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HTML Mastery: Semantics, Standards, and Styling
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
Before I ordered this book I was hesitant because of what I seen in the table of contents, but was only persuaded by many people who are better than me to buy the book, so I did. What I read didn't come as a surprise, the book did what it said it would do and it did it brilliantly. The reason I give the book a 4 star "I like it" rather than a 5 star "I love it" is because of what it contains that I didn't think it should have contained. The book wastes (in my opinion) 20 pages at the end of the book on the future. Bear in mind that this book was published around 6 years ago now, but Chapter 7 is mostly outdated and irrelevant and the same goes for most of Appendix A. As for Appendix B, I really don't understand why it was included - It's all about frames, which I don't think Paul Haine (the author) should have even mentioned because it's completely bad practice, and although he says this in the opening paragraph of the Appendix, he claims the Appendix on frames has been included because the book purports to cover every (X)HTML tag that there is. Although I do understand that point, a master of HTML would shun the thought and even the mention of frames. The Appendix B on frames isn't bad, I just think it's bad that it was included in the book, I don't think it should have been mentioned at all and as such feel the pages are a waste of the readers money.

Chapters 1, 2, and 6 is where the book really shines out as being the book on HTML Mastery and the chapters on Tables and Forms Mastery are also brilliant along with some extra tips on usability and scripting. You'll become very enlightened and realise a few things that you already knew about but didn't consider beforehand. In addition, chapter 5 on microformats is brilliant. It's what introduced me to the subject that can be sometimes bewildering, depending on which source you're reading about it from. Everything is written in an easy to understand format and the author explains everything with screenshots of the results of what each piece of markup actually does.

I'd like to give a little nod to Chapter 6 in particular for being one of the sections of the book that will literally allow you to become a true master of HTML. Semantics is one of the most important aspects of marking up HTML and being able to understand, recognize, and write semantic markup is partly what it means to be a master of HTML. The section on semantic navigation within this chapter will surprise and delight you.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to become a master of HTML without the need to actually gain 5 years of experience writing it before they automatically become one.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2010
This is one book that I always run to to quickily check some particular HTML elements. It shows how a particular HTML snippet will display in a user agent so even if you are reading away from your PC, you will be able to see how the code will display in a web browser. After purchasing more comprehensive books, like the The Complete Reference HTML & CSS fifth edtion by Powell, I wanted a resource, that's to the point so that I readily review or look up HTML tags but at the same time should offer more depth than an average HTML Pocket Guide. This book satisfies my requirements above. I am already comfortable with HTML so I was not looking for book to teach me HTML from the ground, though I think a complete newbie may benefit from this book. Through the book, I learnt the anatomy of a DTD(Document Type Definition), the important differences between HTML and XHTML in both their Transitional and Strict variants as well as best coding practices. The implication of serving your pages as xml are also explored.

Where this book really becomes a winner is the fact that it delivers so much in just a few pages. If you navigate to the subject of LISTS, you will learn the three types of lists, including how you can produce navigation menus from list items, when to use each type of list and why. So you get just what you need to produce good code not learning the history of HTML wasting time.

Highly recommended. I suggest new buyers to get a newer version than the one on which this review is based.
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on 5 February 2009
I bought this book for my girlfriend who is learning HTML. She told me she really understood things much better after reading it. It made me curious, I have a good knowledge of HTML and gave the book a change. And it really was a good read! This book can be the perfect introduction or a handy reference for beginners as well for advanced users.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2007
Beginner, intermediate, advanced? What ever level you are at, this book is for you! Well written, easy to follow and it makes an excellent reference guide too.
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