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Graham, Ian S. The HTML sourcebook. A complete guide to HTML 3.0. 2nd ed. New York: John Wiley, 1996. ISBN 0-471-14242-5 $29.95

Anyone who began to create Web pages a year or more ago knows how rapidly the use of HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) has developed and how the standard is changing as a result of the implementation of new features by those responsible for producing new Web browsers, such as Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. Indeed, although this book refers to HTML 3.0, there is no such standard at present - the current, definitive version is version 2.0 (as Graham makes clear in his Introduction). The various extensions introduced by Netscape and Microsoft have not yet been adopted as standard, although because of the impact of Netscape Navigator in particular, the extensions have the status of de facto standards.

It is also a fact that anyone who has sought information on the Web about the use of HTML will have come across a large proportion of this book already freely (and usefully) available for some months and regular updates are promised to be on-line. This new edition is expanded by three chapters and includes material not covered in the first edition, such as CGI programming.

With its 12 chapters, six appendices, a glossary and an index occupying a total of 688 pages (plus the end-pages, which are also used to provide useful information) it is clear that this is not a quick, 'how to write Web pages in six easy lessons'. It is, rather, a reference work and should be approached in that light, although there are readable chapters on, for example, Real World Examples and The design of HTML document collections.

No one who designs and develops Web pages, at whatever level of competency, should be without this book: it is an invaluable guide to the correct use of HTML and, in addition, covers many of the extensions that may be embodied in a future HTML 3.0 - not all, because new ones are coming out with every new browser or new version of a browser. Fortunately for the reader of this source-book, however, the Web site referred to earlier will be picking up and advising on those new elements. At $29.95 this is a bargain.

Prof. Tom Wilson