My Next Book

I’ve been agonizing over how to how to announce this. I’ve told a few friends, and I even let the cat slip out of the bag once on Mokka mit Schlag (though I pushed it back in) but I think rather than worrying any further I’m just going to do it. The contract has been signed and my next book will be:

Refactoring HTML from Addison-Wesley

As more and more sites transition from simple content to full-blown, two-way applications the legacy cruft of the past ten years is becoming apparent. There are millions of sites and billions of pages that have been around since the 1990s. Many of these pages were designed for browsers like Netscape 3, Internet Explorer 2, or even Mosaic. They may have been redesigned several times, but the underlying structure and markup remains the same; and this is becoming a problem. These pages don’t work well with modern technologies and tools like AJAX, DOM, E4X, JavaScript, and more.

Consequently, many web developers and designers find themselves faced with legacy code for the first time. Until recently most sites and pages just weren’t old enough for legacy issues to be a major concern. While legacy issues and the tools and techniques for managing them are well known to programmers, web folks are just now learning about these problems. As web designers begin to grapple with the legacy issues that have hampered programmers for so long, they’ll need to learn the same refactoring techniques programmers have used to manage these problems.

In this book I hope to help web designers, web authors, web programmers, and webmasters develop the tools and skills they need to clean up their sites so they can take them to the next level. The specific focus is going to be on converting sites to web standards: XHTML, CSS, and REST. Specific goals will include improving accessibility and usability, optimizing search engine placement, and reducing the overall cost of development for web sites.

With a little luck, the book should be on store shelves sometime this summer. I’ve already posted a number of questions that arose while writing it. I’m going to be posting a lot more over the next couple of months. I also plan to post many small excerpts from the book for your perusal and comment. I hope you’ll help out by commenting on, caviling, and correcting the draft pieces I’ll be posting here.

Happy HTML!

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