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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just right!
I never really thought of myself as a prissy Goldilocks, but I recently realized that these "Teach Yourself" books tend to be either too easy or too hard. I recently read Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 Hours (Includes New HTML 5 Coverage) (8th Edition) and found it to be too simplistic. But this book is truly *just right*.

Self-paced HTML books are a...
Published on February 3, 2012 by Dave Edmiston

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay technical overview for intermediate Web users, but too fast-paced for novices and no HTML5/CSS3 detail for intermediates
இ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Summary:
ѾѾѾ Somewhat recommended, with reservations and only lukewarm fuzzies.

I would actually rate this book 3.5 stars, with a 4-star rating for intermediate Web users, but a 3-star rating for both beginning Web coders and users who have already been coding at an intermediate level for awhile.

For...
Published on February 25, 2012 by ƒůŽźŸ...


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just right!, February 3, 2012
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I never really thought of myself as a prissy Goldilocks, but I recently realized that these "Teach Yourself" books tend to be either too easy or too hard. I recently read Sams Teach Yourself HTML and CSS in 24 Hours (Includes New HTML 5 Coverage) (8th Edition) and found it to be too simplistic. But this book is truly *just right*.

Self-paced HTML books are a commodity: they've been around for years and they're pretty much all alike. But there are good ones and bad ones.

I like this book for two main reasons:

* I like the gradient. It starts off simple and then picks up the tempo very nicely. I like this, because it gives me more content that I can really sink my teeth into. If I just wanted a list of HTML tags I could search online and find what I was looking for. But I want an explanation of the concepts and best practices. I want comparisons of different techniques. This book does a nice job of this.

* I like the all-in-one approach of this book. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it works well. This book delivers a good balance of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript all in one book. That's great, because a good web page really needs all three of these elements.

I write technical documentation for a living, so I am a tough critic. I don't often encounter technical publications that make me nod and say, "nicely done, my good author". But I approve of the job that Julie Meloni did with this book. Nicely done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay technical overview for intermediate Web users, but too fast-paced for novices and no HTML5/CSS3 detail for intermediates, February 25, 2012
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
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இ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Summary:
ѾѾѾ Somewhat recommended, with reservations and only lukewarm fuzzies.

I would actually rate this book 3.5 stars, with a 4-star rating for intermediate Web users, but a 3-star rating for both beginning Web coders and users who have already been coding at an intermediate level for awhile.

For starters, the back cover of this 600-page book says: "Covers: HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.1, HTML5, CSS 2/3, JavaScript" and "User Level: Beginning-Intermediate", and this can be somewhat misleading. This book provides broad sweeping overviews along with very nice specific coverage of various aspects of HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.1, CSS2, and JavaScript. However, even though the book's front cover also proclaims "HTML5 Coverage", there really is barely any HTML5 coverage at all in this book, nor does this book delve into the niceties of what CSS3 can add to styling your Web pages. For example, page 54 describes the CSS 'border' property, but it totally ignores the CSS3 enhancements that allow you to create rounded borders. The new CSS3 abilities to create shadow offsets, color gradients, specify color as RGBA/opacity values, and create really cool transforms of elements to alter their shape/size/position are also never mentioned even once. Likewise, HTML5 introduces a plethora of new tag elements to organize the structure of your Web pages better, more logically, more efficiently, and with better semantics (such as the new <section>, <article>, <header>, and <footer> elements), and a variety of both new elements and new attributes for existing elements are also introduced. *NONE* of these HTML5 improvements are covered in the least bit in this book. If this book was to touch upon at least some of these new HTML5 and CSS3 additions, even as superficial overviews, the book would likely need at least an extra 50 pages of content. The new HTML5 <canvas> element, just by itself, could easily require at least 8 or 10 pages to describe how it can render on-the-fly graphs, graphics, and imagery.

So this book's promotion that it covers HTML5 and CSS3 topics was overzealous marketing hype because details or any overviews of what is new or different in HTML5 and CSS3 are totally missing from this book.

But the good news is that if you are at an intermediate level of expertise with creating static Web pages, and you want to add more CSS2 styling and, more importantly, learn how to create dynamic Web content, this books makes a nice primer to take you through the essentials of effectively programming with JavaScript. I refer to this book as a "primer" and "overview" because, right from the start, the book takes you on a whirlwind tour of many HTML, CSS, and JavaScript concepts, replete with lots of coding examples. But it does not spend too much time explaining some of the more complex topics. So even though this book takes on the difficult ambition of being the advertised "All in One" book, for greater details about HTML, CSS, or JavaScript elements or syntax, you will definitely need other books and sources of information, especially for detailed CSS and JavaScript information.

