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Web Design in a Nutshell Paperback – October 15, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0596001964 ISBN-10: 0596001967 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.; 2nd edition (October 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596001967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596001964
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,112,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1998, Jennifer Niederst wrote the first edition of this very successful book after she found herself spending way too much time chasing down the solutions to HTML problems. From hexadecimal color specs to mouseover scripts, the answers are all out there, but finding the exact one you need can soak up a whole day. "I wrote Web Design in a Nutshell because it was the book I needed--one place to find quick answers to my questions."

With all that's changed in the meantime, an overhaul is welcome. This is the rare book for designers that is almost completely nonvisual. It doesn't show what's hip in navigational bars or what the coolest colors are. Rather, it gives readers the kind of know-how that can make a difference between someone who just whips up pretty pages with WYSIWYG applications like Dreamweaver and someone who can make those pages cross-platform, cross-browser, fast loading, and accessible to all.

The clear organization makes it easy to locate any specific topic. There are six sections. "The Web Environment" discusses the realities of browser compatibility, display-resolution problems, a useful bit of Unix, and tips for print designers looking to move into Web design. "Authoring" shows how to write accurate and up-to-date HTML, cascading style sheets, and Server Side Includes (like putting the current date and time on your homepage).

"Graphics" brings together all you need to know to make effective use of images (GIFs, JPEGS, PNGs, and animated GIFs). "Multimedia and Interactivity" helps with adding audio, video, or Flash to your site (including some succinct tips on optimization and publish settings). And "Advanced Technologies" covers JavaScript, DHTML, XML, XHTML, and WAP and WML. And there are six useful look-up tables in the appendix, which include HTML 4.0 tags, deprecated tags, attributes, and CSS support across browsers. Web Design in a Nutshell could easily have been titled The Web Designer's Companion--it's mighty handy to have around. --Angelynn Grant

Review

Web Design in a Nutshell is the welcome second edition of a classic Web authoring guide. It is aimed at professionals, with the focus sharply on page layout rather than scripting or programming. Two things are outstanding. First, the book is a handy reference for core Web standards like HTML tags, character entities, MIME types and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Second, and most important, the author offers concise, meticulous explanations and comments on key topics including the various different approaches to text formatting, choosing and optimising image types, and getting good results from tables. She highlights the importance of Web standards, and is careful to include Macintosh as well as Windows issues when discussing design tools or compatibility matters. Reference information is up-to-date as of Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape 6.0. The early chapters offer general introduction to the Web environment, laying down basic design principles and covering tricky issues like printing and internationalisation. The next part covers formatting and layout with HTML, hyperlinks, tables, frames, forms and CSS. Part three is an in-depth look at images, particularly JPEG, GIG, PNG, and colour usage. Multimedia comes next, featuring video and audio formats as well as Flash movies, while the final part introduces other technologies such as Javascript and Dynamic HTML, XML, XHTML and WAP. These overviews are useful, but the best chapters are those that cover the nitty-gritty of setting out a page. It is ideal for print designers who need to understand Web design, or as a reliable general-purpose handbook for Web authors. --Tim Anderson --Oreilly web design

Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition contains the nitty-gritty on everything you need to know to design web pages. It's the good stuff, without the fluff, written and organized so that answers can be found quickly. This completely revised and expanded 2nd edition is chock-full of information about the wide range of front-end technologies and techniques from which web designers and authors must draw. Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition is an excellent reference for HTML 4.01 tags (including tables, frames, forms, color, and cascading style sheets) with special attention given to browser support, platform idiosyncrasies, and standards. You'll also find lots of updated information on using graphics, multimedia, audio and video, and advanced technologies such Dynamic HTML, Javascript, and XML, as well as new chapters on XHTML, WML, and SMIL. This book is an indispensable tool for web designers and authors of all levels. Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition includes: Discussions of the web environment including monitors and browsers, printing from the Web, accessibility, and internationalization A complete reference to HTML and Server Side Includes, including up-to-date browser support (Netscape 6, IE 6.0, and Opera 5) for every tag and attribute Updated chapters on creating GIF, animated GIF, JPEG, and PNG graphics, including designing with the Web Palette Information on multimedia and interactivity, including audio, video, Flash 5 and Shockwave, and a new chapter on SMIL A revised tutorial and reference on Cascading Style Sheets Appendixes detailing HTML tags, attributes, deprecated tags, proprietary tags, CSS compatibility and support, and character entities --Oreilly web design

