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Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference: A Comprehensive Resource for HTML, CSS, DOM & JavaScript Paperback – 22 Sep 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1424 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (22 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003166
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 5.6 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,323,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Danny Goodman felt that he couldn't trust any of the documentation on Dynamic HTML (DHTML) that he read (too many contradictions), so he wrote Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference as a reference for working with his own clients. After testing tags and techniques on multiple releases of the main browsers, Goodman came up with very practical information--some of which you may not find in any other resource.

Goodman assumes a solid foundation, if not expertise, in basic HTML and an understanding of what DHTML is all about. From those assumptions, he presents a meaty, information-dense volume. The first of the book's four sections discusses industry standards and how to apply the basic principles of DHTML. He emphasises the differences in Web browsers and discusses how to build pages so that they work well in both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The second section is an extensive, quick reference of all the tags, objects and properties of HTML, cascading style sheets, Document Object Model, and core JavaScript. A particularly handy cross-reference guide to this information follows, helping you locate it in alternate ways. The final section contains appendices, with useful tables of values and commands. --Elizabeth Lewis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


If you're working with HTML in any way, shape, or form, this book is an absolute requirement. -- Joel Spolsky, http://www.joelonsoftware.com, October 9, 2002

This is an essential reference for users with a serious interest in DHTML. -- Major Kearny, Book News, Jan 2003

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on 23 July 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to learn how to create a new menu system for a web site that I'm working on, and I certainly don't regret the choice. Danny Goodman's book does a very good job of covering Dynamic HTML (DHTML), HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), DOM (Document Object Model) and even JavaScript.
The amount of information in this book is incredible. 1400 pages!
Mr. Goodman explains the current situation, where Microsoft's Internet Explorer follows one "standard" and the other browsers follow the W3C standards to varying degrees. He also indicates which version of MS IE first began to support each feature, allowing you to decide whether you want to use some feature that some of your clients' older browsers may not support. This kind of information is invaluable if you want to make your web site cross-browser compatible, including support for Macintosh, Unix, Linux, etc., as well as Windows.
My only criticism is that the book is unfortunately becoming a bit dated. It was published in Sept. 2002 so it obviously can't contain any information about the latest versions of web browsers. On the other hand, Microsoft has not released any new version of IE for over two years, so it's only information about the latest versions of Netscape and other browsers that is missing.
One additional thing I liked about this book was that Danny Goodman sometimes uses an almost poetic English, something rather unusual in a technology book. A couple of examples from page 19: "... can be a challenge unto itself." "If the inexorable flow of new browser versions..."
Highly recommended if you are making web pages that require the use of Dynamic HTML.
Rennie Petersen
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Greg on 1 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the first edition, through to the second, this book hasn't been off my desk for the last 5 years. Even when most of my work involves server side web programming, using VB6, C#, and before that Perl and PHP - I still need to refer to this at least once a week. Even using ASP.NET, where Microsoft try to shield you from the html using server side controls - you will still need this book.
Main uses:
The object model of IE and mozilla, so your javascript code is using the correct object.
Javascript section. A good reference, though Javascript - The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly) is very useful too.
CSS - Not too verbose, light on examples, but superb as a reference.
In short, everyone involved in writing HTML, or client side code, should have this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bogle on 11 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the completely updated second edition. Four years ago I made the first edition my constant companion and it has saved me, and any other web developer nearby, weeks of head-scratching since. Back then we had to tussle with Netscape Navigator 4 vs. Internet Explorer 4 whilst supporting the version 3 browsers. This edition brings home just how much has changed and just how much is new. Most importantly, it helps you to develop web interfaces that will be cross-platform from the outset.
The book is not an introduction to DHTML but it does have a section on Applying DHTML that covers not only the current state of the art but also gives clear guidance in making use of all the features. Danny Goodman makes it very clear that he is not going to discuss the DHTML that Navigator 4 introduced, the <layer> tag and JavaScript style rules, but points out that they are covered in the first edition should you really need to know.
There isn't anything on Accessibility other than a single paragraph drawing your attention to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). DHTML and Accessibility could be considered inimical but that isn't the case and I'd perhaps have liked to see this elaborated on with some suggestions on how to achieve an Accessible site whilst still using DHTML. In practice, however, I've found it easy to meet the Priority 1 checkpoints (or A rating) set by the WAI even with a complete DHTML site so perhaps this is not really an issue.
I find this book really useful. I can't imagine any web developer doing without this book and managing to produce a good cross-platform solution and I also can't imagine that developer needing any other texts on any of the technologies covered here. I certainly don't have any others on my desk today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback
OK so we all look at readers' reviews here on Amazon and often you buy a book with 4 or 5 star reviews and get disappointed. But read what everyone's written here, read what they say on amazon.com too, and this time, we can't all be wrong!
This is the finest computer book I own - the most important reference guide I've read since the mid-80s (that was the BBC Micro Advanced User Guide to you - people who knew it will know what a reverential comparison this is!). Everyone I work with, everyone I know in the industry - this is the book they rely on and look up to in awe. Forget the title - it is a blinding reference on everything you need for client-side HTML, scripting and the DOM, and DHTML just pops out the end. ... if you're writing for V4 browser compatibility this truly is the only book you will ever need...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tami Brady TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
If you do any sort of web design, whether as a do-it yourself novice or as a professional web designer, Dynamic HTML is a must have resource. This all inclusive guide includes a myriad of features for design elements, objects, and styles organized in several easy to understand and easy to use sections: Alphabetical HTML Reference, Shared DOM Reference, Alphabetical DOM Reference, Event Reference, CSS Reference, and Java Script Reference, Cross Reference. All of these examples include actually bit of code that the reader can use as well as associated attributes and their code to tailor that element, object, or style to your desired specifications. This aspect allows the reader to follow through virtually step by step taking a new concept from inception through to a professional look and feel.

I can already tell that Dynamic HTML is going to be one of those desk references that I keep close by my computer. The book is already plastered with a number of post-it notes in places that I need to fix on my existing web pages, concepts that want to experiment with in the future, or ways that I could make my websites more accessible. Having a good book with these aspects all in one place is a boon.

Still, where I will probably gain the most valuable use of this book is in the comparative aspect of the entries. Along with each of the detailed entries in all of the categories, the author has included information about how each feature translates in the different browsers (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, Safari, Opera, and W3C HTML). Anyone who has spent weeks making their website just perfect only to have their best buddy with a different type of browser say that it's all wonky knows that a good detailed cross reference resource is invaluable. Having one as well organized and intuitive as this one is nothing short of amazing.
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