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Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

4.2 29
by Elisabeth Robson

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Tired of reading HTML books that only make sense after you're an expert? Then it's about time you picked up Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML and really learned HTML. You want to learn HTML so you can finally create those web pages you've always wanted, so you can communicate more effectively with friends, family, fans, and fanatic customers. You also want to


Tired of reading HTML books that only make sense after you're an expert? Then it's about time you picked up Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML and really learned HTML. You want to learn HTML so you can finally create those web pages you've always wanted, so you can communicate more effectively with friends, family, fans, and fanatic customers. You also want to do it right so you can actually maintain and expand your Web pages over time, and so your web pages work in all the browsers and mobile devices out there. Oh, and if you've never heard of CSS, that's okay - we won't tell anyone you're still partying like it's 1999 - but if you're going to create Web pages in the 21st century then you'll want to know and understand CSS.

Learn the real secrets of creating Web pages, and why everything your boss told you about HTML tables is probably wrong (and what to do instead). Most importantly, hold your own with your co-worker (and impress cocktail party guests) when he casually mentions how his HTML is now strict, and his CSS is in an external style sheet.

With Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML, you'll avoid the embarrassment of thinking web-safe colors still matter, and the foolishness of slipping a font tag into your pages. Best of all, you'll learn HTML and CSS in a way that won't put you to sleep. If you've read a Head First book, you know what to expect: a visually-rich format designed for the way your brain works. Using the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory, this book will load HTML, CSS, and XHTML into your brain in a way that sticks.

So what are you waiting for? Leave those other dusty books behind and come join us in Webville. Your tour is about to begin.

"Elegant design is at the core of every chapter here, each conceptconveyed with equal doses of pragmatism and wit."—Ken Goldstein, Executive Vice President, Disney Online

"This book is a thoroughly modern introduction to forward-lookingpractices in web page markup and presentation."—Danny Goodman, author of Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Guide

"What used to be a long trial and error learning process hasnow been reduced neatly into an engaging paperback."—Mike Davidson, CEO, Newsvine, Inc.

"I love Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML—itteaches you everything you need to learn in a 'fun coated' format!"—Sally Applin, UI Designer and Artist

"I haven't had as much fun reading a book (other than Harry Potter) in years. And your book finally helped me break out of my hapless so-last-century way of creating web pages."—Professor David M. Arnow, Department of Computer and Information Science, Brooklyn College

"If you've ever had a family member who wanted you to design a website for them, buy them Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML. If you've ever asked a family member to design you a web site, buy this book. If you've ever bought an HTML book and ended up using it to level your desk, or for kindling on a cold winter day, buy this book. This is the book you've been waiting for. This is the learning system you've been waiting for."—Warren Kelly, Blogcritics.org

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
You learn better when you’re having fun. And Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML is the most fun you can have while you’re learning to create web pages.

What other HTML book would interview the href attribute (“I hope you aren’t offended, but what’s with the name? href? What’s with that?”) Or sponsor a “debate” between JPEG and GIF? Or introduce CSS with a reality TV show? Or uncover the mystery of <blockquote> and <q>, elements separated at birth?

Sound flippant? More like brilliant. Elisabeth and Eric Freeman know people learn best when they’re totally engaged, when they can’t wait to see what crazy thing is coming next. Like this book’s puzzles. Like its marvelous photo captions (if there were an Oscar® for creative use of stock photography, O’Reilly’s editors would win, hands-down.)

The Freemans skip some obscure stuff, but everything you need is here, from the basics (tags, attributes, elements, links, paths) to some fairly advanced techniques. You’ll learn how to move to XHTML (and why you would); how to use CSS to precisely control text, color, padding, borders and margins; how to build tables and forms. There’s even a quick look at HTML for blogs and mobile devices. Every chapter contains a “There are No Dumb Questions” section -- and the Freemans are weirdly clairvoyant about the issues that tend to confuse people.

By the way, they’re seriously into standards compliance -- but never prissy about it. (Check out their “driver’s ed”–style insert full of Strict HTML 4.01 road signs. And remember: Always “feed your <body> only wholesome block elements!”)

The remarkable thing about this book: It all hangs together. Everything builds on what’s come before. By the time you’re done, you’ll really be comfortable with HTML, CSS, and XHTML. The fun has been carefully crafted to make sure of that, and it works. Bill Camarda, from the January 2006 Read Only

Product Details

O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
Head First Series
Product dimensions:
8.02(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.73(d)

Meet the Author

Elisabeth Robson (formerly Freeman) is coauthor of O'Reilly's Head First Design Patterns and Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. She is currently Special Projects Director at O'Reilly where she is developing new brain-friendly learning ideas and products.

Eric Freeman is a computer scientist with a passion for media and software architectures and coauthor of Head First Design Patterns. He just wrapped up four years at a dream job— directing internet broadband and wireless efforts at Disney—and is now back to writing, creating cool software, and hacking Java and Macs.Eric spent a lot of the '90s working on alternatives to the desktop metaphor with David Gelernter (and they're both still asking the question, "Why do I have to give a file a name?"). Based on this work, Eric landed a Ph.D. at Yale University in 1997. He also co-founded Mirror Worlds Technologies (now acquired) to create a commercial version of his thesis work, Lifestreams.

