Six months ago, bookstores had few Macintosh-specific books about creating Web pages. The books I found tried to help all users on all platforms, and although most of them mentioned the Mac, none of them thoroughly explained exactly how a Macintosh user would complete a home page. By "thoroughly explained," I mean that none of them anticipated the problems Mac users might encounter, assisted with the mechanics of finding shareware and freeware authoring tools, offered substantial help in using Macintosh software to do HTML or set up pictures and media, or anticipated problems and confusions that might arise transferring HTML documents from a Macintosh to a Web server.
Since then, several authors have completed Mac-based Web authoring books, but the book I want to talk about is Create Your Own Home Page, which Adam and I coauthored (ISBN 1-56830-245-21, Hayden Books, $25). The book is loosely based on the HTML chapter that I wrote for the third edition of Adam’s Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh, and we decided to turn the chapter into a longer book because we figured the people who most needed the information would never find it buried in the Starter Kit, not to mention the fact that we had no room on the disk to include any HTML tools. Create Your Own Home Page is specifically for Mac users who want to make home pages, but don’t have a lot of time to invest in learning how.
In 150 pages, Create Your Own Home Page takes readers from the idea-forming stage through creating HTML 2.0 code. It also covers locating, downloading, and using non-commercial applications for adding sounds, graphics, and movies to the page; finding a Web server to serve the page; using Anarchie to upload and maintain the page; and publicizing the completed page. It also has tips and suggestions for what to include and not include, basic directions for finding, installing, and using some of the best shareware available for authoring Web pages on a Mac (including HTML Web Weaver, Anarchie, HTML+, and rtftohtml), plus pointers that take readers to online sources of more information.
My favorite part of the book is chapter 3, which shows images of three completed Web pages. Callouts surround each image, and the callouts help people look at the images, see features that they like, and then get help with how they work.
We’ve taken some flak for this, but the first edition of the book focuses solidly on HTML 2.0. Why? For one thing, the book strives to help busy people make home pages that work well in the variety of available browsers. For another thing, we learned HTML 2.0 before learning the other tags, and we’ve found that it helps enormously to know what’s HTML 2.0 and what’s not. Also, because the books is intended to give new HTML authors a non-intimidating leg up into the world of basic Web authoring, we decided not to cover forms or image maps.
The book does comes with a disk, and the disk includes licensed versions of HTML Web Weaver and HTML+ (an XTND to HTML converter), as well as StuffIt Expander, Anarchie, useful Anarchie bookmarks, a few templates, and some sounds and graphics for use on Web pages.
Hayden has placed a page about the Create Your Own Home Page on the Web, and from that page you can follow a link to the text of chapter 4, which explains the basics of HTML.
Macmillan Computer Publishing — 800/428-5331 — 317/871-6724