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Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are one of the most important technologies on the web today. They give web developers the power to style their web sites so those sites are usable, compact, good looking, consistently displayable, and quick and efficient to change if so desired.
There are many books out there on CSS, but Beginning CSS Web Development is different—it doesn’t waste time discussing theory, and it delves straight into the practical matter. It provides you with what you need to know, faster. It is also completely up to date, covering the most modern CSS standards and design techniques.
In addition to the essential CSS basics, this book covers advanced techniques like accessibility, hacks, and filters. The book concludes with a case study, and features a CSS reference section that allows you to look up required syntax as quickly as possible.
Posted April 22, 2007
Let me start by saying I never really considered myself to be a CSS beginner when I picked up this book. I've successfully used CSS for text formatting comfortably for a couple of years. But when it came to using CSS for positioning and layouts, I'd run into frustrating problems immediately, and always found floats to be counter-intuitive. I've read many CSS positioning tutorials on the web and none of them ever fully resolved the conceptual blocks I've had. Given the fact that I've been entirely self-taught when it comes to web development, I figured a book with a title like Beginning CSS Web Development seemed appropriate to fill in the gaps of my understanding. The first four chapters of this book covered the basics of CSS and went over text styling techniques I was already familiar with. Even so, I found the writing exceptionally clear and learned a few more subtle techniques that were immediately helpful in improving some of my web designs. Simon Collison isn't just writing a series of lessons on CSS - he also offers general guidelines about web design issues, such as recommendations on how to organize your CSS files, and tips for picking an appropriate font. By the time I had finished reading Part 1 of the book - which I had assumed would simply be a remedial overview of CSS - I had found numerous ways my practical, working knowledge of CSS had been improved. Chapter 10 was on the topic of CSS positioning and was the main 'litmus test' of the book's usefulness to me. It included concise and easy to understand explanations of float-based positioning, when it can be necessary to use spacer divs, and the way clearing floated elements should be done. This was the book I was looking for to clean up my spotty understanding of CSS positioning, and I immediately obtained results I applied in some of my web designs. I would highly recommend this book for anyone with a background in CSS like my own. I also feel this is an excellent book for newcomers to CSS who want a good foundation in modern best practices from a book that is both practical and readable.
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Posted October 26, 2008
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