HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 2002
Pages: 672

HTML and its XML-based descendant, XHTML, are the fundamental languages for working on the web, and the new edition of our popular HTML guide offers web developers a better way to become fluent in these languages. HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition is the most comprehensive, up-to-date book available on HTML and XHTML. It covers Netscape Navigator 6, Internet Explorer 6, HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, CSS2, and all of the features supported by the popular web browsers.

Learning HTML and XHTML is like learning any new language. Most students first immerse themselves in examples. Studying others is a natural way to learn; however, it's as easy to learn bad habits through imitation as it is to acquire good ones. The better way to become HTML-fluent is through a comprehensive reference that covers the language syntax, semantics, and variations in detail and demonstrates the difference between good and bad usage.

In HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, the authors cover every element of HTML/XHTML in detail, explaining how each element works and how it interacts with other elements. Tips about HTML/XHTML style help you write documents ranging from simple online documentation to complex presentations. With hundreds of examples, the book gives you models for writing your own effective web pages and for mastering advanced features like style sheets and frames.

HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition, shows how to:

  • Use style sheets to control a document's appearance
  • Work with programmatically generated HTML
  • Create tables, from simple to complex
  • Use frames to coordinate sets of documents
  • Design and build interactive forms and dynamic documents
  • Insert images, sound files, video, Java applets, and JavaScript programs
  • Create documents that look good on a variety of browsers
  • Make the transition to XHTML
The book comes with a handy quick-reference card listing HTML/XHTML tags.
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oreillyHTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition
 
3.2

(based on 6 reviews)

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

This book taught me (X)HTML

By Josh Jensen

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition:

When I started this book, the only HTML I knew was mark-up for italics and bold. After a summer with the book and lots of practice, I've been able to create a competent site (EMU International (http://www.emuinternational.org) ), and I've completely redesigned my employer's site (Carolina Hope (http://www.carolinahopeadoption.org) ).

The authors' insistence on the priority of content has shaped my own views on site creation, and I recommend this book to other beginners.

(2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Out of Touch

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition:

Poor integration of XHTML. Examples and main thrust still in HTML. Not much on integration of CSS and HTML. Not much about the web standards movement. "Using tables for page layout" section!!

My copies of the first two editions became rag-eared and much-loved. Musciano and Kennedy need to bring the book into the 21st Century.

The book still has value as an HTML reference, but imagine if it had been written by Jeffery Zeldman!

(2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition Review

By mike

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition:

I am very dissapointed in this book, "HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide." I was unimpressed with the methodology, but most importantly with the stance it took towards standards, and moving forward with XHTML. I wish I would have had a chance to peruse this in a bookstore before I purchased, but my trust for O'Reilly content is high( and still is ). At first review I was more than moderately disapointed with this book. With continued reading, I found this book detrimental if one is trying to learn XHTML, with its single chapter dedicated to XHTML, and a section on using tables for layout. If a reader were to read this book and a CSS book together, they would have information that contrasted distinctly. I hoped that this book instruct the user on XHTML, and point out its advantages and disadvantages logically, reasonably, and correctly. Not teach HTML, then use 10 pages to say and there is this other thing called XHTML, and here are some differences. Not to mention failing to point out that it is indeed an easier mark-up language to use ( it in fact countered that point of view ). It also made no mention of XHTML readability, and its advantages with CSS2 layout methodologies. One might also mention mark-up validation...If you're looking for an in depth look at XHTML look elswhere. This book should not have XHTML in the title. Perhaps a new revision is in order.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition Review

By David Scott

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition:

This book makes an excellent reference guide though I was able to read it straight through. The authors are blunt and thorough--very realistic and pragmatic. When something in the standard sucks, they point it out. They have a good and geeky sense of humour.

X/HTML is covered in its entirety concerning the present, historical artifacts, and a look to the future. Surrounding technologies such as JavaScript, Java, and CSS are given a detailed overlook and books are referenced so that the reader has somewhere to look concerning those other technologies.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition Review

By Tim Jowers from the Columbia Java Users Group

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition:

Very thorough reference on HTML. Very useful and well written. I will refer to this book again and recommend this book to someone interested in how HTML is defined and interpreted and the current state of the art in HTML writing. The target audience seems to be graphics artists and web page designers. The content gives excellent coverage of what all the HTML tags mean, how stylesheets work, and insightful discussion of layout considerations. Extremely well written but my primary qualm is that I've never worked on a project where writing HTML was the key problem with HTML. E.g.: Almost nothing on scripting HTML. Should cover something on form validation etc. No good

coverage on current trends to supplement HTML with Flash and PDF docs. No good coverage of performance testing and little on even HTML validation even by using different browsers. Does point out for each HTML tag/object what is proprietary to MS Internet Explorer and to Netscape. All said, if you are an HTML page designer then this book really is almost definitive.

Plus the author could talk about real tools. E.g. the section "Use the Best" tells you to use the best HTML editor but doesn't talk about DreamWeaver, FrontPage, or anything besides a brief mention of MS Word. Also, having worked at a web design company for a while I can tell you that fixed page layout is the norm for the graphic artists/page designers and not enough treatment of that is made. E.g. the section "Tricks with Tables" says "experiment...manually shifting text from one column..." and this is just not the standard way things are done. Should designers take advantage of HTML's ability to dynamically fit the available space? Probably. But authors need to explain this before any designers will start to do it. Also omitted are XSL:FO and content managers not to mention App Server/Web Server deployment issues.

Overall the book is easy to read and has lots of good ideas and good information. It is an excellent first book for an HTML programmer and can serve as a first class reference for anyone that works with HTML. I gave it four stars for covering HTML completely but not covering the ancillary issues that the title "Definitive" promises. If the title was "HTML: The Markup Language" then I would have given it six stars.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition Review

By David Leader

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th Edition:

I have found my copy of the fourth edition of this book valuable, but as it had become outdated by the years and the new edition boasted xhtml in its title I shelled out for that. I am disappointed.

It is ok describing html 4.01 transitional, but the coverage of Netscape 4 only relics is an absurd waste of space, and creates a suspicion that the authors are either lazy or more likely have not come to terms with the way html has developed. A listing of obsolete browser-specific tags would have been enough - history lessons like Chapter 14 are quite absurd. And suggesting people not to use a DTD declaration if they are not using HTML strict!

The authors pay lip-service to CSS, but one error gives them away. On p. 307 the state that the span tag is deprecated. Anyone can make a mistake, but this one reveals that the authors were not thinking about what the tag was invented for.

I am sorry to be blunt but I think O'Reilly should recognize that the authors are no longer in tune with what html has become and replace them for the next edition if it is not to let its reputation slide.

David Leader

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