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on 6 January 2010
This might have been one of the best HTML guides of the late 1990s. As it is, the techniques are long out of date and certainly not to be recommended. As with far too many similar HTML books, it's a HTML 3.2 text with additions to "bring it up to date". As HTML 4 has been released for over 12 years now, that's just not good enough.

The approach here is to introduce the presentational use of HTML early on, and to think that by labeling each section and tag as "deprecated", that's an excuse - it isn't. Separation of markup and presentation needs to be explained from the outset, and when new readers are first taught presentation it should be through the use of CSS.

CSS is introduced here. It's a poor treatment, based (as usual) on explaining CSS properties one by one, rather than showing how to use the CSS tools to achieve page design tasks. In particular, the crucial technique of float is barely mentioned.

My recommendation for HTML + CSS texts is still Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML, followed up by Lie and Bos' Cascading Style Sheets. Those are two that not only teach correct descriptions of the tools, they also teach the right approaches for producing modern, best practice work.
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on 9 July 2012
I'm very glad that I borrowed this from a well-meaning friend, rather than having purchased a fresh copy.
I should mention that this book is not for the casual website owner - it's over 800 pages of content which should be building a basis for professional web development. Sadly, it doesn't.

The code is horribly outdated (writing "(Depreciated)" next to a few headings does not, in my mind, count as an "update" worthy of a new edition), the language is dry, and the examples and "try it out" sections and exercises are downright confusing. There are MANY errors in the code and general flow of the lessons.
Finally, this book looks as though it has been barely edited. If it has been, I would sack the editor. There are random typos, grammatical errors, "floating" bits of text here and there that clearly don't belong, overall giving a very unprofessional feel to the whole affair.
Despite not having purchased this book for myself, I felt so strongly about its poor content that I felt the need to post a review to warn others.

Suggested alternative:
Take your money somewhere else, I beg you - better yet, learn at W3Schools.com for free. At least the code there is up-to-date and reasonably edited by people who know their stuff (it's presented by W3C who create the web standards that HTML, XHTML, and CSS are based upon). Buying this Wrox guide is to purchase barely more than a repetition of the driest of online tutorials available for free.
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on 30 December 2013
I thought it rather quaint that this book started out listing a load of antiquated presentational tags. It was only when I read one of the other reviews here that I realised why this is, it's because the section is based on an archaic version of HTML and it has only really had a bit of a 'coat of paint' to bring it up to date.

I'm not sure I could recommend a complete newbie to start out by learning practices that would have been out of date even when the book was first published and are therefore only really of historical interest now. The disclaimer that 'Old sites still use these tags so you need to know about them' is a little stretched IMHO

I think this book does have some merit still today, if one is interested in getting a broader view of the evolution of HTML and an understanding of the direction of web development etc. I found the first chapter to be quite useful, as a general overview, eg. how the HTML elements relate to real world print entities was very well explained.

This is quite a comprehensive and well written book, and the content there is will be of interest, even if not so relevant to modern practices. I've read the authors more recent book "HTML & CSS: Design and Build Web Sites" ( I had not realised they were by the same author ) I'd go for that instead/ as well as this if you prefer a more visual approach to learning.
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