Synopsis Encompasses every aspect of designing Web pages; furnishes quick and easy access to a vast array of technologies and techniques needed for effective Web design; and covers such topics as HTML, graphics, multimedia and interactivity, and much more. Original. (Beginner). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Book Info New edition is completely updated for the latest web browsers, graphics editors and authoring tools. New material on web standards, printing, accessibility, Flash, and designing for wireless devices is included. Softcover. Previous edition c1998. From the Publisher Web Design in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition contains the nitty-gritty on everything you need to know to design Web pages. It's an excellent reference for HTML 4.01 tags (including tables, frames, forms, color, and cascading style sheets) with special attention given to browser support, platform idiosyncrasies, and standards. You'll also find lots of updated information on using graphics, multimedia, audio and video, and advanced technologies such Dynamic HTML, Javascript, and XML, as well as new chapters on XHTML, WML, and SMIL. This book is an indispensable tool for web designers and authors of all levels About the Author Jennifer Niederst is creative director of Songline Studios, publishers of innovative online products. She began designing documents for the World Wide Web in mid-1993 as the original designer of the identity, interface, and graphics for Global Network Navigator (GNN), published by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. Prior to her life online, Jennifer worked as a book designer for O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., and Little, Brown & Company. She has also worked as a freelance graphic designer. She attended the University of Notre Dame where she received a BFA in design and photography and a BA in art history. --Oreilly web design

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Customer Reviews

I have the first edition of this book.
Anitra Smith
For beginners who want to learn web design, I would recommend a book like Head First HRML, XHTML and CSS from O'Reilly first.
Hartley J. Jackson
If you do any web design work, you need this book.
Todd Hawley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 118 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on September 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
When a book is as good as this one, later editions can't improve it; they can only update it.
That's what this one does. The second edition of Jennifer Niederst's comprehensive reference on web design now takes account of HTML 4.01; the stuff on browsers takes account of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and Netscape 6.
And what else is there to say? Just like the first edition (but with a handful of additional topics and updates to the existing ones), this volume provides a thorough "desktop quick reference" on the entire spectrum of web design -- a general introduction to and overview of the Web itself; authoring using HTML, cascading style sheets, and server side includes; graphics (GIF, JPEG, and PNG formats, colors, and animation); multimedia (audio, video, Flash, Shockwave, and introductory Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language); and advanced topics like JavaScript, DHTML, XML, XHTML, WAP, and WML. The appendices still provide easily-thumbable tables of HTML elements, attributes, tags nobody officially likes anymore, proprietary (i.e., browser-specific) tags, a chart showing which browsers support which CSS features, and all the special characters you can use in HTML (you know, &#these; &#things;).
And you probably also already know who Jen Niederst is; if not, go read my review of her book _Learning Web Design_, which you should buy first anyway if you're new to the subject. Anyway, she's a terrific writer with intimate knowledge of all the little details you need to know in order to do web design effectively; guides just don't come any better.
You know all of this already if you have the first edition.
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Meryl K. Evans on August 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book takes novice to intermediate designers to the next level and is also useful as a desktop quick reference. Many buy such books and end up never opening them or maybe a few times before it's outdated. I admit I'm one of those people, but not when it comes to the weasel (picture on the cover) book. This is the book the professor assigned for one of my first Web design classes and it is responsible for my learning tables, CSS, and knowing when to make a graphics file .gif or .jpg.

It's the most well worn Web design book I have in my collection and the only HTML book I ever bought. Thankfully, there is little that's changed in the format of the book because it wasn't broken. Robbins takes the appropriate steps to update it and expand the sections that are more relevant today.

Expect an entire orchestra of instruments relevant to Web design, along with the specific details and tricks you should know. It may seem a bit much that Niederst covers HTML, CSS, SSI, graphics, multimedia, JavaScript, DHTML, XML, XHTML, WAP, and WML. However, she appropriately magnifies essential things while the advanced or "you may want to explore" topics are touched upon to give an idea of how it works with suggestions for further reading

The book starts off by addressing the biggest challenge of designing a site that looks good in every browser and version. "Designing for a Variety of Browsers" has a two-page chart of various browsers and versions for the Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX environments, showing what each supports and doesn't support.

The next chapter covers another source of frustration for designers, "Designing for a Variety of Displays.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on frontend matters of web design and development: markup, style sheets, image production, multimedia, and so on. Ironically, despite its title, there is little in the way of "design" advice, per se. Rather, it strives to be a thorough reference for the technical details and requirements faced in day-to-day work designing and developing web content. Although it is a good introduction to all subjects covered, if you really want to dig into the details of any particular technology, you will probably need other reference books. As far as "big picture" instruction, though, I highly recommend it. I review the book further in the context of its table of contents. The book is divided into six parts plus appendixes, each covering a general subject area.

Part I: The Web Environment

Chapter 1, Web Standards, describes the current approach to web design and sets the stage for the entire book. It is essential reading. Chapters on designing for varying browsers and displays provide useful overviews of the unique challenges web developers face. Chapter 5, Accessibility, and Chapter 6, Internationalization, both serve as introductions to the ways web content may be created to reach all users, regardless of ability, browsing device, or language. Chapter 4, A Beginner's Guide to the Server, is a primer on basic server functions, system commands, uploading files, and file types.

Part II: The Structural Layer: XML and (X)HTML

This part of the book is about document markup, commonly referred to as the structural layer because it provides the foundation upon which presentation (styles) and behaviors (scripting) are applied. Chapter 7, Introduction to XML, covers critical concepts that guide the way (X)HTML is handled in contemporary web design.
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