Paperback: 490 pages
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1st edition (November 8, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (914 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #1 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Web Design #1 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > CSS #1 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Web Programming
My first impression of the book is that it's beautiful. The text is large and the pages are colorful, making it very easy to thumb through when in a hurry. When I wasn't in a hurry and sat down to read it, I found that the book almost told the entire story through pictures. The words are there and technically correct, but it's the visuals in the book that really communicate information to the reader.I admired Duckett's approach to this book. He completely dispels with the buzzwords that glitter so many books these days. There's mention of HTML5 and CSS3, for sure, but it's done in such a way that it doesn't seem gimmicky or hyped. The title of the book itself is evidence of this. Duckett clearly doesn't want you thinking about HTML 4 vs. HTML5 or CSS 2 vs. CSS3. Instead, he wants you to understand the concepts that link together web technology and good design. Some of that is done with HTML 4 and CSS 2 while some is done with HTML5 and CSS3.This book is really targeted at beginners without a technical background, and it does an exceptional job in serving this audience. The approach is perhaps the gentlest introduction to the concept of web programming that I've ever encountered. So gentle, in fact, I think that almost anyone could pick up this book and start to make a simple web page relatively quickly. It takes you right from creating your HTML file with a text editor, through learning HTML and CSS, all the way to deploying your file and adding Google Analytics.Sprinkled throughout the book are useful tidbits about typography, contrast, design concepts, and even how multimedia plugins such as Flash work in conjunction with a web page.
I want to admire this book first as a book. People who want to learn how to make quilts or soups or jewelry have plenty of gorgeous books for inspiration, but books for people who want to make websites are often visually dull, even ugly. Duckett, when he fills a page with code, also gives you a photo of how that code will render on a monitor, and the pictures are just as nice as those glamor shots of butternut squash soup. The whole book is attractively designed and laid out. It's also color coordinated so you can easily track down the turquoise(html) or hot pink (css) summaries or chocolate brown background info.That background info is very nicely done. Each page spread is like a poster clarifying things like what exactly a left-angle bracket is or just exactly how forms work. Many books in the field assume that all their readers know this stuff already, and a book for web designers that spent much time on defining serif vs. sans-serif fonts would be frustrating for most designers. This book sequesters basic info so old hands can skip it and beginners can readily find it again, as well as making it clear and memorable.Half the book examines HTML, looking at structure, text, links, images, tables, forms, "Extra Markeup" such as comments and metadata, and multimedia elements. Each element is explained clearly with good examples, and HTML5 is included. The presentation is economical and straightforward, but lots of information is included: things like animated gifs and how to communicate with older browsers aren't often included in books suited to beginners.The second half of the book introduces CSS, HTML5 layout, and "Practical Information" like how to tell who's coming to your site and how to organize information into a website.