HTML Dog: The Best-Practice Guide to XHTML and CSS (Book review)

Do you find reading the HTML and CSS specifications a bit boring or uninspiring? Do you think the W3C could have done well to include just a little bit of humour in those documents? Then this book is for you.

Way back in 2003, the book's author Patrick Griffiths launched HTML Dog, a comprehensive resource containing tutorials, references, articles, and examples that promote best practices for (X)HTML and CSS. This book is, as you will have guessed by now, based on the site.

HTML Dog consists of three parts. The first part is the normal chapter based book that walks the reader through the various aspects of using XHTML and CSS. Yes, XHTML, not HTML - the book is entirely focused on XHTML. Some may see that as a problem, but I don't. After all this book does teach best practices and sticks to XHTML 1.0 Strict.

The ten chapters of part one explain how to make proper use of XHTML and which element to use for what as well as how to style the result with CSS. Structuring and styling text, creating links (and making sure they are accessible), CSS layout, how to use lists, and how to create accessible and usable tables and forms are some topics that are covered.

At the end (well, the last third of the book) are two extensive appendixes. The first appendix lists and explains the attributes and elements (with a few exceptions) included in XHTML 1.0 Strict, while the second one covers the properties of CSS 2.1. Both are handy references for working offline.

There are a few minor problems, such as a slight misuse of the word "tag" and a couple of incorrectly named selectors, but overall this is a good and entertaining book that does its job at encouraging best practices. Recommended.

HTML Dog: The Best-Practice Guide to XHTML & CSS
Author: Patrick Griffiths
ISBN-10: 0321311396
ISBN-13: 978-0321311399

Posted on April 5, 2007 in Reviews, Web Standards, (X)HTML