Book to teach HTML as a course

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I need to find a good self study guide to HTML.  As part of my job I now
have to maintain the companies many intranet sites using Microsoft Visual
web Developer 2008 Express Edition.  This has so far amounted to only very
minor changes but I will be expected to do more in the future.  This will
involve both editing code directly and using the IDE.

A suitable book would be a complete course almost like a correspondence
course (without the correspondence), between 500 and 1000 pages, include
exercises and assume the reader is a complete novice. A definite "if you
can't learn it from this give up" type of book.

Knowing from past experience that a good book is worth it weight in gold and
a bad one just leaves you in complete despair I would be very grateful for

Thank you in advance.

Re: Book to teach HTML as a course

Hi M,

M wrote:
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There is a difference between understanding HTML and understanding any
particular development app and IDE. Many in this newsgroup, myself included,
have given up on specific development apps for HTML because it can be
faster, easier, and more reliable to write the code with a text editor. This
approach only requires that you know HTML, instead of the necessity to learn
HTML as well as comprehend and master the quirks of an app generating HTML.
In short, you won't be able to debug the apps' code without understanding
HTML, but if you do understand HTML, you won't need the app!

In your case, the down-side is that you will be dealing with a volume of
existing code on an intranet, and that may require that you know more than
just HTML. For example, if the intranet involves server-side activities such
as data management, you will also need to learn the scripting language(s)
used for the server-side code. This could be just the tip of the iceberg,
since you may also be faced with learning a database interface language (or
more than one of these), a content management interface such as WordPress or
Joomla, etc.

So, my best advice at this point is for you to determine as much as you can
about the scope of your job with regard to the existing intranet's
structure, and to expect to need more than one book to manage and expand it.
Beyond that, without knowing your background, learning style or preferences,
I can't recommend anything specific.

best regards,


Re: Book to teach HTML as a course

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I tend to learn things mostly by trial and error, and my first HTML =
(in 1996) were done by modifying existing simple web pages that were =
to what I needed. Then I found some simple references on-line which =
described some common tags, and then a few years later I bought some =
but they were already almost obsolete. Now I have a large stack of "old" =

books, and sometimes I just scan the newer ones from the beginning to=20
refresh my knowledge and fill in some gaps. As with many skills, I use =
JavaScript, and CGI only occasionally, and I usually find it is better =
search on-line for specific help. I've also learned that there is a lot =
wrong or obsolete material in books as well as on-line.

It is helpful to have a printed reference for basic information such as=20
tags, but I have found that it is difficult to follow step-by-step=20
construction of a website from a book, and often the website is =
than what I need so I am forced to learn things that are not applicable =
my interests and I abandon the process and just start building what I =
and trying different things.

For some concepts, I have found short tutorial movies to be quite =
as they tend to hold my interest better than printed material =
(especially if=20
the movie is well done). Also, interactive on-line tutorials are very=20
useful, especially those that allow editing and validation without =
having to=20
bounce around between an editor and the validator and the final =
in the browser.

I have used various WYSIWYG HTML editors, and SaveAs HTML options, with =
wide range of results. More often than not, I edit the resulting HTML to =

format it for better human-readability, and sometimes to fix actual =
or to do things not available otherwise. I have also tried several CMSs, =
many of them seem (to me) difficult to use and too restrictive. I =
one website which uses GoogleSites, and it is useful for other =
members to add and modify content, but I find it frustrating and it does =
provide full HTML editing capability or direct FTP access to upload =

If the objective is to provide comprehensive HTML and general website=20
training, especially for "dummies", you have to start at an extreme =
level, and even then there are differences in peoples' comprehension of=20
various concepts of the workings of computers, files, software, =
servers, scripts, editors, email, databases, graphics, browsers, =
and security. And there are also the important considerations of =
aesthetics, ergonomics, and accessibility. If this course is specific to =
certain intranet website, it will need to be tailored to that as well as =

individual skill level.



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