If you’ve already worked with HTML and have done some Web authoring, you should have no problem plugging in to any chapter at random and working with that chapter’s subject matter. However, if you have never worked with HTML before, you might want to keep some things in mind as you work through this book. While many HTML books are reference-oriented (you already know what you want to do and find out how to do it by looking it up in the index), this one is tutorial-oriented. The goal of How to Do Everything with HTML & XHTML is to help you write XHTML by learning how the language works. Therefore, you might keep some of the following suggestions in mind as you read:
Each chapter builds on the preceding one. Work through the book chapter by chapter. That way you’ll be able to use what you learned in earlier chapters as you develop new skills progressively through the book.
Work through the projects; don’t just read them. With any skill, you need to practice. Web authoring with XHTML is no different. If you only read about it, you’ll never learn it.
Modify the examples for your own use. You’ll learn faster and have a better understanding of how HTML works if you experiment with the examples rather than just typing them in as is. As you play with the code and see the results of your experiments, go back to the text and try to think through why you got the results you did.
Make use of the online resources. All of the code, images, and examples created for this book are available for download, either from the author’s Web site—www.jamespence.com—or from Osborne’s Web site at www.osborne.com. By downloading the resources, you will be able to reproduce exactly the illustrations you find in the book. This will make it much easier to understand and apply the principles you are learning
Download the free online appendixes. Three free appendixes are also available online through the author’s or Osborne’s Web site. These appendixes provide added details about Cascading Style Sheets, Module-Based XHTML, and Character Entities. By downloading and using them you can enhance your experience in learning XHTML.
Ask questions. Don’t hesitate to e-mail the author if you have a question or problem. James welcomes e-mail contacts from readers and will do his best to answer your questions. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.