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Designing with Web Standards (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter) [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Zeldman , Ethan Marcotte
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Best-selling author, designer, and web standards evangelist Jeffrey Zeldman has revisited his classic, industry-shaking guidebook. Updated in collaboration with co-author Ethan Marcotte, this third edition covers improvements and challenges in the changing environment of standards-based design.

Written in the same engaging and witty style, making even the most complex information easy to digest, Designing with Web Standards remains your essential guide to creating sites that load faster, reach more users, and cost less to design and maintain.
  • Substantially revised—packed with new ideas
  • How will HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts change your work?
  • Learn new strategies for selling standards
  • Change what “IE6 support” means
“Occasionally (very occasionally) you come across an author who makes you think, ‘This guy is smart! And he makes me feel smarter, because now I finally understand this concept.’” — Steve Krug, author of Don’t Make Me Think and Rocket Surgery Made Easy

“A web designer without a copy of Designing with Web Standards is like a carpenter without a level. With this third edition, Zeldman continues to be the voice of clarity; explaining the complex in plain English for the rest of us.” — Dan Cederholm, author, Bulletproof Web Design and Handcrafted CSS

“Jeffrey Zeldman sits somewhere between ‘guru’ and ‘god’ in this industry—and manages to fold wisdom and wit into a tale about WHAT web standards are, HOW standards-based coding works, and WHY we should care.” — Kelly Goto, author, Web ReDesign 2.0: Workflow that Works

“Some books are meant to be read. Designing with Web Standards is even more: intended to be highlighted, dogeared, bookmarked, shared, passed around, and evangelized, it goes beyond reading to revolution.” — Liz Danzico, Chair, MFA Interaction Design, School of Visual Arts


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Standards, argues Jeffrey Zeldman in Designing With Web Standards, are our only hope for breaking out of the endless cycle of testing that plagues designers hoping to support all possible clients. In this book, he explains how designers can best use standards--primarily XHTML and CSS, plus ECMAScript and the standard Document Object Model (DOM)--to increase their personal productivity and maximize the availability of their creations. Zeldman's approach is detailed, authoritative, and rich with historical context, as he is quick to explain how features of standards evolved. It's a fantastic education that any design professional will appreciate.

Zeldman is an idealist who devotes some of his book to explaining how much easier life would be if browser developers would just support standards properly (he's done a lot toward this goal in real life, as well). He is also a pragmatist, who recognizes that browsers implement standards differently (or partially, or not at all) and that it is the job of the Web designer to make pages work anyway. Thus, his book includes lots of explicit and tightly focused tips (with code) that have to do with bamboozling non-compliant browsers into behaving as they should, without tripping up more compliant browsers. There's lots of coverage of design and testing tools that can aid in the creation of good-looking, standards-abiding documents. --David Wall

Topics covered: Why Web standards (such as XHTML, CSS, ECMAScript, and DOM) are good for everyone, and why site designers and browser makers should move towards standards compliance.

Review

Jeffrey and his web standards coconspirators have made it possible for those old enemies--beauty, usability, and accessibility--to play nice together in any website. Louis Rosenfeld, publisher, Rosenfeld Media;Zeldman explains complex technologies in a way that designers can not only understand, but actually get excited about. If you are serious about web design, you need this book. --Hillman Curtis, author, MTIV: Process, Inspiration and Practice for the New Media Designer

Jeffrey and his web standards coconspirators have made it possible for those old enemies--beauty, usability, and accessibility--to play nice together in any website. Louis Rosenfeld, publisher, Rosenfeld Media. Zeldman explains complex technologies in a way that designers can not only understand, but actually get excited about. If you are serious about web design, you need this book. --Hillman Curtis, author, MTIV: Process, Inspiration and Practice for the New Media Designer

Product Details

  • File Size: 7892 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: New Riders; 3 edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002WIG3UO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(19)
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows Importance of Web Standards November 23, 2009
Format:Paperback
During the prehistoric era of the internet, there was no real guideline for making a website. It was done how one pleased: put a table here and there and viola, you have your layout. But tables were not meant for layout, they were meant for tabular data. Examples such as these are seen in "Designing with Web Standards," and how they can lead to the detriment of the webmaster.

