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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (6th Edition) Paperback – October 24, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0596527327 ISBN-10: 0596527322 Edition: Sixth Edition
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Editorial Reviews Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


HTML: The Definitive Guide covers every element of HTML in detail, explaining how each element works and how it interacts with other elements. With hundreds of examples, HTML: The Definitive Guide gives models for writing effective web pages and mastering advanced features like style sheets and frames. HTML: The Definitive Guide shows how to use style sheets and layers to control a document's appearance; create tables; use Netscape's frames to coordinate sets of documents, design and build interactive forms; insert images, sound fields, video, applets, and JavaScript programs; create documents that look good on a variety of browsers. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 680 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Sixth Edition edition (October 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596527322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596527327
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
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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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
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.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "mat_aidin" on November 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
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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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful By James A. Donaldson on December 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read the book from cover to cover with the intention of learning HTML this way, but what I found was that the reference qualities of the book made doing it this way painful. Because it is a reference, I found myself slogging through a lot of repetitiveness in various tag explanations. I could cite from memory now the section on every tag explaing the lang and dir attributes. This is critical for a reference that needs to be thorough and consistent and not assume that you've read through the entire book as I have, but makes using it as a tutorial inefficient. I read Elizabeth Castro's HTML book afterwards and found it a much better tutorial (and still a fine reference although not as thorough). Bottom line: if you want a tutorial, get Castro's book - it's a bit simplistic at times, but you'll learn what you need to know a lot faster. If you need an excellent reference, then get this book as well.
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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (6th Edition)
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