fifth Edition (Complete Reference Series)." That book was more than twice the size of Castro's book and a much more thorough and better illustrated treatment of the markup languages. However, Powell's volume was copyright 2003, and the theory and practice of "proper" web design are fast moving targets, especially considering the evolution and increasing adoption of CSS, DHTML, JavaScript and the DOM over the last decade, as well as the growing emphasis on standards and the separation of structure and presentation. I bought and read Castro's book primarily as a refresher course. I'm glad I already had a good background in the subject.

I suspect the author was handicapped by the publishing style used in the "Visual Quickstart Guide" titles. That style divides each page into two columns. The outside column is used for the main explanatory text, while the gutter column displays examples--typically screen captures and/or code snippets--that illustrate the concepts discussed in the accompanying text. When I first encountered this format in one of their books on XML, I rather liked it, but the enchantment quickly faded. Structuring content such that each topic should fit in the limited space of a single column on a page just doesn't work for me. Some topics in Castro's book deserved more space; e.g., divs, forms, float, position. Limiting the code to snippets short and small enough to fit in a narrow gutter column also restricts the author's ability to properly display relevant code. The Murach books use a similar design, but it works much better; their books are a larger format and they use facing pages instead of hamstringing the authors by dividing each page into two narrow columns.

I was also disappointed in not being able to find any way to post errata on the book's website; there were several I found that were not listed in the official posted errata. I enjoyed the treatment of podcasts and rss feeds at the end of the book, although those subjects seemed a bit off-topic. The last quarter of the book is devoted to a reasonably good HTML reference but, since that kind of information is readily available online, I think the space could have been used more profitably by expanding the coverage of HTML core concepts.

Because of the uneven pace of instruction, the cramped presentation, and limited coverage of important layout techniques, I think this book would not be one I would recommend to someone new to HTML markup. However, I attribute the shortcomings more to the publisher than the author.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I'm a reasonably computer savvy person. However, I've been wanting to develop more marketable skills in design... so, recently I've started taking classes in FLASH, ILLUSTRATOR, etc. Then I was told that it would be very beneficial for me to learn HTML and CSS, so, after reading many reviews on Amazon, I bought this book. In a matter of hours, I was designing an XHTML website for myself. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book to entry-level web designers. It is extremely well written and clear. It gives some good foundational background for web design, the differences and purposes of HTML, XHTML, and CSS, and it's a great resource for all aspects of designing web pages! If you want to break into web design, BUY THIS BOOK!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2008
I have been a fan of peachpit press for years, and this book has a lot going for it. As a beginner, I was quickly able to establish a foundation that I am building on. I strongly recommend this book to anyone BEFORE they buy a Dreamweaver book. In other words, get comfortable with handcoding html and css before you even think about dreamweaver. There are also excellent sections on organizing a website, attracting visitors, etc.

WARNING: The binding has fallen apart on my book making it a hassle to use. This is an issue that is evidently common with peachpit books. I am in touch with the publisher to get another, and hopefully they will come through.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I have actually bought this book from Amazon twice because of all of the good reviews. I bought the 4th edition a few years ago and thought there was some great reference for the HTML I already knew, but wasn't able to understand or learn CSS from it. They don't give you an examples to work through. I bought the 6th edition recently not realizing that it was the same book. It still doesn't teach you anything. I think it is a good book to look up some syntax if you're a hack. Buy something else if you actually want to learn CSS. (You might be able to learn basic HTML from it.)
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
38 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
It staggers me that this book has received high ratings from so many people. Good luck if you're a beginner trying to learn HTML and CSS from this book. Before you even see so much as one HTML tag, the author leaps in to talking about the W3C, cross browser issues, HTML extensions, the web standards project, CSS workarounds, XML, markup languages, is XHTML dangerous, the difference between serving a page as XML or XHTML, text content, the identical properties of XHTML and HTML (just in case you're wondering, no, we still haven't seen a working example of a HTML tag yet, and we are now on page 27), elements, attributes, values, elements containing other elements, empty elements, tags, hex colors...

OK! Now we have seen our first few tags. But oops.. rather than receiving a proper introduction, the tags shown are merely displayed in side columns, to assist in making points about "attribute pair values" and layout.

And so on we go hearing about Uniform Resource Locators, block vs inline, parents and children (still no proper introduction to our first tag), plug ins, helper applications, file names, absolute and relative urls, web accessibility... and on to page 40 which gives theory about DOCTYPES, standards and quirks mode.. now here's some theory about building web pages for an intended audience, saving web pages, creating default pages, editing and organisng files (page 52, still haven't seen our first tag), how to get web design inspiration, more on DOCTYPEs, character encoding, the HTML and HEAD tags.. what's this?! Oh my gosh! Page 58 and finally the HTML tags start getting introduced!

I'm sorry, but this is garbage. If I don't have a solid, working understanding of HTML (which I don't, hence why I bought this so called guide to "learn" XHTML and CSS), then there is NO WAY I am going to have the *FAINTEST CLUE* what the author is talking about in those first 58 pages. NONE.

Here is something along the lines of what I was hoping to see, perhaps no later than about page 3:

Type this in to your text editor, and save it as myfirstpage.html:

Hey! This is my first web page!

Now view it in your web browser. Now put some <h1> tags around it (explain what a tag is, and what h1 means), now save again, and view in your web browser. See how the text has now become more enlarged and prominent? That's because the web browser can see the <h1> tags around your text, so is now displaying your text as a heading.

THAT is how you introduce someone to HTML.

In summary:

If you're a beginner, stay as far away as you possibly can from this book. It will probably turn you off trying to learn HTML and CSS.

For the intermediates, the best this book will do is act as an occasional reference for ideas you already have some knowledge of. It is only for this reason that the book was saved from receiving a 1 star rating from me.
99 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2008
If you're looking to teach yourself HTML/CSS, I would NOT suggest this book.

This book has a great deal of information, but very poorly put together when it comes to teaching the code. There is far too much of "type this:" with no immediate explanation of exactly what's going on. Throughout this book I have constantly had to "reverse engineer" what the book had just told me to type, essentially teaching MYSELF rather then having the book teach me. I should have read some of the other negative review before buying this because now after getting the book they make a lot of very good points. I could see this book working well when used with a classroom setting, where someone is there to bridge the gaps it leaves, but it is simply TERRIBLE for trying to teach yourself HTML. Not knocking the content, but just the way it's put together. I have a high knowledge of pc's, along with some programming skills, but I found this book unacceptable when the cover says "learn the quick and easy way!" Not even remotely close. One star.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
I purchased this book after using the previous (5th) edition which was borrowed from the library. The fifth edition was so excellent for a beginner that I wanted a permanent copy. I find the 6th edition excellently written with well-thought-out examples. The accompanying website to the book is a powerful resource. The only downside I found is that this edition started at a slightly higher level than the previous edition and I couldn't reference some of the simpler concepts. The book instructs you to go to the website, but afterall, this is a BOOK--to be read away from a computer--so I had to have internet nearby to get the complete experience I found in the earlier edition. My advice? Add back some very-beginner material and keep the excellent material added and this will be a great resource from beginner through novice. Still--it's a five star resource.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett (Paperback - November 8, 2011)
$17.39

HTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide (8th Edition)
HTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide (8th Edition) by Elizabeth Castro (Paperback - August 19, 2013)
$28.00

Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set
Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set by Jon Duckett (Paperback - July 8, 2014)
$39.65
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.