There is both incomplete and some inaccurate information in this book. For example, pages 213 through 217 are in a section called "The Whole Scoop on Positioning", and it discusses how to position your elements in a Web page using the 'position:' attribute. But it really is not the "whole scoop" on positioning. And the very first sentence in that section is erroneous: "Relative positioning is the default type of positioning used by HTML." This is an incorrect statement; the default 'position' always uses a setting of "static" (and NOT "relative"), and "static" is not even covered by the book! This section also gives you the impression that "relative" and "absolute" are the ONLY options for positioning your elements. But along with the default "static" value that the book fails to mention, a very useful "fixed" positioning is never covered, and a lesser-used "inherit" option is not mentioned.

Any introduction to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript would be remiss if it did not include some kind of one-page or two-page "quick reference" listing or table of common HTML elements and their associated attributes, common CSS properties, and common JavaScript commands and syntax. For example, when you are first starting out with HTML coding, sometimes you may just want to be reminded of the hierarchical element layout for coding an HTML <table>, or you may want to know what are all of the possible CSS properties related to changing a font's appearance. This kind of summary information could have been easily listed in an appendix or central location in the book, but there is no such quick-reference guide in this book. Instead, you have to look in the "Index" and then peruse an entire section of wording.

This book is roughly divided into two halves: the first half of the book covers mostly static Web page design, and then the second half of the book, starting with Chapter 13's "Understanding Dynamic Websites', segues into dynamic Web page design using JavaScript.

Chapter 4's "Understanding JavaScript" really looks misplaced with respect to its position inside the book. Chapters 2 and 3 cover some basic information about HTML and CSS, and then the user is presented with JavaScript programming examples. I have two issues with Chapter 4 being placed here so early in the book: (1) Since many people read computer instruction books in a sequential manner, presenting JavaScript programming so early in the book can throw a curve ball at beginning users who are progressively wading deeper into the Web knowledge pool, and (2) JavaScript is mentioned in Chapter 4, but then it is ignored until more than 200 pages later in Chapter 13, so Chapter 4 should have been placed right before Chapter 13's "Understanding JavaScript", which is where the JavaScript discussions really begin.

If you have done any kind of programming before, even if it was some simple BASIC programming, you should be able to follow the fast pace of the first half of the book's coverage on HTML and CSS. Even though HTML and CSS are markup languages and not programming languages per se, I think that there is a similar cause-and-effect mental association process of wiring up a file to perform specific task with both coding HTML/CSS and writing even a simple BASIC program. But if you have never done any kind of programming before, hold on tight as you approach the second half of the book because you will get taken through lots of different programming concepts of flow logic, looping constructs, variables, arrays, and the whole gamut of programming techno-jargon, and the book pretty much assumes that you know what programming loops and array variables are from previous experience.

The second half of this book covers a lot of good JavaScript ground, albeit at a whirlwind tour pace. Page 293 mentions some "Best Practices for JavaScript". But there are absolutely no suggestions and advice offered on how debug your JavaScript code when it does not work! Sooner or later, and this is especially true for beginning JavaScript programmers, your code will have a bug that may be due to a simple typo, a syntax error, or the bug may be very hard to find due to a very subtle logic flaw in your code. The only place in the entire book that (very briefly) mentions how to debug your JavaScript code is in the "Best Practices for JavaScript" section where it simplistically mentions that you can use /* */ to comment out portions of the code while you are debugging you script. The book mentions the Firefox browser's optional extension "Firebug" on page 37 early on in the book, but only mentions it for use as an HTML markup validator. But "Firebug" includes a powerful JavaScript debugger that has helped me fix countless bugs in my code before. And for the more obvious coding bugs, "Firebug" will simply describe on its 'Console' window what is wrong with your code and the line number in your JavaScript file where the bug is located. While Firebug should be one of your main JavaScript debugging weapons, sometimes strategically placing a few 'alert()' function calls inside your can also be very diagnostic in tracking what your code is doing and what your JavaScript variables are storing. In the book, the 'alert()' function is just described as a way to pop up a window for the user, and no specific example is given of how you can use it to help debug your JavaScript code. Setting breakpoints in your JavaScript code using Firebug to methodically pause and resume code execution is a great way to debug and track your code's operation. Some examples of how to debug your JavaScript code using Firebug would have been a really useful addition to the book. Ideally, several pages should have been devoted to debugging JavaScript and how to use Firebug to debug your code!

