I’d like to thank my Mum for inspiring my lifelong love of books, my Dad for inspiring my lifelong love of computers, and my brother for underwriting my move to London and giving me a chance to get a full-time web development job. Also sincere thanks to the rest of my family for being there for me over the years.
A big thank you to Boyd Gilchrist who, while we were both at university, patiently answered such questions as “What’s this web browser thing, then?” and “HTML, what the fudge is that?” among many others I couldn’t be bothered to research on my own in the pre-Google era. Also, thanks to my other friends at university, especially Graham Barr who not only put up with living with me for several years but also managed to keep in touch long enough to read drafts of several chapters in this book.
I’d like to thank everyone at Net Resources, especially my tutor John Ayscough; Richard O’Connor for giving me the subsequent placement which was my first commercial web development experience; and Esther Kuperij for talking him into it. My adventures in web standards have been greatly aided by the vibrant London web developer community, particularly the London Web Standards and London Web Meetup groups.
Troy Mott at Manning is the person who originally got me involved with this book project, though at times I’m not sure whether to blame him or thank him for that! But Troy and all the other people I’ve worked with at Manning have been massively supportive throughout the writing and production processes. I’d especially like to thank Katharine Osborne, Candace Gillhoolley, Cynthia Kane, Bert Bates, Katie Tennant, Tiffany Taylor, Martin Murtonen, Janet Vail, Mary Piergies, and of course Marjan Bace, for making this book what it is.
Many people reviewed the manuscript at various stages of its development, and I would like to thank all the MEAP readers who provided comments in the forum as well as the following peer reviewers for their invaluable feedback: ‘Anil’ Radhakrishna, Braj Panda, Brian R. Bondy, Curtis Miller, Dave Nicolette, Dave Pawson, David McWhirter, Diane C. Leeper, Edward Welker, Eric Pascarello, Gary Rasmussen, Greg Donald, Greg Vaughn, James Hatheway, Jason Jung, Jason Kaczor, John Griffin, Keith Kim, Kieran Mathieson, Lester Lobo, Lisa Morgan, Mike Greenhalgh, Nikolaos Kaintantzis, Rudy Pena, Sarah Forst, Stuart Caborn, Tijs Rademakers, and Yvonne Adams. Special thanks to Adam London for his careful technical review of the final manuscript and for testing the code.
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge J. D. “Illiad” Fraser of User Friendly for letting Manning use the User Friendly cartoon characters in the Hello! series and for allowing me to put my own words in the characters’ mouths.