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Using HTML and XHTML: Special Edition (Special Edition Using) Paperback – 14 May 2002

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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
In a perfect world... 12 Nov 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If, as I recently did, you were to buy Molly Holzschlag's outstanding "Special Edition Using HTML and XHTML" and "Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design," you might wonder if you had awoken on some strange planet in which pricey web books were actually worth the money, and tech authors wrote at a level that both challenged, elucidated, and entertained.
Molly Holzschlag's book, simply put, succeeds on every possible level. The style is clear and personable and the information is cogently and logically presented. As a web standards "insider," she gives you the history behind the development of markup languages rather than just throwing out the standard grid of what breaks in which browsers -- because, as this book so clearly demonstrates, the "why" matters a great deal, and you can't really get your mind around that without a few little history lessons along the way.
But it is not just a collection of dry facts and background info; the book is hands-on all the way, and constantly uses work-along examples to teach how to use XHTML to author web pages.
As Holzschlag states in the intro, the perfect reader for this book is the intermediate user -- someone who has used HTML before, and is quite familiar with web authoring, but maybe wishes to finally learn to do things the "right way," now that the W3C has made some headway with specifications. The book hits its intended audience mark dead on. The info is not dumbed down, yet important concepts are explained in detail. If you encounter a concept that is over your head, chances are there will be a sidebar link to the W3C website for additional information you need to catch up. This seems to me a very good compromise between leaving seasoned professionals bored, and lower-level intermediates in the dust.
There are several excellent reference charts (such as for ASCII symbols, character sets), and a comprehensive XHTML tag reference, making this a perfect all-around desk reference as well as a tool for getting up to speed on XHTML.
I believe this book would be particularly useful for the web designer wishing to move towards using XHTML for content and CSS for style and layout. In that case, I suggest "Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design" as a companion volume to round out the CSS side of things (Actually, Holzschlag herself references Meyer's book several times).
If you really want to make the switch to cleaner markup, and prepare yourself for what's coming on the web (and if you don't think you want to, this book might also convince you why you *should* want to...) you could hardly do better than this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Confusing, but a good reference. 26 Nov 2004
By Stinger51 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book, like most other primers on XHTML, tries to take the minor differences between standard HTML and XHTML, and turn it into a full blown manuscript. The truth is, if you already know HTML, then you already know most of what you need for XHTML.

XHTML differs little from HTML, except for the following points (I'm using brackets here on purpose so as not to mark up this review) :

- XHTML is case sensitive, e.g. the tags [h1] and [H1] are not equivalent.

- tags must be nested properly, e.g. [b][i]your text here[/b][/i] is incorrect in a "well formed" document.

- certain tags that take no attributes must be terminated with a slash, e.g. [br /]

- XHTML can use "modules" (and good luck trying to understand that chapter in the book).

That's about all you need to know about XHTML. Throw in a DTD definition and you're done. But the book does a poor job of explaining just what a DTD is and why you need one, other than the XML gods just saying you need one.

Much of the book is also C.I.P.U. to HTML users. CSS is given two short chapters with little explanation of why you need CSS and how it can help you manage your web pages. And then it's onto XML, with the same lack of explanation. But, as with most CSS and XML primers, this is typically the case. Everybody is touting the value of XML, but almost nobody can tell you why or how to use this new technology. And this book is no different.

I gave the book two stars because of its one outstanding feature, the references in Appendix C & D. The book is worth having around just for those two sections. In that sense you might want to pick up a used copy for much less than a new one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
it was ok... 4 Nov 2002
By "husmanj" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book did a great job describing xhtml,and like most special edition books I really liked. It was easy to understand. However, they didn't do the best describing modularization. I understood it more when I read it on w3.org. It also should've gone a bit further. I was especially disappointed it didn't say anything about xforms which was like the coolest part of xhtml. That doesn't this book isn't worth the money though. Its a great reference, but if you're looking to harness the full potential of xhtml and its newer features go elsewhere.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Job 19 Oct 2002
By Todd Hawley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book takes a detailed look at HTML and XHTML and all the various topics that relate to these markup languages. Even at the book's start, it discusses specifications and Document Type Definitions (DTD). In the book's second part, it talks about lists, links, tables, framesets, and forms, some of the "easier" things you can do with HTML and XHTML. Part three gets into adding images and multimedia, and what to watch out for when adding these items. Cascading Style Sheets get a thorough lookover in the book's fourth part, from using them with HTML & XHTML to adding style and positioning. The book also has a huge XMHTL reference section at the back of the book. This book is a wonderful reference guide for anyone working with HTML and XHTML, as well as providing good tutorial information throughout its pages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Special Edition Using HTML and XHTML 25 Oct 2005
By Turbo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book. I have been looking for a book like this for a long time.
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