Tag Archives: Chris Minnick

On Shelves Now: Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies!

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.

Finally, we decided that nearly all coverage of JavaScript would be cut. This was not an easy decision, since JavaScript is more important to web development today than it’s ever been (and it’s only getting more important). However, this is a beginner’s book about HTML5 and CSS3 and these are both giant topics to cover in only 400 pages. We decided in the end that we could either do a really good job of covering as much of HTML5 and CSS3 as possible, or we could do an inadequate job of covering HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. We picked the former.

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!

Great HTML5 Class Available thru Ed2Go

Chris Minnick is my old friend, a former co-author (on a bunch of Certified Internet WebMaster books we did in the late 1990s), and the man behind the book WebKit For Dummies. He’s also the author of the new Ed2Go class entitled “Creating Mobile Apps with HTML5.” The class runs for six weeks, and is available for as little as $89 depending on which school you elect to take it from. The Ed2Go sign up page is geo-sensitive, and shows me that I can take it through Texas State University in San Marcos, TX (of course, it’s online so why should that matter?) for $119.

First blurb from Ed2Go Course Page for Creating Mobile Apps with HTML5

First blurb from Ed2Go Course Page for Creating Mobile Apps with HTML5

There are two lessons to complete for each of the 6 weeks, for a total of 12 lessons in all. In addition to covering HTML5 and CSS 1 through CSS 3, the course also includes coverage of JavaScript, jQuery Mobile, offline storage and location services, numerous Web APIs for mobile use, touch enabling a mobile app, plus tips and tricks to boost Web app performance. The course concludes with a discussion on how to build native apps for various popular mobile operating systems, including iOS and Android, among others.

I’ve known Chris for 15 years, and worked with him on numerous projects, including half-a-dozen books (in fact, I tech-edited WebKit For Dummies). He always does great work, and manages to infuse his technical materials with plenty of laughs and a light touch that goes down easy on heavy subjects. I hope you’ll check out his class, and see if you like what you find there. If you take the class, I’m sure you’ll have a positive educational experience!