Series: Visual QuickStart Guide
Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: Peachpit Press; 8 edition (August 19, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #21,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #7 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > CSS #25 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Web Design #61 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Web Programming
I've been using the HTML Visual QuickStart Guide since 2nd Edition. I skipped the 7th edition because at the time I felt that the technologies added were too playground-ish to use in production for a web site that was not a web app. Also, I'm kind of loyal to Liz Castro and the updates from 6th Edition onward aren't hers and the style is definitely different in ways that felt out of place. What's changed is that as of this point in time, HTML 5 is no longer really a stubborn rejection of W3C's stagnant attempts at standardization. It IS a standard all its own now, with basically universal support in modern browsers, and it degrades properly, which cannot really be said of the now abandoned "future of the web" W3C was pushing for.In short, HTML 5 won, W3C lost, the clunky explanation of the standards war and the push to XMLify the web is gone, and Liz has moved on to focus on the world of digital publishing with her excellent [ASIN:0321734688 EPub Straight to the Point] (which I highly recommend BTW). Bruce Hyslop is now at the helm of this title, and by this edition he's updated enough of the book at this point that it no longer feels like a messy patch…developers, you know what I mean. And Bruce is a highly competent and accomplished author in his own right who knows his material and presents it well. It's still the best book of its type on the market bar none, even if I would truly rate it only 4.75 stars instead of 5 if I could. ;)And what type of book is it? Well, if you're just looking for a few tips on how to use some software to get a page on the web, this isn't your book. If you're looking for a guide to writing web apps, this isn't your book. If you haven't a clue what a web page is or how it works, this probably isn't your book.
The authors are deeply knowledgeable and the book's learning path is well designed. I found it extraordinarily useful to have the digital version included in the deal - I could read it on my iPad in Starbucks and make notes. I could also have it open on my iMac in my study, right next to my Dreamweaver windows. The writers' (there are two of them) tone is graceful and intelligent, but not overly familiar (an unfortunate trend in some of the "Missing Manual" series). The writers threw in enough humor to keep the text readable, but they remembered that I bought the tool as a professional resource and have limited time for pleasantries. In sum, I felt like I was in good hands.This book gives you a lot of value for your money. Originally, I rated it as a 4, because there are three flaws persistent enough to draw attention:1) There are some knots in the writing - a few places where the writers' prose becomes opaque and a second and third reading of the paragraph in question still did not yield the sense. (A visit from a stern editor would fix this in a jiffy.)2) The graphic convention used to link images and text doesn't quite work. It consists of labeling the illustrations with very small circles with letters in them, which are then referenced in the text by an even smaller circles containing letters. The tiny tags are hard to read and keep track of, especially when a particular page can get up to "k" in the alphabet. This technique makes conversion to a flowing eBook easy, but it makes scanning the print version a bit of a challenge. This is, primarily, a graphic problem, and there is enough white space in the print version to fix it.3) There are references to other discussions in the print version that do not contain page references.