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Jennifer Niederst Robbins was one of the first designers for the Web. As the designer of O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial web site, she has been designing for the Web since 1993. She is the author of the bestselling "Web Design in a Nutshell" (O'Reilly), and has taught web design at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and Johnson and Wales University in Providence. She has spoken at major design and Internet events including SXSW Interactive, Seybold Seminars, the GRAFILL conference (Geilo, Norway), and one of the first W3C International Expos.
Jennifer Niederst Robbins got started designing for the Web in 1993 as the graphic designer for Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial website published by O'Reilly. She has been writing books about web design since 1995, including Learning Web Design, Web Design in a Nutshell, and the HTML5 Pocket Reference. Jennifer has spoken at many conferences and has taught beginning web design at Massachusetts College of Art and Johnson & Wales University. She now uses her web technology know-how in the design and development of mobile apps and other digital products at O'Reilly Media.
It's been awhile since I've taken a look at what passes for a beginning web development book these days. I decided to examine Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics (3rd edition) by Jennifer Niederst Robbins. All I want to know is... why weren't books like this around when I was trying to learn this stuff?
Contents: Part 1 - Getting Started: Where Do I Start?; How the Web Works; The Nature of Web Design Part 2 - HTML Markup for Structure: Creating a Simple Page (HTML Overview); Marking up Text; Adding Links; Adding Images; Basic Table Markup; Forms; Understanding the Standards Part 3 - CSS For Presentation: Cascading Style Sheets Orientation; Formatting Text (Plus More Selectors); Colors and Backgrounds (Plus Even More Selectors and External Style Sheets); Thinking Inside the Box (Padding, Borders, and Margins); Floating and Positioning; Page Layout with CSS; CSS Techniques Part 4 - Creating Web Graphics: Web Graphics Basics; Lean and Mean Web Graphics Part 5 - From Start to Finish: The Site Development Process; Getting Your Pages on the Web Appendix A - Answers; Appendix B - CSS 2.1 Selectors; Index
The first clue that things were different is that it's a full color book. So not only can the code examples be color-coded for clarity, but you don't get black-and-white graphics that attempt to illustrate a full-color web page. Next, covering XHTML and CSS together means that the reader gets the correct foundation for how to separate content from structure. I personally still have a bad habit of using HTML tags instead of using CSS like I really should. Had I had Robbins' book when I first learned, I'm inclined to think I'd have fewer bad habits to get rid of.Read more ›
It's a curious aspect of creating sites for the World Wide Web that its not always clear what the titles of the people who perform the functions necessary to do this should be. When I think of design, I think of determining what a site should look like. Robbins thinks that web design is about coding the documents that will ultimately be displayed in a browser window. That's what this book is about, and I'll use her definition in the future.
Web sites are prepared by creating a document in a form that web browsers can translate into something that can be presented on a monitor screen using a special set of symbols called Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). "Learning Web Design" teaches the reader how to use this language to develop a site.
The book introduces broad concepts and then shows the specific language necessary to create content, neatly organized into chapters that deal with text, links, images, tables, and forms. Next the author discusses the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which is the current method of giving form to the content that allows smaller, quicker loading, and easier-to-change documents. Each chapter presents the basic concepts, walks the reader through exercises that apply the concepts, and then presents a review and test to make sure the reader grasps the chapter. Documents to work on are easily downloaded from a dedicated web site. While the lessons provide the basic information necessary to create a web site, Robbins generously sprinkles the chapters with references to web sites that examine more complex issues for those interested in learning more or developing special applications.Read more ›
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As from the title, i am a beginner of HTML and CSS. I am reading books to help me have a better understanding of web design when i go to learn Dreamweaver and Flash. If you have read my other review on "Sams Teach yourself HTML and CSS" I bought these two books and i am rating them against one another on how well i learned something since they are the only two books i have read at this time. Because it is alot of info, i will indicate the pros and cons of this book:
Pros of this book: 1. The book is in color compared to "HTML and CSS in 24 hours". 2. The exercises are fun and there are alot in this book.
Cons on this book: 1. I think this book hardly covers any area compared to HTML and CSS in 24 hours". 2. This book is over priced for what better quality you get out of the 24 hour book" 3. Her appendix on code in the back of the book is only 2 pages long, thats a joke compared to how much code is out there and the 24 hour book has 10+ pages of code to help you out. 4. The chapters arent laid out well.
Overall, compared to most books, i think this book was ok by only the excerises that were in the book and it to be a decent hands on book. Do i think this book is for beginners, yes, but it only scratchs the surface. If you want a good reference guide, i would recommend "HTML and CSS in 24 hours" because when it is rated between those two books, the other book is soooooo much better, read my review on it to help you better.
So, you want to learn how to design web pages and sites. Well, the title suggests you came to the right place. Did you? In my opinion, yes. The book covers the basics of HTML and XHTML, along with the CSS necessary to show it off. It's amazing how much - and how quickly - web design has changed over the last few years. If you're new to the party, this book explains the current best practices in a clear manner. If you haven't kept up, this book will prove to be a good refresher course. The text is concise and clean, and the use of colors and a multitude of sidebars really enhance the learning experience. There is a strong emphasis on the separation of content (XHTML) and presentation (CSS), which, as we all know by now, is a good thing.
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