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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Sixth Edition: The Must-Have Reference to the Language of the Web

October 31, 2006

Sebastopol, CA--With all the buzz about Web 2.0, Ajax, and other up-and-coming technologies, you don't hear much about plain old HTML. In fact, entire websites are created by people with no HTML knowledge at all, thanks to some of the design tools available today. But underneath it all, HTML perseveres: the tireless workhorse of the Internet, the lingua franca that makes the web accessible to all.

For nearly a decade, hundreds of thousands of web developers have turned to HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly, US $49.99), by Chuck Musciano and Bill Kennedy, to master this important language. Now in its sixth edition, the book combines a unique balance of tutorial material with a comprehensive reference that even the most experienced web professionals keep close at hand. From basic syntax and semantics to guidelines aimed at helping web authors develop their own distinctive style, this classic is all a person needs to become fluent in the language of web design.

Musciano and Kennedy authored the first edition of the book when the Internet revolution was young. "We watched as the Internet became truly accessible by non-techies," recalls Kennedy. "Most importantly, we saw how HTML helped make the web become accessible as a medium of expression by all kinds of authors and content providers, not just O'Reilly geeks. We saw the opportunity and wrote a book that spoke to that spectrum of users--from novice to expert--providing them with a comprehensive, yet very easy-to-use reference document that they come back to again and again.

"Whereas back in the good old days to the delight of our audience, we composed 'cool web pages' in Emacs on a ratty old laptop while riding the bus to work, most web authors today use web page design tools." Kennedy adds. "The problem is, the tools aren't perfect. They can confound features and often lack full functionality. There are lots of times when authors want to create an effect or tweak a style that the tool just doesn't provide. We tell them how to do that."

The newest edition of their book guides readers through every element of HTML and XHTML in detail, explaining how each element works and how it interacts with other elements. Readers will also find detailed discussions of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which is intricately related to web page development. The most all-inclusive, up-to-date book on these languages available, this edition covers HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, and CSS2, with a preview of the upcoming XHTML2 and CSS3. Other topics include the newer initiatives in XHTML (XForms, XFrames, and modularization) and the essentials of XML for advanced readers. Readers learn how to:

  • Use style sheets to control a document's appearance
  • Work with programmatically generated HTML
  • Create tables, both simple and complex
  • Use frames to coordinate sets of documents
  • Design and build interactive forms and dynamic documents
  • Insert images, sound files, video, Java applets, and JavaScript programs
  • Create documents that look good on a variety of browsers

The authors apply a natural learning approach that uses straightforward language and plenty of examples. Throughout the book, they offer suggestions for style and composition to help readers decide how to best use HTML and XHTML to accomplish a variety of tasks. Written for anyone who wants to learn the language of the web--from casual users to the full-time design professionals--this is the single most important book on HTML and XHTML you can own.

Additional Resources:

HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, Sixth Edition
Chuck Musciano and Bill Kennedy
ISBN: 0-596-52732-2, 654 pages, $49.99 US, $64.99 CA
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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