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Reviewed by Major Keary
SitePoint is an Australian company, based in Melbourne, that publishes practical and easy-to-understand books on web technologies. Their titles are authoritative, well-designed in respect of both content and typography, very well written, and focus on real—rather than theoretical—issues. Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way is a tutorial for web-page-creation novices who want to learn "the right way" of building a complete web site. The right way means observing standards. This is not a book that pretends to cover every facet and detail of building a web site; it focuses on the essential elements of building a web site and provides a firm platform for those who want to expand their knowledge. There is not a mention of open source (especially the Linux option), but even though Win/Mac-centric, the instructions can quite easily be applied to open source programs. It is the principles that are important.
Readers are not expected to have any prior experience of web technologies, but are assumed to be web end-users and computer literate. Terminology is explained, even down to terms such as 'HTML', 'markup', and 'CSS'. The content is built around an example web site that is constructed from the ground up.
The book provides users with a walk-through of website construction, beginning with 'setting up shop' (tools and setting up directories) and progressing through mark-up with XHTML, using CSS, graphics (including a discussion of which format is best for which purpose), tables, forms, launching a website (including hosting), adding a Blog, add-ons (such as statistics, search tools, forums), and finishing with a guide to what to learn next. The book is notable for its many references to authoritative sources of further and more detailed information.
A thorough and well-designed tutorial that focuses on practical issues. It is not a gloss that slips easily over some main points, but drills down to a surprising depth of detail. In particular Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way Using HTML & CSS shows users how to comply with web standards, which is the key to a problem-free site. Short cuts, work-arounds, and hacks are simply asking for trouble in this field.
Ian Lloyd: Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way Using HTML & CSS 2nd, edition
Published by SitePoint <http://www.sitepoint.com>, 438 pp., RRP AU$ 49.95
The Australian distributor of SitePoint books is Woodslane <www.woodslane.com.au>;