Creating Web Pages for Dummies, Sixth Edition

Author: Bud E. Smith, Arthur Bebak, Bud Bud Smith
List Price: $24.99
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ISBN: 0764516434
Publisher: For Dummies (01 March, 2002)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 8,332
Average Customer Rating: 4.1 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5
Definitely worth the cash, but...
A great starter book that will get you up and running with a good personal web page or site (multiple connected pages) in a short time, or even a basic business site.

One staggeringly DUMB thing is that the first reference to a web SITE rather than merely a page is on page 11. No mention on the cover either. Most people are more familiar with the term web site than web page, so this is a very questionable omission, which may have cost them book sales.

If the book has a weakness, it is that it places too much emphasis on catering for older generation browsers, suggesting that Netscape Composer will build pages that older browsers will usually be able to read. Although, even here, I'm not so sure they are correct.

I created a basic read-only multi-page site in Composer under Netscape 7.1 and when I looked at the HTML source code, it was using HTML 4.1, (i.e. current HTML) and by the fact that it mentioned DTD's (Document Type Definitions), it must be leaning in an XML direction. However, by the fact that it did not generate an end slash after the (empty) "br" (line break) tag, for example, it does not go all the way to being XHTML compatible.

One problem here is that 95-97% of surfers will not have older generation browsers, and to compromise going ahead with XML and ultimately, XHTML standards (the ONLY way to go for the future) will not be helpful to you or your web host.

Many web hosts wince if you say you have built a web site in Composer, and whine about 'inelegant code'. What they are really talking about is forward compatability i.e. dragging web design and Net standards out of the stone age.

It is definitely advisable to manually convert any generated code to XHTML format and use a checking tool such as WC3 Validator, which I don't think this book even mentions.

It also fails to adequately distinguish between the nature of a read-only website and a fully interactive one, with a MYSQL database. It does mention that any add-on such as forms necessarily includes data storage and it does mention CGI and Perl (server-end software), but the detail in this area is somewhat lacking.

These are not heavy criticisms on my part. I love the For Dummies series, and this is a very good basic book. It will certainly suffice for most people, in that many of the explanations of the basics are excellent. Just a few tweaks and it would have been perfect.

Oh, what the heck, give 'em a seegar anyway.


Rating: 5 out of 5
It's a good title ....
... but I wanted a book that would let me create web pages for smart people!


Rating: 4 out of 5
Good book for the new computer user
This book is very generic and the intended audience for this book is the person who recently just bought their first computer and now they want to create their first web page. This book will help you achieve that goal. When you finish this book, not only will you be able to create web pages but you will be able to include pictures. This is perfect for the home user who wants to put their kids or their grandchildren on a web page for all of their friends to see. The authors have done a good job writing this book. In chapter 2 and 3, the authors explain how web pages work on AOL, other ISPs, and GeoCities. In Chapter 4, they teach you the fundamentals of HTML. The chapters are fairly short and the cartoons really help ease the stress of learning. You cannot go wrong with this book and I highly recommend it.

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