HTML Mastery Semantics, Standards, and Styling
Even experienced web designers may learn something new from this book. For example, I’d never thought to use the
<abbr> element to further explain an asterisk used to indicate a required form field (p. 103). And I’d never even heard of the
<dfn> element (p. 47). You can call me an amateur, but the fact is you can build successful websites without such details, but using them makes your code more meaningful, accessible and findable.
After providing some geeky details on MIME types and doctypes in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 contains information on many HTML elements. Chapters 3 and 4 go into detail on two of the trickier areas of html markup: tables and forms, respectively. In Chapter 6, the author goes beyond the basic nuts-and-bolts of html to provide a no-nonsense introduction to microformats, far more straightforward than anything I’ve found on the microformats website. This book was written in 2006, and Chapter 7 is called “Looking Ahead: XHTML 2.0 and Web Applications 1.0”, though the current consensus seems to be that the future of markup is HTML 5, not XHTML 2.0. I hope Paul Haine will publish a new edition, or a new book altogether, with such clear and concise information on HTML 5 as he has provided on XHTML in this volume.
If you are a web designer or developer, buy this book.
A version of this review was originally posted on Amazon.com.
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