Foundation Website Creation with CSS, XHTML, and JavaScript

Reviewed by Major Keary

Foundation Website Creation with CSS, XHTML, and JavaScript “is intended for people who are new to developing for the Web and those who are interested in overhauling their current work to be standards-compliant … and … is relevant to individuals working within companies and institutions, as well as those who freelance”. It is not a compete reference, or one of those bible texts; it looks at the big picture, but in remarkably good detail. Readers are assumed to be familiar with web technologies, but not necessarily expert, and motivated to learn the art. The book's focus is on understanding website creation both at the technical level, and the conceptual and planning level. It is not a guide for those seeking easy step-by-step instructions for some one-off task.

A fictional website is developed throughout the text as a vehicle for illustrating—with plenty of annotated code—each aspect of the process. Full code listings are available on a companion website. There are also theoretical digressions designed to provide a greater depth of understanding.

The introductory part opens with a succinct overview of the Web and its origins, the browser wars, standards, and the future. It then moves on to a very practical topic: keeping a project on track, which discusses project management briefly, but in surprising depth. A further chapter discusses planning and design.

Chapters then deal with: writing markup with HTML and XHTML; the fundamental concepts of CSS; developing CSS from design to application; creating interactivity with JavaScript; and the process of testing, launching, and maintaining a website.

The last two chapters are interesting: Web 2.0 using AJAX and Social Software and Using Server-Side Technologies. Examples of social software are blogs, wikis, and Facebook; the discussion is oriented to business applications. An Afterword looks “at a few different areas on how to best conduct business as it relates to the Web”.

An valuable resource for anyone approaching professional-level website development, and for developers who want to bring themselves up-to-speed on standards issues and the latest on design and planning. I thought the 9-point sans-serif typeface used for the body text doesn't do justice to the content.

Jonathan Lane, Meitar Moscovitz, and Joseph Lewis: Foundation Website Creation with CSS, XHTML, and JavaScript
ISBN 978-1-4302-0991-1
Published by Friends of ED (an Apress subsidiary), 335 pp., RRP AU$ 65.00

Apress and Friends of ED titles are distributed in Australia by Woodslane <>


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