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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Effective Web Design

Effective Web Design by Ann Navarro
Publisher: Sybex Inc; (April 2001) | ISBN-10: 0782128491 | PDF | 5,4 Mb | 547 pages

This is a nuts and bolts coding book. In it are examples showing how to hand-code, in XHTML, sites that include images, links, tables, frames, style sheets--just about everything you might want. There's also extensive advice on planning your site design, knowing your audience, and doing e-business.
The author's fundamental approach to effective Web design is what she terms the "cross-compatibility concept," which is based upon two principles: creating valid code in the first place and creating code that will cause an older browser to either pass on content it can't handle or offer "graceful degradation." This runs counter to similar books, which advise serving up different content depending upon the user's browser.
The book is aimed at those who have used Web layout applications like GoLive, Dreamweaver, or FrontPage, but now wish to know more about the underlying code; s well as those who may already know HTML but would like to learn proper XHTML, especially as a step toward learning XML. The author served on the W3C HTML Working Group as an invited expert, and her confident knowledge in this area is evident in her writing. Her Web consulting company is called WebGeek, which isn't surprising since the tone of this book is distinctively \"geeky.\" But anyone looking to sharpen his or her coding skills shouldn't be deterred by that. Beginners will find the book rigorous, but Webmasters will appreciate the chapter on code validators and how to interpret error reports, and the one on improving a site's accessibility for the disabled.
Although it's less effective in dealing with basic design issues like balance and visual unity (it gets marks for effort) or in the homemade (decidedly non-slick) look of sample site designs and graphics, this book does deliver when it comes to the exacting details of XHTML. The index is as thorough as that of a science textbook, and the appendices provide quick access to the XHTML abstract module definitions and all the elements and their attributes. The CD-ROM contains code referred to in the book, along with a lot of shareware and trial copies of Web utilities for FTP, code validating, browsers, and other useful applications.

Effective Web Design
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