HTML is a familiar FLA (four letter acronym) but what about XHTML? Is it merely a typographical error or simply XML by another name? The readable preface to this book puts us right and there is more detail in Chapter 1 which is also an interesting potted history of the web and web technologies.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is for controlling layout and specifying hypertext links for documents viewed with a browser. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) controls its standardisation. XML (Extensible Markup Language), also defined by the W3C, is a standard that allows structured data to be presented in a standard way that it can be understood by many different technologies, for example, relational database engines and web browsers. Use of XML for the exchange of data between businesses on the Internet is increasing rapidly. Now, finally, comes XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), which is HTML reformulated to bring it into line with the XML standard.
The authors try to instil good habits and style considerations, as well as an appreciation of kumquats (a recurrent theme in the examples). They revile use of the blink tag extension that causes text to oscillate between two colour states and blink, constantly, irritatingly and advocate visiting a wide range of Web sites to learn what works and what doesn't.
The comprehensive coverage of the topic is divided into chapters like Text Basics, Formatted Lists, Forms, Frames and Executable Content. HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide is a feature-driven guide to what the languages can do rather than a guide to producing a finished item, but it should help a beginner to make good progress nevertheless, and is written in an approachable style.
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.
Date: 17 October, 2006
Author: Chuck Musciano, Bill Kennedy