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on 13 October 2006
If you have no idea what a div tag is, or the id attribute, or you've been pretending for a while that you do, this is the book you should buy. For beginners it has no equal.

It's effective on three fronts. First, unlike so many other HTML/CSS books on the shelves, it takes nothing for granted - the authors have managed to step outside the often esoteric world of web design and speak clearly and unpatronisingly to the uninitiated. Second, it's rooted in a tried and tested theory of learning, which means that if you do the apparently silly little puzzles and games, chances are you'll actually remember what you've read. Finally, it's fun - you'll groan at times, but it's so much better than dry-as-dust textbook-ese.

I've bought nine books in the last four months in an obsessive attempt to understand how to create effective web sites. This book has provided the foundation for all the others, and is easily the most thoughtfully conceived.
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on 14 January 2006
This book was was by far one of the most enjoyable learning experiences I have had in recent times. It literally does throw you in "Head First" but it's unique style and sense of humour manages to pull it off. It starts of with the basic introduction to the web and HTML tags, browsers but the way it teaches you is so clever, emphasing the logic and need for industrial strength code which is unusual for informal books like "Dummy's" series (which I can't stand!!). I must point out that this book is based on real HTML 4.01 strict form, moving on to XHTML 1.0 and CSS. If have experience in previous legacy versions of HTML then the hardest thing will be to un-learn what you already know. Experienced or non experienced, this book is designed to be read from cover to cover and is not a reference and it by no means covers everything but it does cover the main topics/standards and does get quite advanced while retaining the terrible (but strangely amusing) sense of humour. On top of all this there are a couple of website design scenarios that develop througout the book as you learn more which covers practical aspect of things.
I highly recommend this title, Superb.
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on 26 February 2006
Head First books have the power to induce unrestrained enthusiasm from their devotees. Expect much raving below.
I am an utter HTML newbie and I've never read any other books on HTML or CSS, so I can't comment on how complete the coverage of the book is. However, after having read this book, I had a poke around a few HTML and CSS files, and understood what they were doing, so it must be fairly complete. As a brief indicator of the scope, the book takes you from HTML no-hoper to designing a multi-columned web page considering different float, jello, and fixed CSS styles. The last two chapters cover tables and forms (that's things like radio buttons and text areas), but doesn't cover scripting or server side programming.
I also ran a few web pages through the W3C validator, and then felt extremely smug when I understood when they failed. I look forward to making myself very unpopular with my web-designing colleagues with this newfound knowledge.
What I can comment on with more confidence is the learning experience. I started reading this on Friday evening, and finished it on Sunday afternoon. It is a joy to read.
If you've read a previous Head First book, you know what to expect, although this book has the added bonus of full colour pages and higher quality paper. Curious about HTML, XHTML, CSS? Buy without hesitation. Nice to see the Five Minute Mysteries from Head First Java back, too.
If you've not read a Head First book, then expect a tutorial rather than a reference. Calling it a tutorial does it a disservice, however. There is little in the way of traditional exposition in Head First titles. You will never see a page of plain text.
What you will see are a succession of engaging scenarios with slyly waggish pop-cultural references; recurring characters setting tasks, asking the questions, and playing out the concepts you're introduced to; copiously annotated fragments of code and the resulting web pages; small puzzles and crosswords. Even when there are multiple ways of doing the same thing, instead of a simple table listing the pros and cons, you're more likely to see an anthropomorphised head to head discussion or an interview.
Sounds a bit gimmicky? Sound like it'd be really annoying? It's not - it's almost perfectly judged, and it's the secret of what makes this a compelling learning experience. Everything is conversational and humanised. The pacing is spot on, and there's an energy to this that has you wanting to read just one more chapter.
For a book about CSS, this is no small achievement. If you're interested in building your own website or simply just curious about what HTML can do, buy it without hesitation.
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on 17 June 2016
It's easier just to learn what you need to know by looking it up in the excellent and free w3schools website.
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on 7 February 2015
Very informative
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on 16 August 2006
Like a lot of the reviews I found this book amazing at times but also annoying.If your like me you want to get straight in and get to the point, well this book doesn't do that it takes you by the hand and guides you through each chapter with quirky comments and a bit of humour. I have to admit once you get used to that this book is rather good. I am nearly at the end of this book and have to my suprise really enjoyed it and also have learnt alot. I have used dreamweaver for a number of years without having to code stuff, now I feel far more confident about writing my own code and using css. I am going for a OU course in October and feel ready and confident to take it on....if you want to know html/css then buy the book it's great.
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on 7 April 2006
Having read many reviews on many books in my search to find one (or more) which helped me really get a handle on handcoding, I tried this one. Boy, am I glad I did! I have worked my through the entire book - and understood and remembered (most) of it - in just days. I have marked three or four pages which I will continue to use for reference, but an awful lot has already stuck. There are lots of bits I shall be going over as I put them into practice, but this book has given me a comprehensive overview and then the instructions with which to make it work. So often you want to learn how to do something, but without an idea of what is actually possible you don't know to ask "How do I ... ?" This book has given me that overview, and then the answers. I shall be keeping my eye on other books in the series as I become more proficient and start to expand my horizons: I know I will be able to learn from them, and would thoroughly recommend this book to even a complete beginner.
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on 23 June 2006
Forget the rest - this is the best. I have learn some web design techniques over the last few years, but have always been afraid of the 'coding' bit, and I got away with it using Dreamweaver, but now I want to learn CSS, I realise that much of the basics of html I didn't understand. I am on chapter three of this book and it really is filling in all the gaps in my knowledge, that I feel confident that when I get the the CSS/XHTML sections I will understand it too.

It is unlike any other book on the subject that I have read. All the other books seem to assume that you know lots of things - and those are the things that I don't!

With this book, I reckon that my mum could build websites after reading it. It is a revolution in learning, so if you struggle with the big picture, then this is the book for you.
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on 30 July 2008
I build websites for a living and I hand code almost all of the static ones. I bought this book for my wife and worked through it with her, so that she could help with general coding, and was taken back by how well the subject is tackled. It is a fun book that delivers a good depth of information and in a manner that sticks with the reader. I didn't have to supplement any of the explanations with more information, and the book did a far better job than I could have done at explaining the basics.Please understand that this book does not cover every aspect of the subject, and will not make you an advanced web coder, but it will equip you with the ability to design a decent web site and to delve much deeper into the subject without being put off by more technical aspects of the business.
After finishing this book, the only thing you will lack is experience, and that of course is as far as any book can take you.
If I taught this subject to students, then this would be the course text book.
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on 4 August 2006
I found this book excellent for learning HTML & CSS. It was light-hearted and interesting to work through and I thoroughly enjoyed it (never thought I'd say that about this type of book!)

However, once I had read it I wanted to put it into practice and that is when the problems started. The index is useless. Don't waste your time trying to find anything, it's not worth the effort - just use Google. It's fine if you have a photographic memory and can remember the HTML/CSS for each element, attribute and property, but if you are human and forget things (like me) you want to be able to look up stuff in English, like looking up text decoration under T for text or F for font (actually filed under P for properties); divisions (filed under numerous things, but not D); and classes (if you find it, please let me know).

I'd happily pay for a few extra pages to include a decent index, as this book is really a very good learning tool. It's a real shame that you can't use it as a reference after you have finished learning as it's too good to throw away, but too useless to keep.
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