One of the (Many) Reasons I Have Been Quiet, part 3

Ever the apologist, here I am again justifying lack of activity on this site (and some others) over the last year or two (the list of other time-suckers can be found here). What’s the justification this time? Well, it’s a good one.

While travelling around the globe a couple of years ago, I started doing some technical editing for Sitepoint. It was a great way to earn a bit of money to pay my way while not getting in the way of moving from place to place - no bar work or fruit-picking for me! Much of this editing work was carried out in the back of my van in the late hours while my wife-to-be snoozed. When I returned to UK after travelling, I was approached about some more potential writing work. Despite the fact that I knew I had an extremely busy year ahead of me, somehow I felt brave enough to take it on. Over seven months, while dealing with two house sales, buying a new house and making tentative wedding plans, I spent many evenings working on this project. Today, for the first time, I saw the evidence that it was finally coming to fruition - Sitepoint have added the book to their ‘coming soon’ section.

So, what’s the book about?

At this point, it might be worth re-reading this post about the poor state of many beginner web design books on the market. The reason for my trip to the book shops was to really get a feel for what’s out there and to make sure that I was on track with what I was writing. I couldn’t have been happier at how bad it was - it made me realise that what I had started writing for Sitepoint was much needed and much overdue.

Who is this book aimed at?

Well, chances are it’s not aimed at you. As much as I’d like to say it’s a cutting edge book about CSS tricks that you and I love to peruse, or an accessibility book with a slightly different angle than those currently out there, it’s neither. This is what it is:

  • It’s a book that you can give to your web newbie mother/sister/auntie
  • It doesn’t presume any foreknowledge of HTML or ownership of any expensive/fancy web authoring software (nor does it suggest going out and buying any)
  • While it’s for beginners, it’s not going to call anyone a dummy ;-)
  • It’s a web design book that refuses to teach bad, outdated practices as a way of getting eye-catching results more quickly than the ‘proper’ method. For example, the first time you will see page layout covered is with CSS in chapter 4. Tables are covered - but in a chapter about managing data in tables, just where they should be .

In short, it’s a book that aims to teach complete beginners how to build web sites that conform to web standards such that they won’t need to unlearn bad practices at a later date, or even know that those bad practices exist.

Well, I’ve talked it up so much, about time I provided a link:

Build Your First Website The Right Way Using HTML & CSS

Publication date is March/April (I believe the latter ismore likely). If you think you know someone that this could be of benefit to, please do add your name to the notification list (by joining the Sitepoint Book Buyers’ Club). I am looking forward to seeing the finished result … and I really do wonder what bizarre and completely off-topic picture this book will have on the cover!

Filed under: Accessibility
Posted by Ian on Thursday, March 2, 2006

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