In a previous life, Eric built software for networks and supercomputers. You might know him from such books as JavaSpaces Principles Patterns and Practice. Eric has fond memories of implementing tuple-space systems on Thinking Machine CM-5s and creating some of the first internet information systems for NASA in the late 1980s.

When he's not writing text or code you'll find him spending more time tweaking than watching his home theater and trying to restore a circa 1980s Dragon's Lair video game. He also wouldn't mind moonlighting as an electronica DJ.

Write to him at eric at wickedlysmart dot com or visit him at http://www.ericfreeman.com .

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Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Archbishop More than 1 year ago
CSS is logical and (in retrospect), not that hard to understand. But I'd tried to get a handle on it with a different book and was floundering in a sea of new concepts. The Head First book leads you by the hand and introduces ideas gradually, and in the best order. The book contains good exercises that force you to figure things out. The authors often explain concepts more than once, and in more than one way. By the time I was done with the book, I had the basics of CSS nailed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Head First books are my favorite - they are entertaining to read and have terrific examples.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Head First Html With CSS & XHTML is a good book to get you up & running in a few days.From hoobyists, to web developers everyone can benefit from the refreshing format this book offers to learn the basic pillars of web design - HTML, XHTML & CSS!I think there's no better book to learn all the 3 languages together and this book is a sure hit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The information was presented in a way that made it easy to learn and remember. The only issue I had with the book was the publish date was several years ago.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I used this book to teach myself since the text book required for my college level course was way to dry and boring. After reading this book in less than a week I ended up with an A in the class.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't understand my textbook at all, so I ordered this book and managed to get through my online HTML class using this book instead!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML is the best book to learn from for the beginner. You don't need to have any knowledge of HTML prior to this book. They start you out right from the beginning. Within the first chapter you are learning the language and making web pages. This helps to keep your interest and keep you moving from chapter to chapter. O'Reilly really does a great job with covering all the material in multiple ways so anyone can learn from it. I do wish they had covered FTP more in depth and/or getting info onto the web in more detail. However this book gives you everything to get you started. The next time I need a book to teach myself something I will look for this series. They do a great job teaching in way you will remember. The humor is a little corny but it is tolerable.
alyssa932 More than 1 year ago
Let's face it, learning code is not a fun thing. The material is so boring it's hard to retain anything. This book made learning html enjoyable. It's a very visual book complemented by exercises that help instill the learned lessons. At times it was even downright silly, but in a good way. Made me laugh and yet learn at the same time. I have tried online video instruction in this topic but would drift off repeatedly. I learned a lot from this book and could easily go at my own pace.
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PLW1017 More than 1 year ago
I'm a 62 year old grandmother with minimal previous experience in HTML. I maintain a web site for my family and needed to totally update the code and begin using CSS. This book was the first one (I tried 3 others) that was easy to read and understand. First of all, I enjoyed that the book included a fun sense of humor. The information is presented in a variety of ways so that if one way didn't make sense to a reader, then the next one probably would. In other words, they took into account that not all people learn things the same way. The information was presented so that you built on skills, learning each step before proceeding to the next. I appreciated the download files to work with so that I could actually see and do what they were teaching. Having their "solution" files available really helped out at times too! At first I thought the included crossword puzzles, tests, etc. were silly and then I realized how much they helped to reinforce the information in each chapter, along with pointing out where I needed to go back and read again! Did I learn everything I need to know from this book? Well, I'm sure they covered it! It's up to me to keep working and putting what I learned into practice until it comes more naturally. I still refer to the book and always find the information I need. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning the basics of XHTML and CSS.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing read read read read. I found my self up till 2 in the morning and up at 8 to read and work on more webpages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very informative and well written. The format kept my interest and was fun to read. I had used Dreamweaver and designed my own website when I decided it was time to really learn 'why' I was doing what I was doing. This book was perfect and I would highly recommend it to those who are beginners or just want to further understand HTML, CSS or XHTML.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are dozens of books available for learning HTML, but none more enjoyable than this book. It takes the various concepts of HTML, CSS and XHTML and presents them in a way that makes you really want to learn it. Instead of not understanding a particular topic, you walk away from each chapter having learned a valuable step. With lots of diagrams, illustrations, even a few little jokes along the way, the book is half entertainment, half instructional manual. It makes learning this topic much less difficult and (for some) much less scary. My copy has already become somewhat dog-eared from referring it to so much. It motivated me to update my own site to get rid of some outdated items in my web site files. I enjoyed my 'trip' to Webville and getting (for me) a refresher course in building web sites. I did learn quite a few things (like doing better Cascading Style Sheets and XHTML, and how to build better tables), even if I've been doing web design for several years. I also realized the importance of keeping my site up to date. I know I'll be using this book for a long time to come. Thanks o'Reilly for putting out a book that anyone (be them 'techie' or not) can understand and appreciate.