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Preface > Contents


This book focuses on the front-end aspects of web design: HTML authoring, graphics production, and media development. It is not a resource for programming, scripting, or server functions; however, whenever possible, I have tried to provide enough background information on these topics to give designers a level of familiarity with the terminology and technologies. The content in this book is appropriate for all levels of expertise—from professionals who need to look up a particular detail, to beginners who may require full explanations of new concepts and individual tags.

The book is divided into six parts, each covering a general subject area.

Part I

Part I introduces some broad concepts about the way the Web works, which should orient designers to the peculiarities of the medium. It ends with an introduction to the server and basic Unix concepts.

Chapter 1, looks at how differing browser capabilities affect design decisions.

Chapter 2, discusses varying monitor resolutions and accessibility issues and their effects on the design process.

Chapter 3, introduces how the Web deals with color, graphics, and fonts. This is particularly useful for those accustomed to print; however, it is also essential background information for any new web designer.

Chapter 4, provides a primer on basic server functions, system commands, uploading files, and file types.

Chapter 5, shows you how to control the way your pages look when they're printed.

Chapter 6, covers ways in which you can make your pages accessible to users with hearing, sight, cognitive, or motor skills impairments.

Chapter 7, addresses key issues for internationalization, including character sets and new language features in HTML 4 and CSS2.

Part II

Part II focuses on HTML tags and their use. Most chapters begin with a listing of available tags with short descriptions (for easy access), followed by more detailed explanations and practical advice for their use.

Chapter 8, gives a detailed introduction to HTML syntax, including how to specify color and special characters.

Chapter 9, lists the tags used to establish an HTML document and structure its contents, including settings that control or pertain to the whole document.

Chapter 10, lists all tags related to the formatting of text elements in an HTML document.

Chapter 11, lists HTML tags related to linking one document to another, including imagemaps.

Chapter 12, focuses on the tags used for placing objects such as images, rules, or multimedia objects on a web page.

Chapter 13, provides everything you'd ever want to know about tables, including a list of table-related HTML tags, troubleshooting tips, and templates for popular table structures.

Chapter 14, covers the structure and creation of framed documents, including explanations of frame-related HTML tags, as well as tips and tricks.

Chapter 15, lists all tags related to form creation and provides an introduction to working with CGI scripts.

Chapter 16, covers the two methods for specifying colors in web documents: RGB values and color name.

Chapter 17, describes how to use CSS to control presentation of HTML documents, including detailed explanations of available selectors, properties, and values. It also introduces CSS Level 2 features and provides tips for style sheet use.

Chapter 18, provides an overview of Server Side Includes, including their capabilities and listings of the available elements and variables.

Part III

The chapters in Part III provide background information on web graphics file formats as well as overviews of available tools and practical tips for graphic production and optimization.

Chapter 19, describes the popular GIF format and provides tricks for working with transparency and minimizing file sizes.

Chapter 20, describes the JPEG format and provides tips on minimizing file sizes.

Chapter 21, shows you when and how to use this powerful graphic file format.

Chapter 22, discusses the tools and techniques used in creating graphics with colors from the Web Palette.

Chapter 23, looks at the creation and optimization of those flashing, bouncing, and wiggling animated GIFs.

Part IV

The chapters in Part IV focus on the animation, audio, and interactive capabilities of the Web.

Chapter 24, provides an overview of tools and file formats for creating nonstreaming and streaming audio on the Web.

Chapter 25, provides an overview of basic technology and concepts for creating nonstreaming and streaming video on the Web.

Chapter 26, looks at Macromedia's Flash and Director Shockwave formats.

Chapter 27, provides an introduction to how SMIL works and the elements used to control the timing and display of multimedia presentations.

Part V

Part V provides overviews of key technologies that allow implementation of advanced features in web sites.

Chapter 28, provides a general introduction to JavaScript as well as a number of templates for creating popular effects such as event handlers, browser-detection, and status-bar messages.

Chapter 29, provides a basic overview of Dynamic HTML and related concepts.

Chapter 30, briefly introduces XML (Extensible Markup Language) and explains why it is significant.

Chapter 31, reviews the differences and similarities between HTML 4.0 and XHTML.

Chapter 32, begins with a brief introduction to WAP and application development. The second half of the chapter focuses on WML and how it works, including a summary of the elements and attributes in the current WML specification.

Part VI

Part VI provides lots of useful look-up tables for HTML tags and CSS elements.

Appendix A, lists all HTML tags as listed in the HTML 4.0 specification of April 1998. This list also serves as an index to finding full tag explanations throughout the book.

Appendix B, lists all attributes and their respective tags and values.

Appendix C, lists all tags that have been "deprecated" (discouraged from use) by the HTML 4.0 specification.

Appendix D, lists tags that work only with Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer.

Appendix E, lists all CSS properties and the browsers that support them.

Appendix F, lists all characters not found in the normal alphanumeric character set. The first part of this appendix presents the standard HTML character entities. The second part presents newly added entities in the HTML 4.0 specification that are not as well supported

The Glossary defines many of the terms used in the book.

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