Author Archives: Ed Tittel

HTML 5 Is Really Taking Off

In the past few weeks I’ve noticed lots more signs that HTML5 is starting to gather more wind in its sails. And although the HTML5 specification has advanced to the Last Call stage (on 4/23/2012) the point where things are mostly settled, but still subject to a more rounds of input and suggestions, there will be  a second Last Call soon (and possibly more, depending on what kinds of issues come up in need of discussion and resolution).

Only then will the specifications advance to the Recommendation track. And that itself can take two years, sometimes longer, to complete. Nevertheless, things are getting closer and I’m happy to observe that the W3C’s original guesstimates that HTML5 might not be “done” until 2020 or later now seem to have been overly pessimistic. Thank goodness!

Continue reading

On DOCTYPE and Your First HTML Page (Chapter 2)

I just fielded the following email from reader Matthew Hatwick (thanks!)

Chapter 2 greatly confuses me because it tells you a bunch of things and necessary essentials to html, doesn’t delve that deep into formatting or walk you through the formatting, and then gives the reader a full page of your example’s markup  and seems to expect the reader to understand how to create a basic page. Do you have a quick, visual tutorial of the process of doing so?
Continue reading

Another great Dummies book for next year: WebKit

My good friend, former co-author, and occasional collaborator Chris Minnick — co-owner and -proprietor of the nice little company Minnick Web Services — is finishing up a book on the nifty Web browser engine technology called WebKit that Apple helped to develop to support Safari and other Internet-aware applications, but then threw open for the rest of the world to use and enjoy. You can probably guess the title for this upcoming book (it’s WebKit For Dummies, as the following cover shot illustrates).
Continue reading

From “The Worst Chapter Ever Written” to “…in reality it’s an excellent book” in a single bound!

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).

Continue reading Gets a Makeover

OK, so I’ve finally caught up with prevailing Web practice, by switching my personal Website ( over from the Open Source Joomla content management system (CMS) to a WordPress based site built around the Graphene theme. Here’s what the new banner at the top of each page looks like now:

Continue reading

More Odd and Interesting Notepad Problems Surface

In our books, we recommend that Windows users build their first HTML documents using the built-in Notepad text editor. This does involve some contortions when saving files in Notepad because you have to remember to use the “Save as” command, and then select the “All Files (*.*)” entry in the “Save as type:” text entry box so that the program will permit you to save your work in .htm or .html format. Otherwise, it will cheerfully add a .txt extension to your file, and ignore the file type that you really want to use.
Continue reading

The Joys and Sorrows of The Reprint Process

As my co-author Jeff Noble mentioned in his most recent blog “What we did and did not update in the second pressing,” we’ve recently found ourselves in a hurry-up situation to get another printing of HTML, XHTML, and CSS For Dummies, 7th edition, through the correction and production processes. This was a typical “good-news/bad-news” situation in that we were of course delighted to learn that our book was headed to the printer’s for a second print run, but at the same time horrified to understand that we had exactly two full (weekend) days to get all of our changes turned over the the editors to have any hope of seeing them included in the next book’s next printed version.
Continue reading

Thanks for the Occasional Kudos!

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.

Continue reading

Interesting Page Refresh Problem Goes Uncaught at

In every edition of our book since the World Wide Web Consortium (aka W3C, with website at 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.)

Continue reading