Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics

Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics

  • ISBN13: 9780596527525
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Everything you need to know to create professional web sites is right here. Learning Web Design starts from the beginning — defining how the Web and web pages work — and builds from there. By the end of the book, you’ll have the skills to create multi-column CSS layouts with optimized graphic files, and you’ll know how to get your pages up on the Web.

This thoroughly revised edition teaches you how to build web sites according to modern design practices and professional standards. Lear

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 Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics

2 Comments

  1. Thomas Duff "Duffbert" | |
    142 of 145 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    I wish this had been around when I first started web design…, August 5, 2007
    By 
    Thomas Duff “Duffbert” (Portland, OR United States) –
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    This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics (Paperback)

    It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a look at what passes for a beginning web development book these days. I decided to examine Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics (3rd edition) by Jennifer Niederst Robbins. All I want to know is… why weren’t books like this around when I was trying to learn this stuff?

    Contents:
    Part 1 – Getting Started: Where Do I Start?; How the Web Works; The Nature of Web Design
    Part 2 – HTML Markup for Structure: Creating a Simple Page (HTML Overview); Marking up Text; Adding Links; Adding Images; Basic Table Markup; Forms; Understanding the Standards
    Part 3 – CSS For Presentation: Cascading Style Sheets Orientation; Formatting Text (Plus More Selectors); Colors and Backgrounds (Plus Even More Selectors and External Style Sheets); Thinking Inside the Box (Padding, Borders, and Margins); Floating and Positioning; Page Layout with CSS; CSS Techniques
    Part 4 – Creating Web Graphics: Web Graphics Basics; Lean and Mean Web Graphics
    Part 5 – From Start to Finish: The Site Development Process; Getting Your Pages on the Web
    Appendix A – Answers; Appendix B – CSS 2.1 Selectors; Index

    The first clue that things were different is that it’s a full color book. So not only can the code examples be color-coded for clarity, but you don’t get black-and-white graphics that attempt to illustrate a full-color web page. Next, covering XHTML and CSS together means that the reader gets the correct foundation for how to separate content from structure. I personally still have a bad habit of using HTML tags instead of using CSS like I really should. Had I had Robbins’ book when I first learned, I’m inclined to think I’d have fewer bad habits to get rid of. Finally, she hits a sweet spot in covering issues like browser quirks and incompatibilities. It’s not so in-depth that the beginner gets lost, yet it’s detailed enough that even those who have been doing web work for some time will likely pick up or rediscover a few things they didn’t know or had forgotten.

    For those working through the book as a tutorial, there are plenty of exercises that reinforce the skills you’ve acquired. After going through the material, there should be very little in the way of HTML and CSS coding that won’t make sense. The only part of web design that this book doesn’t cover is JavaScript. So if you’re coming to this book hoping to learn how to make your page dynamic and interactive via scripting, you’ll go away disappointed. Personally, I think it was a wise decision to leave that out. The target audience is more likely to want to build a basic page with static content to get started. Throwing programming skills at them might be enough to confuse and discourage, which would be a shame. There’s more than enough material here with HTML and CSS to get plenty of value for your book buying dollar.

    I have a colleague at work who is dipping her toe into the world of web design. She asked me if I knew of any good books to get her started. I’ll be shipping my copy to her, as I’m quite confident this will be exactly what she needs…

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  2. Conrad J. Obregon | |
    68 of 74 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    As Good As It Gets, October 23, 2007
    By 
    Conrad J. Obregon (New York, NY USA) –
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    This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner’s Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics (Paperback)

    It’s a curious aspect of creating sites for the World Wide Web that its not always clear what the titles of the people who perform the functions necessary to do this should be. When I think of design, I think of determining what a site should look like. Robbins thinks that web design is about coding the documents that will ultimately be displayed in a browser window. That’s what this book is about, and I’ll use her definition in the future.

    Web sites are prepared by creating a document in a form that web browsers can translate into something that can be presented on a monitor screen using a special set of symbols called Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). “Learning Web Design” teaches the reader how to use this language to develop a site.

    The book introduces broad concepts and then shows the specific language necessary to create content, neatly organized into chapters that deal with text, links, images, tables, and forms. Next the author discusses the use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), which is the current method of giving form to the content that allows smaller, quicker loading, and easier-to-change documents. Each chapter presents the basic concepts, walks the reader through exercises that apply the concepts, and then presents a review and test to make sure the reader grasps the chapter. Documents to work on are easily downloaded from a dedicated web site. While the lessons provide the basic information necessary to create a web site, Robbins generously sprinkles the chapters with references to web sites that examine more complex issues for those interested in learning more or developing special applications.

    This book teaches web design in as simple and clear a manner as is possible for this topic, and no one interested in learning how to create a web site from scratch will be disappointed.

    The real question is why one might want to learn to create a web site from scratch? Today many web-hosting providers make an on-line tool available that lets people create a basic site. If all you want to do is create such a site, you don’t need to know HTML. However, if you want to provide something more complex, you can create a site by writing the language yourself.

    At the other end of the scale, if you expect to create many sites, you may find it more expedient (but also more expensive) to use software like Dreamweaver. However, while Dreamweaver doesn’t require you to know HTML, it may be easier to use if you understand what’s going on “under the hood.” And even with Dreamweaver, occasionally things get so complex that the quickest solution to a web design problem may be writing in HTML.

    Some experienced web design people say that once you have learned HTML it’s quicker and easier to write it directly. (Occasionally, I think this point of view may be just showing off, but mostly I believe it.)

    There are also some people (like myself) who learned HTML several years ago and have not kept up with changes. In recent years eXtensable HTML (XHTML) (a more precise mark-up language) and CSS have come onto the scene that newer browsers can use to present more effective websites. This book is an excellent way to update one’s knowledge.

    If you find that you need to learn HTML, or XHTML, or CSS, I can’t imagine a clearer text than this book.

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