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CSS Web Design For Dummies 1st Edition

2.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764584251
ISBN-10: 0764584251
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A step-by-step guide for stepping up from plain HTML

Create Web sites that grab attention, remain consistent, and are easy to update

Attention Web designers! CSS can be your secret weapon, and this book shows you how to use it. CSS helps you create dynamic visual effects, unify the look of your site, and deliver your site's content in a professional way that gets noticed. It even makes updates and changes a breeze. Here's what you need to get up to speed!

Discover how to

  • Create practical style sheets
  • Format pages that are visually pleasing
  • Manage details such as colors and backgrounds
  • Handle lists and tables
  • Render complex documents

About the Author

Richard Mansfield was the editor of COMPUTE! Magazine from 1981 to 1987. During that time, he wrote hundreds of magazine articles and two columns. From 1987 to 1991, he was editorial director and partner at Signal Research. He began writing books full-time in 1991 and has written 36 computer books since 1982. Of those, four became bestsellers: Machine Language for Beginners (COMPUTE! Books), The Second Book of Machine Language (COMPUTE! Books), The Visual Guide to Visual Basic (Ventana), and The Visual Basic Power Toolkit (Ventana, coauthored by Evangelos Petroutsos). His books combined have sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into 12 languages.
Richard’s recent titles include Office 2003 Application Development All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, Visual Basic .NET All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, Visual Basic .NET Weekend Crash Course, Visual Basic .NET Database Programming For Dummies, Visual Basic 6 Database Programming For Dummies (all published by Wiley), Hacker Attack (Sybex), and The Wi-Fi Experience: Everyone’s Guide to 802.11b Wireless Networking (Pearson Education, coauthored by Harold Davis).

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (March 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764584251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764584251
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,653,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I generally turn to "Dummies" books when I have no knowledge of a subject, but need quick information. I like the books... Unlike most techies, I like the humor contained within. One thing about techno-dummie books is that they generally give you just enough information to get up and running... They're great starting points. However, you will not learn standarized methods, as proposed by the W3C, from this book. You'll learn about selectors, but things like the box model are not really explained as well as they should be.

THIS BOOK IS GEARED TOWARDS IE BROWSERS ONLY - as the author states several times throughout. In regards to marketing, MS owning 90% market share, it makes sense to teach from this angle. But to learn the full potential of the language I can't see the justification. Firefox, Opera, and Safari, already support alot of selctors from CSS Level 3, leaving the IE viewers a degraded or dimished view of pages created to standard. It's possible that IE may take advantage of these things in the future, hopefully, and you won't learn what CSS truly has to offer in the dummies books.

I would definitely recommend looking at WROX CSS books such as "Professional CSS..." and "Accessible XHTML and CSS Web Sites Problem Design Solution" after reading this book. Other good books would be Jeremy Keith's "DOM Scripting...", which is geared towards CSS guys, and Dan Cederhom's "Bulletproof Web Design..."

That being said, the Dummies book, in my opinion is the easiest starting point... just be prepared to do more reading.... lots more.
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Format: Paperback
The whole point of CSS is to open up the web to a large number of users whether they use a Windows machine, a Mac, a phone, a mobile device, are blind etc. Furthermore, CSS is based around the w3.org STANDARDS which define how browsers are supposed to display information. It's well known amongst designers and developers that Internet Explorer has quite the worst correct support of these standards - in other words it tends to display pages incorrectly. Almost all top CSS designers will design on a browser that has good standards such as Firefox, and then iron out the broken renderings that IE produces at the end.

It's totally amazing to me that on author should be promoting CSS (ie standards based design) then suggest that because most people use IE, you should design to its broken renderings. This is a bad idea for many reasons

1. what happens if Microsoft update IE to support standards correctly. Your page will be broken

2. at least 20% of users don't use IE. If you are a business who turns 20% of your customers away they you won't last long. This number will only get bigger too.

3. The whole point of the web is that it is a system that is independent of any platform, and CSS is a culmination of this effort. By designing for IE's quirks, you are effectively moving back to the dark ages of 'view this page in NN at 800pixels wide on a screen of ...'.

Effectively this book is teaching fundamentals using broken tools. Hardly a way to learn a new powerful technique that is revolutionizing the web.
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Format: Paperback
Like other readers, I found myself extremely put off by the author's unfathomable condescension towards platforms other than Windows XP, browsers other than Internet Explorer 6, and monitors either smaller or larger than the norm. Would that it stopped there. He also goes out of his way to insult standards bodies, programmers, and even animators who haven't switched to all-digital production.

Beyond the blatant callousness of his remarks, there is a serious weakness here for a book coming out under the otherwise excellent ...Dummies line: It's simply not good business, for two reasons:

1) Even if people who don't use standard and software and equipment are used to seeing Web pages that don't work properly, that doesn't mean that it doesn't alienate them. If I were the owner of a small business, I simply wouldn't want to hire a Web designer who is cheerfully willing to cut my sales by even as much as 5%. It's bad business.

In particular, a lot of people who use old software do so because they are overwhelmed by the relentless press to upgrade or simply can't afford it. Yes, IE6 is free--but XP isn't.

2) Standards are not static, nor is software. Within the next year or so, the dominant platform is likely to be Vista and the dominant browser IE7 (or later). The best way to guarantee that my Web pages will continue to work with future software and standards is to make sure that they're conformant now. Again, if I were looking from the perspective of a business owner, I wouldn't want to have to rehire my Web designer (or, more likely, a different one) in two or three or five or ten years because the non-standard CSS they wrote now stopped working, soley because they made the lazy assumption that the only browser one needs to support is IE6.

I'm really astonished that the editor at Wiley let this one out the door.
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Format: Paperback
CSS is intended to be a standard way to separate layout issues from content. A well-designed web site using CSS will look the same on any standard-conforming browser.

Despite this, the author actually urges readers to design solely for Microsoft Internet Explorer (see pp. 19-20). For this reason, I urge people to avoid this book.
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