HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition
Creating Effective Web Pages
By Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2006
Pages: 680

"...lucid, in-depth descriptions of the behavior of every HTML tag on every major browser and platform, plus enough dry humor to make the book a pleasure to read."
--Edward Mendelson, PC Magazine

"When they say 'definitive' they're not kidding."
--Linda Roeder,

Put everthing you need to know about HTML & XHTML at your fingertips. For nearly a decade, hundreds of thousands of web developers have turned to HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide to master standards-based web development. Truly a definitive guide, the book combines a unique balance of tutorial material with a comprehensive reference that even the most experienced web professionals keep close at hand. From basic syntax and semantics to guidelines aimed at helping you develop your own distinctive style, this classic is all you need to become fluent in the language of web design.

The new sixth edition guides you through every element of HTML and XHTML in detail, explaining how each element works and how it interacts with other elements. You'll also find detailed discussions of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which is intricately related to web page development. The most all-inclusive, up-to-date book on these languages available, this edition covers HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, and CSS2, with a preview of the upcoming XHTML2 and CSS3. Other topics include the newer initiatives in XHTML (XForms, XFrames, and modularization) and the essentials of XML for advanced readers. You'll learn how to:

  • Use style sheets to control your document's appearance
  • Work with programmatically generated HTML
  • Create tables, both simple and 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

The authors apply a natural learning approach that uses straightforward language and plenty of examples. Throughout the book, they offer suggestions for style and composition to help you decide how to best use HTML and XHTML to accomplish a variety of tasks. You'll learn what works and what doesn't, and what makes sense to those who view your web pages and what might be confusing. Written for anyone who wants to learn the language of the Web--from casual users to the full-time design professionals--this is the single most important book on HTML and XHTML you can own.

Bill Kennedy is chief technical officer of MobileRobots, Inc. When not hacking new HTML pages or writing about them, "Dr. Bill" (Ph.D. in biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago) is out promoting the company's line of mobile, autonomous robots that can be used for artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic research, and education.

Chuck Musciano began his career as a compiler writer and crafter of tools at Harris Corporations' Advanced Technology Group and is now a manager of Unix Systems in Harris' Corporate Data Center.

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oreillyHTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition

(based on 5 reviews)

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


A definitive reference

By vbr

from Paris, France

About Me Designer, Developer


  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

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    Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

    A great book, one of the few references deeply explaining the WEB foundations.
    Some of the chapters are outdated (for instance about mobile browers) but it doesn't matter.
    This guide is a complete reference for using and understanding HTML/CSS and a starter to go beyond (HTML5/CSS3)/
    Great chapter about XML also.
    For when is the new edition including latest standard updates ?

    (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


    I wish I'd had this book when ...

    By Chris Smith

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

    I wish I'd had this book when I was designing a small web page as a front end to a piece of software which is about as user friendly as a cornered ferret! I hadn't realised until that point how non-standards based IE6 & IE7 are. I use Firefox almost exclusively and designed around that browser. Then I realised that my colleagues use IE (6 or 7) and I had to make some basic changes because of the deficiencies in those browsers. If I had to highlight one aspect I like about this book it would be the comparison of the various browsers and their reaction to each tag.

    (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


    Dry, but solid.

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

    A dry read, when faced with the extensive completeness this book presents. Its only other flaws are its departure from standards based use and no mention of CSS. Once you've gotten through it, it becomes a very valuable reference when you need a bit more detail.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


    Great reference book

    By Ferio

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

    I think it is the most complete reference book on (X)HTML ever, explaining every tag and extension this language has. The only (little) disappointment I had with it is that it doesn't teach good and strong standards behaviour in some points, but apart from that, it's an essential reference book.

    If you use it as a complement to Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML ( , you'll get the whole and complete standards-based XHTML experience.

    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


    Excellent text for teaching HTML

    By Pam Kerensky, Berklee College of Music

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

    I used O'Reilly books for years professionally, but have also found this particular text wonderful to use for my beginning web design course. I have been using it since the 4th edition. It gives a good introduction to the history behind the language, standards, etc. and gives the students a useful reference to use above and beyond the course requirements. Many books I reviewed were either too focused on CSS or XHTML in the very beginning, which I have found is difficult for beginners, or were strictly project focused, which meant only really showing one way of doing things. This text allows me to focus on the basics, yet also offers the opportunity to go back and look at other options as we advance. Students may find it a bit dry in the beginning, but once they begin to use it, they find it invaluable and tell me that they continue to use the book even after the course has ended, while the "hands-on project" books sit on the shelf! The pull-out reference in the back is very also very handy.

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