The Ultimate HTML Reference 1st Edition

20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0980285888
ISBN-10: 0980285887
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About the Author

Ian Lloyd runs, a web accessibility site that he started in 2002, and has written or co-written a number of web development books. Ian was previously a member of the Web Standards Project and is a regular speaker at web development conferences, including the highly regarded South By Southwest (SXSW) and @media events.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 552 pages
  • Publisher: SitePoint; 1 edition (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980285887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980285888
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Dale Vogel on July 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has become my go-to reference for anything HTML. Why do I like this book so much? Let me count the ways:

(1) Every HTML tag past and present is covered in this book.
(2) Each tag description is covered by telling you the proper open and closing tag, and available parameters;
(3) An example HTML segment is given on how it's used;
(4) Whether this is still valid HTML or an old, deprecated tag;
(5) A brief text description on what the tag is used for, and when you should use it;
(6) Browser support for the tag, with four browsers covered: IE, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. What version of the browser supports the tag, and its compatibility with past browsers. No other HTML reference that I know has this.
(7) An index of each tag for quick look up.
(8) A table of contents in logical segments: HTML Concepts, Structural Elements, Head Elements, List Elements, Text Formatting Elements, Form Elements, Image & Media Elements, Table Elements, Frame & Window Elements, Common Attributes with three appendixes: Deprecated Elements, Proprietary & Nonstandard Elements, and an Alphabetic Element Index.

Now, to the aesthetics. The book is gorgeous. Type is well spaced, large, and laid out beautifully. Each tag is laid out in the same format with shaded areas for quick reference. And the piece-de-resistance, this is a hard-backed book, so when you pull it out of the bookshelf it feels solid and nice in your hand, not like a floppy fish you get with the soft covered tombs.

What this book is not. A text on learning HTML. This is not a step-by-step guide. It is a beautiful dictionary for fast look up of HTML tags when your not sure of allowed options, format, whether it is a supported tag, or what browsers are supported.

Five Stars for exactly what it is, "The Ultimate HTML Reference."
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brett Merkey on July 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover

I strongly agree with the first reviewer that the aesthetics of this book are outstanding. The typography and layout are superb. Astute attention to these simple elements remarkably enhances the usefulness and readability of this book. An important aspect of my own job is transferring the same approach to the visual interfaces of Web applications, so I appreciate the sweat that went into this simplicity.

Since I made my enthusiasm clear, I guess I can belabor my quibbles. I am not sure I would call this an "ultimate" reference because much has been left out. This is not particularly bad since the emphasis of the book is simplicity and usability. Most Web workers will surely want to use this book's approach, with all its fine organization and examples, rather than the W3C specs.

What might you want more of? Well, there is no index for attributes. Each tag, like BUTTON, has plenty of attributes. Knowing what attributes are appropriate and most effective is important. For instance, this book covers the most critical attributes for BUTTON -- but not all of them. It mentions that IE has an incorrect default value for the TYPE attribute. This is very good to know, but even more important to know is that client-side script does not work for Firefox if the TYPE attribute does not have an explicit value of BUTTON.

The world of HTML is fairly simple but can be treacherous. That is exactly why someone moving into this world will find this book a ready aid.

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim Robertson VINE VOICE on September 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For over ten years, I have enthusiastically promoted Dave Taylor's "Creating Cool HTML 4 Web Pages" book as my favorite HTML reference book. Its organization, code examples, and writing style are first-rate. I think I may have found a worthy replacement in Ian Lloyd's new "The Ultimate HTML Reference", though I say this with the understanding that this book is really intended for the hard-core HTML coder who needs a handy reference for one of those weird commands that didn't come immediately to mind. This can be a really useful reference for the super-advanced coder, though beginners can get a lot out of this book, too.

Unlike Taylor's book which was laid out in a format that permitted the user to start with simple tasks and build on them, The Ultimate HTML Reference is organized by HTML elements (Structural Elements, Head Elements, List Elements, Text Formatting Elements, Form Elements, Image and Media Elements, Table Elements, Frame and Window Elements, and Common Attributes) and the attributes within the elements (for example, Chapter 4, List Elements, is divided into the various attributes like dl, dd, dt, dir, li, menu, ol, and ul). It even provides a little instruction for basic Javascript commands like onkeydown, onmousedown, ondblclick, and others.

One of the appendices covers deprecated elements - that is, those elements and attributes that are no longer supported by the newest HTML and XHTML standards (but most browsers still permit their use, just the same). Another covers some of those special (read that annoying) proprietary and nonstandard elements (remember the "blink" command in Netscape--that only worked in Netscape?).
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