On a pretty regular basis, we get e-mails from readers asking us to clarify various points of HTML, XHTML, or CSS syntax, usage, or best practices. We love these e-mails, because they give us insight into how well the book’s materials are working for readers, and let us know where they sometimes run into difficulties. Sometimes, this is our fault — perhaps we could have been clearer in our exposition, or added or made better use of an example, or perhaps even gone into more detail on one subject or another — and sometimes the material itself is just trying and needs some knocking around before things really make any kind of proper sense.
Also, we sometimes get e-mails that point out errors in the book (check the Errata button at the top of any page on this site to go to those reports, where you’ll find four specific items plus one general item as I write this posting: three of those four were tagged for us by readers). When these happen we decide how to fix them, then post the error and its correction there, and eventually it will makes its way into the next reprint of the book. These reports are also great, because they let us know how well our quality control measures for the book are working (and with 13 total editions of this title now under my belt, I can tell you from long experience that this latest edition is the cleanest one so far, so I’m pretty happy), and help us get ready for the next reprint. We’d rather that no errors be found at all, but only if there are no errors present. If they’re there we want you to tell us about them, so we can fix them. It’s just that despite our best (and lots of) effort, at least a handful of typos and other mistakes, sometimes with markup, do make it to print.
And then, there are the letters like the one from Alana P. (thanks, Alana!) that occasionally appear in our inboxes. This one is short but very sweet (at least, to me and Jeff) because it reads:
“I have been trying to teach myself dreamweaver and it’s been driving me nuts…. I borrowed “HTML, XHTML & CSS” from the library this afternoon and everything is FINALLY making sense!!!!!! I’m going to buy myself a copy now so I can always have it handy. Thank you soooooooo much, Mr Tittel!!!!!!!”
This is the kind of feedback that helps Jeff and myself be more certain that the book is serving its intended purpose, and really does help people find their way into the occasional (and mostly superficial) intricacies of HTML and CSS. Considering that yesterday was a Friday the 13th (of May 2011 this time, as it happens), it turned out to be a pretty Lucky Friday for us.