I picked up a copy of this book at Borders (which I didn’t realize was tied to Amazon.com until I went to add it’s URL) in Concord a week ago for a few reasons. One was that I wanted to get back in touch with what the industry was providing for HTML references. I was also curious to see how different XHTML was from HTML since my first HTML class was taken in the mid-90’s and I hadn’t really done anything formal to update my skills since. I also wanted to learn more about CSS and was looking for a book that might explain it in such a way that my faculty and students would understand it.
I found all of that thank to Kathy Sierra and her Head First series of guides to programming. This book was written by Elisabeth & Eric Freeman and in the style of the rest of the series, explains its content in an irreverent but coherent and enjoyable conversation. What’s more, their use of relevant examples places the learning in a context which makes sense to the learner. Many of the HTML texts I’ve seen are typically a simple listing of HTML tags isolated from real-world application. The HeadFirst series uses a number of different examples wrapped up in a story line which draws the learner in and personalizes their experience. It is perhaps this use of storytelling which sells me the most on this book.
Printed by O’Reilly, this book is available just about everywhere and I highly recommend it for those who want more than cookie cutter templates and have a desire to learn HTML, XHTML and CSS. It’s done wonders for my comprehension of CSS and allowed me to refine my coding. Now it’s time to hack my blog theme CSS!