Thanks for all the fish … errr…. feedback!

The book’s been out for almost two months now, and we’ve been getting some great feedback from certain of our readers. Much of this has centered around minor, nit-picky — and therefore important and noteworthy for us authors — boo-boos in either the examples as printed in the book, or in the actual HTML source code posted right here to the website (or missing in action, as has been the case for a handful of items). This kind of input always gets our attention, so Chris and I have been busy fixing the downloads and ZIP files for the book’s content, to make sure that as we find and fix mistakes, we make repairs, and immediately offer the repaired items for subsequent download to our readers.

Douglas Adams caught the spirit of the HTML adventure long before the Web was a gleam in Tim Berners-Lee's eye!

Douglas Adams caught the spirit of the HTML adventure long before the Web was a gleam in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye!

So please, keep your comments and questions coming. There will be a reprint of the book sooner or later, and we will take advantage of that opportunity to fix any errors that show up in print, so that future readers don’t have to encounter them. Just to give you an idea of the scope of this situation, lest you become concerned about the quality of our work, or our ability to conduct that work: so far, we’re talking about less than two dozen items altogether. After 13 prior editions of this book that means we’re doing pretty darn well so far: our usual count two months in is between 10 and 20 items related either to errata in the book itself, missing content or examples, or markup mistakes in the download files.

I’m pleased to report that when inconsistencies (not really errors, just disagreements) between what’s in the book and what’s in the files have been reported, the files have been found to be correct more often than not, and the errors the result of screen captures on the wrong versions of markup files. We’ve added a new quality control step for future editions as a consequence, and will be asking our project editors and the tech editor to check for differences between what’s in the screen captures and what’s in the files. That should help us catch and stomp this stuff out in the future without having to catch inconsistencies after the book is in print.

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