Compact, Effective Reference to HTML and Scripting

Covers multiple browsers, including WebTV, full attribute and event listings, well organized and easy to use.


There are a lot of HTML books on the market, most of which try to teach you HTML usage. But few of them do a great job when it comes to looking up details for specific commands. The HTML Programmer’s Reference doesn’t just document each of the many HTML tags and associated attributes. It goes deeper into the event model you’ll use to develop dynamic HTML content. If you develop web applications that are script-intensive, this is a great book that covers each of the elements in multiple HTML versions, leading up to and including HTML 4.0.

The books is divided into 5 chapters and 2 appendices. The first chapter provides a nice high-level overview that covers the basic structural framework for HTML. Chapter 2 takes up more than half the book, dedicated to each of the elements. Each element is documented by listing every attribute and script event. Attributes and elements supported by Netscape, Internet Explorer and WebTV are specifically pointed out, making the compatibility work much more achievable. The examples are varied and instructive, providing enough content to be sure the concepts are well communicated.

Chapter 3 covers the character entities supported by the various browsers, covering everything from Netscape 1.22, 2.02, 3.01, 4.02 and Internet Explorer 3.02 and 4.01. Chapter 4 provides a color reference, listing named colors and their RGB equivalents. Chapter 5 provides useful information to help clarify DTDs (Document Type Definitions). Appendix A provides a quick overview of URL syntax and construction, with Appendix B providing a list of relevant links. The book’s index also seemed useful in those instances when I had to use it, consuming a bit less than 20 pages.

If you do Dynamic HTML development and you like to keep a quick reference book handy when you work, you’ll find this one especially useful. The coverage of each HTML element, complete lists of attributes and events and compatibility information is well documented. If you are trying to develop and maintain applications which need to run effectively on different browsers, this is a great buy. It doesn’t provide detailed information about platform-specific differences, nor does it cover each browser version in point-release detail, but the major topics are all effectively covered and the price, at $16.99, makes this book a great value for the dollar.