After most of the JavaScript constructs have been discussed, Chapter 22's "Using Third-Party Libraries" spends a very meager single page to discuss jQuery and another single page to discuss Script.aculo.us. But then the author spends 14 pages on the following Chapter 23 to discuss "Greasemonkey", which is more for use by end users to modify the pages of other Web sites. While there is nothing wrong with learning how to use JavaScript to modify the behavior of other Web sites (I learned new things in Chapter 23's "Greasemonkey" discussion), as a big fan of jQuery's (and also jQuery UI's) efficient power and its library of very cool Web effects, I found the book's very quick and brief one-page fly-by discussion of jQuery to be very lacking and indicative that (a) the author really does not know much about jQuery and Script.aculo.us, and (b) the author really likes the "Greasemonkey" tool. Since this book is more about coding JavaScript for your own Web pages (instead of using JavaScript to modify other Web sites), if "Greasemonkey" had a 14-page chapter of its own, I really think that jQuery and Script.aculo.us warranted their own chapter that was at least as detailed, if not more so, than Greasemonkey's chapter. Ironically, only in the "Greasemonkey" chapter does the author talk about debugging using "alert()", but there is still no mention of using Firebug.

The book ends with a quick overview on AJAX.

௫ Fuzzy Wuzzy's Conclusion:

Even though I myself am a very advanced Web developer, and I created my first HTML page in 1994, I am writing this review from the perspective of the book's advertised "User Level: Beginning-Intermediate" target audience, either as a beginning Web coder or an intermediate Web user who may know HTML but may not have a strong programming background. For novice beginners with no programming background, this should NOT be your very first "how do I create a Web page" book since the book churns through a lot of topics at a fast pace and then dives into programming code. For the intermediate-level coder, this book would make a nice springboard for seeing how CSS and JavaScript fit together with HTML, but you will definitely need other JavaScript references beyond this book to progress to a deeper level of understanding. As a book to help guide intermediate Web coders with adding more dynamic content into their Web pages using JavaScript, I rate this book 4 stars. But as a book for either the Web novice or the intermediate Web coder who has already been tinkering with JavaScript, I rate this book 3 stars because it is too fast-paced for the former and lacking in both depth and breadth for the latter who will want better, more detailed, or more advanced examples to take their intermediate skills to the next level. So this book earns a 3.5-star rating overall from me. This book really needs to be bigger, with more and better detail, to give proper "All in One" coverage that also includes HTML5, CSS3 (and more CSS details in general), and far more JavaScript coverage. There are books dedicated to JavaScript that are as thick as this "All in One", so if you are an intermediate-level Web coder, your needs will be better served by getting a book that focuses entirely on JavaScript instead. And if you are just beginning with Web development, this is also not a good first book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for a 12 Year Old Puzzler..., February 9, 2012
By 
Patrick McCormack (New Brighton, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
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I have a 12 year old who likes to puzzle out how computers work, and he loves this book. What he likes is the co-location of CSS, Java, and HTML in one book, and the exercises or examples that let him play around with the languages. He tells me, in 12 year old words, that this book is accessible, useful, and really cool. He also mentioned that he was surprised that this is by a woman... to which his Mom informed him clearly and directly, that this should be no surprise, that she can program circles around me.

This book filled the bill, for a beginnner who likes to fiddle.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well organized content for beginners and beyond, but poor HTML5 "coverage", May 16, 2012
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are way too many books available on HTML/CSS/JavaScript. In fact, I think it takes some courage on the part of any author to put a lot of time into writing "yet another" book on the topic. A new book better have something to offer that makes it stand out.

The strength of this "Teach Yourself" book is its organization. The wrong way to write a book like this would be to have three main sections, separately covering HTML, Cascading Stylesheets, and JavaScript. Instead, these topics are nicely interwoven, with brief introductions to all three at the beginning of the book, followed by frequent returns to each as the concepts become increasingly sophisticated.

For example, chapter 5 covers the basics of lists, AND looks at how to use CSS to style those lists. Chapter 7 covers internal and external links, AND how to use CSS to style those links. Later in chapter 11, lists and links are revisited as the reader learns how to work with image maps, as well as how the CSS box model (introduced in chapter 10) can affect lists. It is this frequent "returning to previous topics" that helps me better understand technical material.

Most of the JavaScript content is reserved for the second half of the book, but again is taught in small doses: chapter 13 teaches how to use JavaScript to display random content on a web page, chapter 15 teaches about JavaScript and the Document Object Model, chapter 26 uses JavaScript for processing HTML forms, and so on.

All in all, I highly recommend this book if you are a complete beginner, or if (like me) you know a little bit and want to learn more.

So, why 4 stars instead of 5? The book purports to include "HTML5 Coverage". To be honest, though, this "coverage" is extremely weak. Now, granted, HTML5 is still under development. However, the author fails to mention some of the fairly well established HTML5 tags that I expected to see. For example, in the section "Integrating Multimedia Into Your Website", there is no mention of the new <audio> and <video> tags that are supported by all of the major web browsers. Personally, I think the "HTML5 Coverage" stamped on the front of the book was more of an afterthought, as an attempt to snag a few more readers. Similarly, many of the new structural tags such as <header>, <footer>, and <section> get no mention anywhere.

