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
As we develop markup for our book, it goes through the following steps for quality control:
1. The author runs the markup through a validation checker of some kind (usually one of the W3C tools).
2. The project editor who handles our manuscript for us does likewise.
3. The book’s technical editor does it again.
Nevertheless, the occasional mistake does make it through, sometimes in interesting ways. One case in point occurs on page 83 of the first printing of Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies, where the markup internal to the <tfoot></tfoot> element looks like this:
But because we wanted “Element” and “Description” in bold, as shown on the screen cap following on page 83, that markup should have actually read as follows:
That’s because use of the table heading element (th) renders text in bold, whereas table date (td) renders it in plain. I actually went so far as to look at the HTML file we created for the screen capture on page 84 and saw that it was correct and had used the right markup. So somehow we fell prey to a mismatch between the copy as it appears on page 83 of the book, and what was used to make the screen cap for page 84. As a result, we’re adding a new quality control step to future manuscripts: getting the project editor to compare the copy as it appears in the book to the markup as it inhabits the files used to make screen captures. This means more work for us to be sure, but should also prevent this kind of thing from happening again.
Please, help out with quality control if you can, too. If you see something in the book that doesn’t work, or that doesn’t work the way we say (or show) it should, please let us know what you find. You don’t need to figure out what we did wrong, but it will help everybody if you can help us get things right, so we can post errata, and make sure errors are corrected before the next reprint! Thanks very much in advance for your assistance. We do appreciate it!