Paperback: 658 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (December 18, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (475 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #352,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #12 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > XHTML #46 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > CSS #49 in Books > Computers & Technology > Internet & Social Media > Web Browsers
The "Head First" series by O'Reilly does it again. This book manages to take the conceptually easy yet complicated task of learning HTML, XHTML, and CSS and breaks it down so that anyone can figure out what is going on and what needs to be done in web page design using these technologies. Plus, if you learned HTML several years ago and you would like to update your skills to current technology, this is a great choice for a textbook.The book starts out with the basics of HTML -text, webpage form via HTML, putting your webpage on the Internet and linking to other web resources, and adding images and thumbnails. Next the author tackles XHTML, starting by answering the questions What is XHTML? and Why would I want to use XHTML? The author composes three simple steps to take you from strict HTML to XHTML:1. Change your DOCTYPE to XHTML 1.0 Strict.2. Add the xmins, lang, and xml:lang attributes to your element.3. All empty tags should end in "/>" not ">".Next, CSS is introduced, along with the properties that can be controlled via CSS. When you read the CSS chapters you'll find yourself asking "Why don't other books just SAY this plainly like THIS book does?". Eventually, the author has you doing advanced layout and control using all the tools available to you without you ever noticing that you've been "studying". The book concludes with lessons on interactivity and tables. I think it is most interesting that the author saves the subject of tables for the end of the book versus other texts that usually introduce them early on. This is because the author is using the more advanced lessons on CSS to help make the subject of tabular data less confusing.
I've been involved with the Head First series as a reviewer from the beginning and, as such, my review might be biased, but I will regret not telling you how good this book is.The Internet is fast becoming a means of sharing one's life with friends, colleagues and anybody out there who is prepared to listen. Some start by telling their story using a blog; the more adventurous create their own web sites, and it is that category of person that this book is aimed at. Don't make the mistake of thinking that this book, and the whole series, seems too upbeat and too young for you. This book is for all ages, The Head First series is designed to make learning fun, and though it was originally aimed at the younger generation, I personally think that old age pensioners will be able to learn HMTL the correct way just as easily as their grand children if they use this book - and you will be sooo cool if you have this book on your shelf when they, the grand kids, visit again next time.The emphasis in this book is on creating web pages the correct way, to make pages that will work correctly in any browser. If you work through Elisabeth and Eric's book, you will end up with a web site that can withstand anything the W3C's Markup Validation Service can throw at it. And when your web pages pass the validation, you can put the W3C's cool "passed validation" logo on your site. A sign of recognition that you know what you are doing.This book does not require you to have prior HTML knowledge; it takes you by the hand and teaches you everything you need from scratch. But don't be fooled, I was the review manager for this book and even some of the reviewers with years of HTML knowledge under their belt learnt new things from it.
Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML is totally unlike any other HTML book I've ever read -- or owned. Most are basic references -- "if you want this, do this" type books. Very dry and dull, not something you're going to sit and read in one setting. Not helpful to someone who is not technologically inclined who wants to learn how to "do a website."This book is written to teach. It's written so that you remember what you read, using techniques that teachers are being taught to use in the classroom. And it's one that I would actually use in the classroom if I were still teaching Computer Applications.The first thing you notice about the book is that it's colorful. Normally, the only color in an HTML book is the chart of colors and their hex codes (which, ironically, this book doesn't have). Even the acknowledgements include color pictures of the people they are thanking. And everything in the book is worth reading through -- including the acknowledgements and the table of contents. There's a healthy use of humor throughout that makes it worth actually reading through, rather than just using as a reference.And that's the point. The authors are quick to say that if you're looking for another HTML reference book, to keep looking. This is a book for people who want to learn.I wasn't sure how much I'd really learn from this book -- after all, I'd just read and reviewed Creating Web Sites: The Missing Manual. But while that book gave me a good basis for understanding CSS, this book has expanded my understanding considerably. I've got a CSS reference book that has been seldom used; I think I'll be dusting it off soon, because I know enough to be able to use it now.