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Cascading Style Sheets: Designing for the Web (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition

22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342596250
ISBN-10: 0201596253
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Editorial Reviews Review

For readers looking for a one-stop read for all they need to know about cascading style sheets (CSS), Cascading Style Sheets, Second Edition: Designing for the Web really hits the nail on the head. One of the authors--Hakon Wium Lie--was the originator of CSS and is in charge of the technology among the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). His writing partner is Bert Bos--another key member of the W3C currently focusing on style sheets and the Extensible Markup Language (XML). Together, they deliver a truly educational guide to the subject.

This book wisely includes numerous color screen shots and diagrams, as well as many typographic examples, to augment the discussion of the inherently visual topic of CSS. The authors' graphical expertise comes through clearly with visuals that clarify topics without cluttering the presentation.

The coverage goes beyond--or shall we say behind--that found in many other CSS books that focus primarily on the technical features of browsers. For example, the authors take the time to discuss typesetting terminology and font families in order to build a well-rounded knowledge. Despite the presentation of the precise details of the CSS1 and CSS2 specifications, the text is quite easy to read and intriguing to follow. Even if you are familiar with CSS--this is an excellent title to own. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered: CSS (levels 1 and 2), HTML, and XML tutorials; plus coverage of which browsers support which CSS elements.


"Some excellent full-colour examples show what CSS can do in the right hands.", August 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (July 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201596253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201596250
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,338,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl M. Hammond on July 31, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an indispensible resource if you've already decided HOW to implement CSS on your site and are looking for the best explanations of CSS selectors and syntax. The sections on typography and block-level elements, in particular, are detailed and extremely helpful (all that typography was much more than I needed to know, but it's good that it's there).
However, do NOT use this book if you haven't decided yet which CSS methods to use and cross-browser compatibility matters to you (or your clients). Each chapter cheerfully explains CSS features the way the creators WISH they would work, without indicating serious bugs or pitfalls you may encounter in the real world when trying to implement them the way they tell you to. The browser support charts are buried in the back -- they barely scratch the surface, especially where Netscape 4.x is concerned.
Making design decisions based on the information in this book could lead to some very unexpected and ugly results. Instead, use O'Reilly's "Cascading Style Sheets: A Definitive Guide", which documents browser compliance much more thoroughly, and turn back to this book as a quick-reference while you code.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By steveosan on November 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Prior to purchasing this book, the only things I knew how to do were make links so that they weren't underlined and change the color of some text. The basic, commonplace implementations of Cascading Style Sheets. Well, after hearing more about this rising development in web deisgn, I took an interest in CSS and decided to buy this book. I was not disappointed. It covers every aspect of CSS in a simple yet thorough manner. The quick reference inside the covers is also extremely helpful when you need to find the right CSS tag.
In regard to previous reviewers who say most of this will not be supported in the near future or ever, my response is that yes, it is true true that many of CSS' features will never be fully developed and implemented but if you browse through the actual body of the book, you will find that the bulk of the material covered is either already supported by the major browsers or will be in their next release. Therefore, I feel that it will not be long before the vast majority of this book becomes incredibly useful.
I have borrowed the O'Reilly CSS book and it is also quite good but I feel that this book goes into better detail about each tag and parameter.
I wish I could give it 4 1/2 stars but the reason I have given this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because the author is also the main developer of CSS. Him being so closely involved has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is obvious: this guy knows more about CSS than probably anyone in the world. But, due to the same fact, I would say he has a less neutral, more idealistic approach of CSS. That is why several features covered are a few browser versions ahead of their time, which has been the main argument of most people who didn't like this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By retrostar76 on December 8, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely indispensable. I don't have any other CSS books and I knew nothing of CSS before I started, but now I know it like the back of my hand. It's not only a great book to learn CSS, but it's also invaluable as a reference tool once you progress. Not one of those books you read then end up only to have to buy a more in-depth book for reference once you have progressed. It's good for everyone, beginner or advanced. Absolutely worth every penny.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The second edition of Lie&Bos is a welcome update for designers using CSS. As more and more browsers support CSS, having a reference book written by the co-authors of the specification is very helpful. The book goes into more depth than most designers will need, but its reassuring to know that answers to all questions can be found when needed.
The updated of the book also lists which CSS features are supported by which browsers. The Opera browser comes out on top, with Microsoft and Netscape trailing behind.
If you're stuck in the GIF tarpit, this book will help you out!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Tangney on August 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are some issues with this book that are purely the publisher's fault. (I am sure the authors are just as annoyed as I am.) Let's get them out of the way first.
Inside the back and front covers are what appears to be a handy quick reference. Great idea - except almost all the page numbers are wrong! That makes it completely useless. I have scratched in corrections in my copy, but I am not about to do a complete revision. The first edition had this same flaw, and I had hoped that the second would fix the problem.
The index is iffy. That's probably a clue right there to the wishy-washy structure of the book. It seems to be all over the place, with crucial bits of information about a topic filed away under some other topic, often in an example. As a reference work, it's very, very poor. It's written as if the reader is going to read it from start to finish and remember its entire contents. Yeah right.
Finally, the complete lack of real-world information about just how badly the various browsers support CSS is rather annoying. Sure, I understand that that stuff gets out of date quickly, but for designers who are targeting NS 4.7, it's useful to know what works and what doesn't.
Its sole saving grace (those two stars) is that is does in fact cover most of CSS - by hook or by crook. The examples, though contrived (and again, unrelated to the real world) do illustrate the concepts to a greater or lesser degree.
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