Should this matter to you? Personally, I think this book has so much going for it in terms of its content organization that you can go ahead and learn plenty about HTML/CSS/JavaScript by using this book "as is", and then do a little work on your own to learn how to upgrade your knowledge for an HTML5 world. But if HTML5 knowledge is essential to you, you definitely need to look elsewhere.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what it should be., February 2, 2012
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Right off the bat I was hit with a pet peeve of mine. On page 2, the reader is told that if he wants more info on a supplementary topic, go look at Wikipedia. Referencing Wikipedia is completely unprofessional and out of place in a book that a person is expected to pay good money for. If you want to include supplementary material, put it in an appendix and take responsibility for its accuracy.

Also, the book is basically an HTML4 guide with occasional mention of HTML5. Copyright date of 2012 notwithstanding, the book contains such statements as "Current estimates put the full adoption of HTML[5] sometime in 2011. However, as you learn about important features of HTML and XHTML in this book, I will include notes about how HTML5 features might differ." In other words, this book is already out of date. (If there was any mention at all of the HTML5 "video" tag, I was not able to find it.)

(By the way, the reason the "5" is in brackets in the above quote is because the 5 was omitted from the book due to a typographical error. I am reasonably sure the book is not so out of date as to suggest that HTML wasn't fully adopted by web sites when the book was written.)

The book is written for the complete novice. That's not a bad thing, I'm just letting you know. If you don't know why you should use Notepad and not Word to code a web page, this book is written with you in mind.

A serious deficiency in the book, and one that would make it almost worthless to me, is that there is no listing of the elements of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. How is a novice supposed to get to know all the, say, CSS text properties without an easy place to look them up?

But thinking about my first point, about being sent to a web site to read something not included in the book, why not just go to the W3Schools web site and take their tutorials on HTML (including HTML5), CSS, JavaScript, and more?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good. meets the requirement that I bought for a beginner, October 6, 2013
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This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
This is for someone who always wanted to learn HTML & JavaScript so, I did a reasearch based on the topic and this appeared to be the most recommendted by others and I am including myself as one of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not A Bad Book...Great Start, July 23, 2012
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This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
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I've been out of hand-coding websites for sometime. I've kind of gotten lazy and let programs like Expression Web do the work for me. With the upcoming HTML5, I wanted to learn more about it and rely less on WYSIWYG web site designers.

Sam's Book on HTML, CSS and JavaScript is a very helpful book. Not only do they make it easy to understand, but it makes it fun to code a site again. I've never been a fan of FLASH based websites, so having the bonus of learning JavaScript in this book is a major plus.

It doesn't touch as much as I would have liked on HTML5, but after completing this book, I am back to coding sites again and I forgot how much power and control it gives you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed. Excellent!, March 22, 2012
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
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I love this book and think it is very well put together. I am not a beginner nor do I have any formal training on these languages yet this book was just where I needed it to be from start to finish. I wanted to get more knowledge so that I could create my own sites instead of always using some of the "do it for you" code writers like wordpress and joomla. I am not an expert still but I learned so much from this great book that I feel like if I wanted to I could actually now go on with so much more confidence that I could be that web designer I have always wanted to be with just a little more training.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HTML Basics explained clearly, March 19, 2012
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
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This "Teach Yourself" book takes a complicated function like HTML (which is my only interest in the book) and takes the reader slowly and step by step through the process of using HTML to construct a webpage. It starts the reader off with a simple web page using simple language. The book is clear and examples allow the user to try something before moving forward.

I rate it 4 out of 5 stars because I did not go further than HTML. Perhaps that is something I will do as I learn more but the HTML info met my needs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality and substance, March 18, 2012
By 
Mike Wallace (Sacramento, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One (Paperback)
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This is not Sam's teach yourself web programming in 24 hours, it will definitely take longer than 24 hours to digest the content of this book, but it is a great reference and learning manual for creating web pages. I love how the author goes into extensive detail and answers many lingering questions that one can encounter trying to learn how to create web pages. Such as simple things like what is the purpose of a web server to more advanced things like the syntax used for creating web page mark up.

The nice thing about this book is it combines HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which are commonly used in most web sites. It doesn't go through each item chronologically, but layers them in the order that they will be used in most designs, and explains how they interact with each other. This was a great review for HTML and, especially CSS, for me. The JavaScript was really helpful to me, since I didn't know JavaScript previously to reading this book. I was used to just using the cut and paste technique. This book really helped solidify my understanding of web design and I would give it more stars if possible.
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Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One
Sams Teach Yourself HTML, CSS, and JavaScript All in One by Julie C. Meloni (Paperback - December 1, 2011)
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