HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, Fourth Edition

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9780201354935: HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, Fourth Edition

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the lingua franca of the Web, and like any language, it's constantly evolving. That's why Elizabeth Castro has written HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, Fourth Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide, an update to her blockbuster guide to HTML 4. You'll find all the concise, practical advice--and fun examples--that made the first edition a worldwide bestseller, plus entirely new coverage of debugging, JavaScript, and using tables for page layout, and an expanded section on Cascading Style Sheets.

Like all the books in the Visual QuickStart series, this one breaks even the most complex tasks into easy-to-follow steps illustrated with hundreds of screenshots and the actual code. The book presumes no prior knowledge of HTML, making it the perfect introduction for beginners. But its tabbed format and info-packed appendixes (on special HTML characters and Web-safe colors, for example) also make it a handy and indispensable reference for those who build Web pages for a living. Find out why Amazon called the previous edition a "dream guide" to HTML.

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Review:

"Perhaps the best-written HTML tutorial ever."

This book occupies a unique spot in my opinion. It's "the competition." All other HTML/Web page learning or how-to books are trying to knock the crown from this book's head. While it may not be for everyone, it just does such a superb job that it defines the field. Congratulations, Elizabeth.

This is what I could classify as a true intermediate or advanced book. Elizabeth Castro doesn't waste time or steps trying to teach a newbie how to click here or create a text file. In fact, so much is assumed that this really can't be called a beginner book at all. So, if you know what you're doing or what you want, this book will serve you well.

The whole HTML thing is broken down into tasks: formatting, text, layout commands, cascading style sheets--the whole nine yards. Then individual HTML commands or tasks are illustrated one to a page. The steps fall down the outside of the page; illustrations line the page's inside.

While this is all a great way to learn HTML, I can still find room for improvement--though not at the expense of the format. For example, a reference or tear-out card would have been handy. And some topics, especially JavaScript, are glossed over too quickly to be useful. From personal experience, I know that some topics, such as FTP, could use even more hands-on examples.

If you "get it" when it comes to computers, and are ready to do some down-and-dirty HTML coding (and I'm not talking lame-old FrontPage here), this book will teach you the basics in no time. It will provide a firm foundation upon which you can easily build your Web pages for the future. --Dan Gookin

About the Author:

Elizabeth Castro began working with the Macintosh in a software development and distribution company called CTA, in Barcelona, Spain. Her first project was the translation of an OCR program into English, which was quickly followed by the translation of Aldus PageMaker (version 3!) into Spanish. Castro's department, Publications, was soon translating other programs from Aldus, as well as software from Agfa, Farallon and the Wheels for the Mind magazine for Apple Computer Spain.

In 1990, Castro founded Pagina Uno together with Oriol Carbo. One of Pagina Uno's first projects was the translation of The Macintosh Bible, 3rd edition, into Spanish: La Biblia del Macintosh. It was a great success, thanks to the unerring tone of Arthur Naiman combined with the brilliant translation of Jose Rafael Garcia Bermejo (affectionately known as Coti) and Oriol Carbo, among others. Pagina Uno published several more Peachpit books about the Macintosh in Spanish and also began to localize Adobe products like Photoshop, Premiere and Dimensions into Spanish.

In 1993, Castro left Pagina Uno (and her beloved Barcelona) and returned to the US to edit the fifth edition of the Mac Bible.

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