Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way using HTML & CSS

Learn the right way of coding web pages. Whether you are just starting out or have been throwing pages together for many years, this book will show you the right way to code your web pages.

My Rating: yesyesyesyesno





This book is an excellent resource both for newcomers who want to learn the "right" way to code their web pages. It is also almost as useful for experienced web authors who want to get away from using 20th Century hacks in their web pages and start coding them properly.

The book covers XHTML quite thoroughly as well as those sections of CSS that are supported by current browsers. The book doesn't cover Javascript or server side scripting but the last chapter of the book introduces newcomers to some ways that they can get some of the effects that those languages provide without having to learn them. The content of the book is also (with one exception) introduced in a logical order building on what has come before.

The one section of the book that I think fails to live up to the authors goal of teaching you the right way to do things so that you don't fall into bad habits is the section on Stylesheet positioning. The book quite rightly tells readers not to use tables for layout and then provides four methods of using Stylesheets to produce the equivalent result. These four methods are presented in the following order.

  1. absolute positioning
  2. absolute within relative positioning
  3. relative positioning
  4. floated positioning

I agree that presenting this material in this order presents the methods in order from easiest to do through to the hardest to do correctly but it also presents them in the reverse order in which they ought to be considered for use. Absolute positioning by itself is rarely the right way of going about handling the positioning of the elements on a web page as the page layout is instantly destroyed as soon as the browser is resized or the font size of the enclosed text is changed. About the only time absolute positioning by itself makes sense is for elements that you need to move independently of the rest of the page and you need Javascript for that which the book doesn't cover. Admittedly the book does discuss these problems as well but given the limited use for absolute positioning and the books intention of teaching the right way to create pages I think that this section would have been better left out as at least some readers will see its inclusion as a justification for coding their pages that way.

With that sole exception I feel that the book provides an excellent presentation of how to go about correctly coding web pages that will display [properly in all of the browsers in common use today in a way that makes their future maintenance as simple and straightforward as possible.

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