Chapter 1. Taking the Web to the Next Level

In This Chapter

  • Reviewing HTML, XHTML, and CSS

  • Examining the role of JavaScript and AJAX

  • Exploring what JavaScript and AJAX can add to Web pages

  • Choosing an editor

  • Building your browser toolkit

The Web is a pretty big deal. It's a lot of fun to build Web pages, and just about every business needs them. As the Web has grown and changed, the expectations of what a Web page is and does have also changed. If you already know HTML or XHTML, you know how to create Web documents — if you need a refresher, check out Bonus Chapter 1 on either the companion Web site at or my own site at

As the Web has evolved so have the tools that are used to create Web pages and documents. JavaScript and AJAX are two powerful tools for creating dynamic Web documents. This chapter gets you started with a look at some of the primary technologies out there for building Web pages.

Building Something Cool

This book is about adding features to Web pages that you cannot do with simple HTML and CSS.

Make no mistake; we're talking about programming here — and programming is a little bit harder than plain old Web development. However, it's really worth it, as the example page in Figure 1-1 illustrates.


To keep this example simple, I'm using some external libraries. They are explained in Part IV of this book, but for now just appreciate that something exciting is happening here.

Figure 1.1. This page has some interesting ...

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