- Series: Nutshell Handbooks
- Paperback: 552 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second edition (April 11, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1565922352
- ISBN-13: 978-1565922358
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,092,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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HTML: The Definitive Guide (Nutshell Handbooks) Paperback – April 11, 1997
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This is the first and still the only book on HTML I have seen that does not assume I am a slobbering computer-illiterate idiot. I don't need the book to explain to me how to click a mouse, I just need information about the syntax of HTML, and the results I should expect to see. This volume has lived up to my expectations in every way; I am here at Amazon to purchase another copy for my project team.
I particularly appreciate the sections about how the various web browsers differ, and the advice on how to develop HTML that is acceptable to all web browsers. HTML was supposed to free us from varying implementations, this book helps to keep us on that rosy path.
The layout of this book, like all O'Reilly titles, is clean and elegant. Many of the mass-market publications about computers in general and the internet in particular are full of grey boxes, purple or blue highlights, graphical computer screens, and other publishing gew-gaws that make it nearly impossible to follow what the text is saying. They are written in "info bites," apparently aimed at readers that cannot read for longer than a minute at a time. As a refreshing contrast, this book is written in a comforting narrative style, with examples highlighted by legible fonts, and screen shots of a real web browser displaying the results. The text flows from one topic to the next, making it possible to pick up the book the next time the network dies and read an entire chapter at a time.
If you are computer literate and already understand the basics of HTML, this book will answer serve as a valuable reference as you build your HTML skills. Highly recommended.
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.
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. This is not "The Definitive Guide to Building Web Sites". It is a book on HTML code, and it will not tell you what to use the tags for, it assumes you know what you want, and the basic HTML elements you want to use (tables, vs. frames, for instance).
In conclusion, if! you are not a programmer, that this should be the second, not the first HTML book you buy. However, if you already know some HTML, or you are a programmer that wants to learn a new language, then buy this book.
P.S. for the reviewers that said this was outdated: The most recent revision (3/98) goes up to Netscape 4 and IE 4, with a decent chapter on CSS. A good site does not use bleeding edge, non cross-browser tags anyway, so a book last edited two months ago should get the job done.
Oh, yes. It is dryly written--but, I like that, now. It is no-nonsense, to the point--exactly what I need. I do wish the authors would be less conservative when advising content over style. Time to loosen up, fellas.
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