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4.1 out of 5 stars
Cascading Style Sheets 2.0 Programmer's Reference
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a reference book.
It says that in the title but some of the negative reviews on this book seem to have overlooked that. It is NOT a turorial. It is NOT going to be a magic book to give you all your ideas so you don't have to think and have good design skills.
What it is...
A really good, thorough, reference book on CSS2. This guy knows his stuff and presents it clearly and without any clutter. It is laid out so you can easily find every element, property, and atribute there is. Sure you could go to the World Wide Web Consortium's web site for the info, but when you're in the middle of coding - a good REFERENCE book is still tops for getting info fast. And in my opinion, the layout of the book makes more sense than the w3's web site (though it is valuable too).
To those just starting with CSS-
This book may be hard to grasp at first. Buy it anyway. Find a few web sites to get the basics down because this will be the book you'll want to have after your first week, when what you need is a reference and not a dumbed down overworded tutorial with examples that don't fit your application anyway.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If either HTML or XML is a serious part of your livelihood, you need this book. With every property of CSS level 2 explained in a compact manner -including examples- the book can be a real time saver.
Eric's experience in the application of this advanced technique and his participation in the Web community is expressed in the organization and clarity of this book. No hand-holding tutorials here, just the facts and the context which gives those facts meaning.
And if that is not compact enough for you, Chapter 8 "CSS2 Quick Reference," condenses the material even more. Also handy is the lengthy chart on browser compatibility.
I can only fault the book for not going beyond its purpose. That is, the book covers the CSS specification properties only. In particular, styles implemented by Internet Explorer, which may be extremely handy yet not officially approved, are not covered.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Now this is my kind of book, a well stocked reference without all the fluff that usually comes with the explaination of each new idea or concept. You know the sort, a book that you can refer to again and again after learning the basics because it is well organised and laid out. Of course, the reference only style of Cascading Style Sheets 2.0: Programmer's Reference is not really suited to those that are completely new to the topic. Having said that, those familiar with the idea of style sheets might be able to put something together if they mix and match the numerous examples.
Unfortunately there are very few illustrations or screen shots to help you grasp difficult ideas, which sometimes results in long and wordy descriptions of the various properties. I found myself skimming over such busy paragraphs because I knew the idea they were trying to describe, but anyone unfamiliar with the ideas may find themselves getting frustrated trying to work out exactly what it is that is being said. A few more well placed illustrations would have made it easier to use.
Another thing that annoyed me was the repetition of paragraphs while detailing the properties. While I can understand the need to repeat the paragraphs (after all, it is a reference book!), it did get rather tired, particularly when looking up related properties or attributes.
Despite these little annoyances, it makes an ideal quick reference book. The headings and text are clear, the pages easy to scan and alphabetical ordering makes it easy to find attributes by name. There is no obvious distinction between CSS1 and CSS2, but important differences in implementation of the two are pointed out when relevant.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book several months ago when I first started out using Cascading Style Sheets. I had come across Eric Meyer's work when I visited his web site (meyerweb.com) and I was deeply impressed with the demonstrations he gave, particularly when toying with "position: fixed".
Every CSS rule is covered, including print and aural rules. Each rule is given a sophisticated explanation and a few examples. I have several books on CSS, but none come close to explaining the details of each rule as well as Mr Meyer's work.
I always have my copy with me when styling pages. The book is quite small, which means it can happily sit on the desk with the keyboard where can be accessed easily.
I VERY strongly recommend that designers have a copy. It is particularly important for those who use CSS frequently.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
The book calls itself "The Most Authoritative Quick Reference for Programmers"...it is. I've been lucky enough to be writing CSS since its beginnings and this book is right now the most current and definitive resource I can find for CSS. Echoing other comments, this is not for beginners. Get Jason Teague's DHTML/CSS Visual Quickstart book if you need a beginner's book. This book, in hand with Bradsoft's TopStyle Pro 2.5+ on your desktop, and you'll be doing what the book says: *programming* with CSS. If you're designing web application GUIs, you need this book. It's a cinch buy with Eric Meyer's name as the author. This volume also bookends quite nicely with the JavaScript Bible by Danny Goodman. One negative note: the organization of this book leaves a little bit to be desired...the black printed "tab" sections are not intuitive. I have purchased stick-on tabs to mark specific sections for quick location.
The opinions expressed above are personal and do not represent Mr. Sobkoviak's employers or clients.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2004
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Since I've gotten this book, I've used it constantly as a reference for what I'll need within my detailed style sheets for my websites. It is extremely useful, but I would caution against beginning to intermediate level people using this book in high hopes of it showing how to use CSS effectively. The book clearly assumes that you have a proper understanding of CSS structure (only touching on it briefly within one section) and knowledge of what it requires within the context of HTML to make it work. None of this is clearly demonstrated. It is a resource akin to a dictionary when you're not sure of something's usage or meaning. In that sense, it is excellent. I would have liked, however, if there was some section for anticipated things within the progress of CSS (moving toward version 3.0 and any addendum aspects such as RUBY within the 2.0 scheme), so that developers and designers alike can 'think forward' for future sites and how they would be implemented.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Serious CSS developing without this book? Not a good idea...
This book is the natural sequel to "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide" and lists the CSS2 properties and values, combined with important information to each feature.
As each Eric Meyer book, it is clear, precise and competent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2003
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you are ready to make your web design life easier and commit to using style sheets (CSS), then this volume belongs on your desk. Even using GoLive or Dreamweaver, the time comes when you need to tweak things yourself and pick out the exact formatting tags and know their implications for difference browsers your readers may use. Every book I've seen on LEARNING CSS is not comprehensive the way Meyer's "Reference" volume is.
Of course, it IS a reference volume - not an introduction. Therefore (as some reviewers note) even the introductory material is not sufficiently elementary for the novice. The word REFERENCE is in the title, however, so I don't fault this book for not providing what it didn't promise to provide. So, beginners, feel free to buy the book now - because you'll want it to refer to. But get your grounding in a more basic book. Meyer's 2000 "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide" could use its second edition, but is a great way to begin when you have this "Reference" volume to check the latest info on CSS and browsers supported.
And, if you're need persuading to minimize your HTML and move forward with Style Sheets, at least skim the first couple chapters of Owen Briggs. et al.'s "Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation" (ISBN 1904151043 ) They quickly helped me see why not to waste time and power on mere HTML when I'm involved in a complex web site - especiallly when growth and adaptations are planned over the years.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderfully organized reference of CSS. It covers every aspect of CSS. There are both short and clear explanations and examples for every feature, so even if you not familiar with the specific feature about which you are reading, The feature details would tell you in short: what it does, how it does it, and where, when and how you can and should use it.
The indexs of the book would direct you to the feature you are looking for in a few seconds at most !
As I already said, it is a great reference and now an indespensible tool for my web development work.
I recommend it to anyone with even a little experience in CSS, that takes web development seriously.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
The initial chapters of this book are more difficult to understand than the CSS2 standard, and make CSS seem like rocket science.

They assume you have the vocabulary of a member of the team that wrote the CSS2 standard. I know it is difficult sometimes for a writer to imagine himself as a reader of the book, but this book doesn't even try.

Skip the initial chapters and go right to the reference.
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