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.
Our book has now been in stores and online for one month, and we’ve gotten two reports of minor markup errors in its content so far, both from the same eagle-eyed reader. Despite our best efforts (more on that in the next paragraph) the occasional boo-boo does make it into print. When that happens we have only three burning desires:
1. To correct whatever mistakes may have occurred
2. To share that information with our readers so they don’t suffer from our mistakes
3. To make sure those mistakes get fixed before the next reprint occurs
I’m proud to announce that the latest book is in stores and online everywhere now. As the new co-author for this long-running and very popular series, I thought I’d take a moment to introduce myself and tell you what makes this book special.
My education as a web developer started prior to the first edition of HTML For Dummies, but I do vividly remember first learning HTML way back in 1993. The entire process of writing and publishing web pages was new to me (and to almost everyone) back then, and I had many questions.
I remember the frustration of following a tutorial and realizing that there was some required piece of knowledge that wasn’t being mentioned. Without that one piece of the puzzle, which I didn’t even know how to ask about, there seemed to be no hope of me making the leap from web user to web author.
Eventually, however, I would have an “ah-ha” moment that would carry me to the next stumbling block and I’d be forced to bumble around in the dark a while longer. Over time, I got really good at learning new web development skills — but it wasn’t the most efficient way to learn.
When books on HTML and web development started coming out, I gobbled them up. Before we even met, several of Ed Tittel’s books were indispensable references during the first decade of my career as a web developer.
I met Ed in 2000, when I was teaching Cold Fusion and Active Server Pages at Austin City College, and he helped me get my start as a computer book author. After writing and co-writing several books, I got burned out on writing books and took some time off…about 10 years, to be more precise.
I came out of my book-writing retirement to write WebKit For Dummies in 2011. Working with the team at Wiley was a great experience, and contributing to the For Dummies series is quite an honor for me. When Ed asked me to step in as his co-author for Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies, I replied “YES!” within 1 minute of getting his email.
I had already been thinking about how I would approach writing a new HTML book, and I was excited to find that Ed’s vision for the book was very close to mine and both of us were very much in line with the vision of the editors at Wiley.
Our first decision was: This should be a book for beginners. We wanted to reach way back into our memories and remember every frustration we had when we were getting started, and figure out a better and more complete way to teach the basics.
Next, we decided that this should be an HTML5 book, and XHTML would be mentioned as little as possible (and preferably not at all). I felt (and still feel) very strongly about this issue. Without going into the details (I’ll save that for a later post), XHTML is the markup language that very nearly killed the web. With HTML5 now widely supported by web browsers, there’s really no reason for anyone to learn, or try to use, XHTML.
Of all the books that I’ve worked on with other authors, this one was the smoothest and most enjoyable. It is truly a pleasure to work with Ed, and I’m confident that we put together a fantastic book.
I hope you enjoy reading and learning from Beginning HTML5 and CSS For Dummies as much as we enjoyed writing it. If you have any comments or questions, please let us know!
Hello! Ed Tittel here, with some interesting news about the next planned edition of our book:
I’m very sorry to report that my co-author and collaborator, Jeff Noble, has decided to drop out of the upcoming revision to our book. We’re probably going to call it HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies, and it’s going to be a complete rework to get everybody up to speed on HTML5 markup and some of the HTML5 canvas capabilities, along with coverage of Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) markup with an emphasis on CSS3 stuff. Jeff, however, is too busy with his job as Director of Product Design at CA Technologies (the huge conglomerate formerly known as Computer Associates) to bite off and chew upon the upcoming edition. I’m sad about this, because Jeff has been a great influence on and driver for the two previous editions of HTML, XHTML, and CSS For Dummies, sixth and seventh editions, and had already started to gear up with me to get going on the next edition of the book. But he has wisely decided to opt out of this project because he needs to concentrate on his real job, and keep his many and mischievous minions in line.
Jeff and I put our email addresses in every book that we write together, invite our readers to comment, and do our best to cope with the resulting influx of comments and e-mail. A few days ago I opened my inbox to see a message with the following and incredibly ominous subject line:
non thank you for the worst chapter ever written
“Oh boy!” I thought, when I got around to reading the message that evening (I’d been in all-day meetings in Pittsburgh the day it showed up and was too apprehensive as to its contents to want to open it up to take my medicine while sitting in a room with six other people on whose good opinion I depend for a substantial chunk of my income).
Hi everyone, it’s been awhile and I apologize for the delay in posts but I’m happy to announce that the 7th edition of our book has been picked up for a 2nd pressing! Now get ready for some tricky coincidental math (7 x 2) but this means that we have sold almost 14k copies so far and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your support.
This new updated 2nd pressing includes updates to:
- Jeff’s bio (it keeps changing!)
- Eric Meyer’s corrected foreword
- Listing 1-1 thanks to Cass Witkoswki
- (X)HTML character codes location thanks to Randy Schroder
In every edition of our book since the World Wide Web Consortium (aka W3C, with website at w3.org) put up its validator in the late 1990s we recommend that our readers use this tool to make sure their files are working properly as part of the debugging and publication process. (My old buddy and co-author on various CGI and other books, Mark Gaither, actually built the first known HTML validator in 1992-1993, using SGML technology to help him get a leg up, so I’ve been a believer since I first learned HTML, having learned the value of syntax checking when writing code using honest-to-gosh programming languages like C, SmallTalk, Pascal, and other stuff nobody uses an more.)
When I first started writing this post I began with the title “How to Freak Out Your Publishing Company 101 – The Trials and Tribulations of Jeff Noble” but I ended up changing it to something a bit more clear and also I have a strange hatred of blog post titles that are 12 lines long, it bothers me and that’s weird – I’ll deal with it. Now back to the story, we totally are going to give away a free chapter, but first let me explain my patent pending steps to making your publishing company uneasy.