The Ultimate HTML Reference

It is a real pity that this book is a part of the same series as the CSS reference as the two books are to such different standards.

My Rating: yesnononono

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Review

The author of this book is an expert regarding HTML - something which is clearly demonstrated in some of the other books that he has written. My expectations for this book before I started reviewing it were high based on what I already knew about the author and also on the CSS book from this same series. My first thought on reading through the contents was "What is that section on JavaScript doing in a book on HTML?" but I was still expecting to find the rest of the book to be an excellent HTML resource.

Unfortunately this is a book that is let down by the way that the information is presented rather than by the information itself as the way that the book is set out it presents all of the standard, deprecated, and many proprietary HTML tags and attributes sorted alphabetically by general category without making it clear enough which are which.

The book does state which elements and attributes are deprecated and proprietary but you need to read carefully through the entry in order to see that information. As many people will not look that carefully the book has at least the potential to promote the use of deprecated and proprietary code instead of the standard equivalents. Even just a vertical line down the side of deprecated and proprietary entries to distinguish them visually from the standard code would be a huge improvement. Possibly the best alternative would have been to break the book up into two sections with standard elements and attributes in the first part and deprecated and proprietary ones in the second part allowing those attempting to use standard complient code to just ignore the latter 60% of the book.

The book also fails to distinguish clearly enough between elements and attributes and you need to look really closely at the heading on each section to tell one from the other. A clearer indication of where the write up on each element starts would have fixed this.

Despite my preference for printed reference books rather than online references, I suggest that you will be much better off using the online version of this reference on the SitePoint site where the same information is much easier to follow than the poor way that it is presented here in book form.

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