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Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference [Paperback]

Danny Goodman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference 4.7 out of 5 stars (40)
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Book Description

11 July 1998 1565924940 978-1565924949 1

If you are a Web content developer these days, you have a lot of information to keep track of. You need to stay current on the relevant Web specifications, like HTML, CSS, DOM, and ECMAScript. You also need to know how the latest Web browsers from Netscape and Microsoft actually implement these standards, since browser implementations of the standards are less than perfect. Right now, you're forced to keep multiple reference books open on your desk (or multiple browser windows open on your screen), just to develop a simple dynamic Web page that works properly under both Navigator and Internet Explorer.

Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference changes all that. This book is an indispensable compendium for Web content developers. It contains everything you need to create functional cross-platform Web applications, including:

  • A complete reference for all of the HTML tags, CSS style attributes, browser document objects, and JavaScript objects supported by the various standards and the latest versions of Navigator and Internet Explorer. Browser compatibility is emphasized throughout; the reference pages clearly indicate browser support for every entity.
  • Handy cross-reference indexes that make it easy to find interrelated HTML tags, style attributes, and document objects.
  • An advanced introduction to creating dynamic Web content that addresses the cross-platform compromises inherent in Web page design today.

If you have some experience with basic Web page creation, but are new to the world of dynamic content, Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference will jump-start your development efforts. If you are an experienced Web programmer, you'll find the browser-compatibility information invaluable. This book is the only DHTML reference that a Web developer needs.

Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference is designed to work in conjunction with HTML: The Definitive Guide and JavaScript: The Definitive Guide. HTML: The Definitive Guide teaches you about every element of HTML in detail, with explanations of how each element works and how it interacts with other elements, as well as numerous examples. JavaScript: The Definitive Guide provides a thorough description of the JavaScript language, complete with sophisticated examples that show you how to handle common Web application tasks. Together, these three books provide a complete library for Web content developers.

Product details

  • Paperback: 1456 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 July 1998)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1565924940
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565924949
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 17.8 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,579,473 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


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

This is an essential reference for users with a serious interest in DHTML. -- Major Kearny, Book News, Jan 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book! 23 July 2004
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
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
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
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this book from Marketplace Resellers 15 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is excellent (probably), but I'm having trouble getting a copy of the third edition to see it.

This is partly the responsibility of Amazon but also the responsibility of the marketplace resellers.

Twice, I have tried to buy this book through different marketplace resellers in the last couple of weeks.

Both times, when I ordered the third edition of the book, the reseller sent me a first edition.

I'm getting quite a pile of first edition books now. A first edition is virtually worthless.

To the marketplace resellers. Do your due diligence and attach your product to the Amazon product pages for the correct edition. Don't be lazy and search by book title. Search by ISBN. The fact that the book cover picture is different to the one in your hand should tell you that it isn't a correct match. Go back and check your products thoroughly right now and make sure they are the right edition.

To Amazon. Get your act together and police this more thoroughly. Change the UI of the reseller data entry page to force a mandatory entry of ISBN or SKU codes so it finds and attaches to the correct product. Its just as bad for DVDs too.

To the public at large. Forget buying this item from a marketplace reseller. They are probably all selling first editions and are not well enough informed. Maybe some resellers are just lazy, or stupid or just purposefully telling lies about their product to fool you into buying out of date editions. Buy the Amazon copy, in the end it will be cheaper than buying all the reseller copies that you have to in order to get the book you want.

What a sheer waste of time and money!!!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Feels like an old friend
the author, not the book.

I first became aware of Danny Goodman way back in the late eighties when I was deeply immersed in Hypercard development. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ivan Bradley
3.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book. Not a tutorial though.
I've always thought of this as one of those must-have books. However, on looking at its cover once again, it is quite plain to see that in the years I have owned the book, I have... Read more
Published on 4 May 2011 by Facebook Answers
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for experts, * * * * * (but EXPERTS ONLY!!)
Three quick questions. Are you at least dimly familiar with every piece of code you'll want to use? Enough that, when attempting a task, you'll know at least the first few letters... Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2007 by A. Slater
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference
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. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2007 by Tami Brady
4.0 out of 5 stars A reference not a tutorial
This refers to the 3rd edition (Dec 2006).

This is some tome at some 1200 plus pages (discounting the indices). Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2007 by Mr. R. Bragg
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps on saving my life 4 years after publication
I found this book hard going 3 years ago when I was just getting into dhtml. As time has gone on I have found it to be, without doubt THE most important, useful, informative book... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2002 by
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't live without it - even though needs updating
This is the only refernce book you'll need for HTML and the browser object model (dhtml). It is ESSENTIAL. Only problem is that it's age is now showing. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars thorough reference on HTML, CSS, Javascript and DOM
Although things change quickly on the Internet, this book is still the best reference and resource on web site building that I have come across. Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop. You've hit the jackpot
This is the first computer book I have bought and used within hours to looked-up on tags in JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) - is that good. Read more
Published on 9 July 2001 by
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