I’m pleased to share this glowing review of my new book Creating Cool Web Sites with HTML, XHTML and CSS from Internet expert Will Bontrager. Will and Mari Bontrager are the publishers of the highly regarded Possibilities E-zine newsletter that offers weekly insight and articles on CGI programming and design.
…Cool Web Sites ..
When Dave Taylor’s book arrived, I opened it right away.
It took very little time for me to be thoroughly impressed.
It’s useful. There is a lot of information. It’s easy to understand. And it will be referred to over and over again.
Let me try to re-create my reactions and thoughts as I reviewed the book.
Almost immediately, on the second page of the Preface, Dave tells me something I wasn’t consciously aware of. He answers the question, “Why not just use a web page builder?”
I’ve never used a web page builder. When people asked me why, my answer has been that I like to be in control. Now, however, I have a better understanding of why those who successfully switch from web page building software to manual coding are such enthusiasts.
Dave describes why web page building software is limited. I come away with the understanding it has to do with quality.
The same dish, using the same recipe, will taste different depending on whether it’s a frozen meal microwaved, served from a communal tray in an institutional setting, or prepared especially for you by a skilled chef.
Thus it is with web pages. What you put into it is sensed by the viewer.
No book’s preface has ever impressed me before.
If that was all that impressed me, it would not have been mentioned in WillMaster Possibilities. Certainly I would have written no article about it.
But, Dave didn’t stop there.
If you are a web master or a web page designer, and most readers of this article are one or both, this book will be useful, probably indispensable once you realize all the information it contains.
Dave’s book showed me I didn’t know everything.
I am a whiz with HTML, and have been for years. A problem with becoming comfortable and adept with something is one tends to forget there is always more to learn. Things stagnate, become dull, lose excitement, and creativity takes a break.
Thank you, Dave, for getting me to step out of my cave.
Did you know there was a “basefont” HTML tag? I didn’t. Or if I did, I had forgotten. The tag can be used to specify the color, face, and/or size to be used as the default font. It’s a handy little tag.
Another of the several things I found out about HTML is that a bgproperties=”fixed” attribute is available for the BODY tag. It fixes the background image so it doesn’t scroll with the page. But of the browsers I’ve tested, it works only in IE. Use CSS for cross-browser compatibility. Example:<style type=”text/css”>
The book doesn’t have everything. It can’t. But it does cover the basics, everything you need to know to get a web site up and see traffic, from coding to selecting images to dynamic pages to usability to finding a web server to getting the word out.
And RSS, too. I hadn’t really studied this technology. But Dave got me excited.
http://www.intuitive.com/coolsites/ has more information about “Creating Cool Web Sites with HTML, XHTML, and CSS“, with a purchase link and links to a sample chapter and the book’s table of contents.
If you’re just starting to learn web page creation, or wish to wean from your web page building software, this book can make the process easy and painless relative to some “tutorials” I’ve seen or searching for answers all over the Internet.
If you’re a skilled hand, you’ll want this book handy as a reference. If it wasn’t that I’m sharing the book with Mari, it would live next to my favorite Perl programming book.
Novice or skilled, use the link above and read the sample chapter. You’ll learn something.