While "Designing with Web Standards" is not necessarily code-intensive, it provides plenty of real-life situations where web standards are important. It is not a guide to creating your website; rather, it is a guide to improve upon it. Jeffrey Zeldman demonstrates that web standards will, in the long run, save you a lot of trouble.

This book is a good read for those who wish to clean their websites and overall make the website less time-consuming and easier to manage.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading November 25, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As used by Jeffrey Zeldman and co-author Ethan Marcotte in the third edition of Designing With Web Standards, the term "web standards" is a catchphrase that refers to writing web pages using, as a basis, a group of free and open technical specifications. The core specs being HTML, CSS, and Java­Script. Think of them as the three legs of a tripod upon which all else rests.
In no way futuristic, this has already happened. HTML, CSS, and Java­Script are at the heart of publishing in the 21st century. DWWS3 is largely about authoring with these and other related specs in smart and efficient ways that could, more simply and accurately, be labeled best practice. The first edition of DWWS in 2003 was in large part a work of advocacy. But six Internet years have passed and today it's main­stream. As I've labeled it on my blog, Readable Web - [...], the third edition is, simply, Required Reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic! March 1, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There have undoubtably been enough useful reviews of this book already written to enable anyone interested to form an accurate assessment of its contents. Some reviewers have rated it poorly because it was not the comprehensive CSS instruction book they expected. Perhaps they were misled, in part, by some of the five-star reviews that were a bit over-zealous in their praise of it as a book about CSS. With that in mind, I'm hoping another short review will help clear up some of these misunderstandings.

First, the book is NOT a comprehensive treatment of (X)HTML or CSS. It is, however, perhaps the best book around about WHY web standards are important and how they can be utilized to produce semantic markup properly separated from presentational styling, improve code weight, increase accessibility, and deal with cross-browser incompatibilities. Toward this end, Zeldman uses enough good code examples to get his message across. Although it is true that a large portion of the book is dedicated to hard-core preaching about the value of modern standards, the included code is succinct and useful. In particular, his dissection of an actual well-designed website in the last chapter is a gold mine of valuable information.

Zeldman has been at the forefront of the effort to evangelize web standards for many years. He and others (e.g., Cederholm, Marcotte, Moll, Budd, etc.) deserve much of the credit for informing designers about the advantages of standards-based design techniques and getting browser manufacturers to shift from their history of internecine warfare toward endorsing common standards. That has not been an easy task. I suggest that we should all cut Zeldman a little slack if he seems at times to be a bit too passionate.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but November 30, 2009
Format:Paperback
Overall good but I question the intended audience of this book. It seems to be directed at people who already know a lot about web design but then goes on to explain the basics. It glosses over a lot of the important issues and seems to ramble on and on about the trivial. The book doesn't really get started until part II. Part 1 could be 1/3 the current size if it didn't repeat itself every few paragraphs. I do like the philosophical/theory type of talk that Zeldman delves into but it just needs to be tightened up. Maybe in the 4th edition?

Anyway, part II is where the book really shines. He explains a lot directly and indirectly by which I mean he selects examples that give you specific code but that also give insight into comprehensive design decisions even when doesn't directly address them. Chapter 17 is a perfect example of this. It makes you really ponder your design decisions.

All criticism aside, I ordered the companion book "Developing with web standards" because I like Zeldman's third edition so much.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccuracies and lack of structure January 15, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't understand the extreme popularity of this book. I think there are much better titles on the topic, from which "Web Standards: Mastering HTML5, CSS3, and XML" by Leslie F. Sikos is my new favourite, and it is superior compared to this book.

The readers od Designing with Web standards cannot learn the top reasons why so many websites are invalid, and--what's even more important--how to create fully-standard compliant websites while considering the most aspects without crossing the line of unreasonable support for obsolete browsers.

One thing is for sure: the authors might be famous Web developers but they are not good writers at all. They provide very few sample code, many of which apply various hacks for backward compatibility (mainly to support IE6). For example, providing hack for a transparent PNG image using JavaScript just to support IE6 is a huge mistake (writing about IE3 and Netscape 4 is another). One of the golden rules in website standardization is to avoid browser targeting, and writing clean, fully standards-complaint markup and styles instead, and provide a less advanced user experience in earlier browsers (still the information is there). Version targeting is a bad practice true standardistas do not use.

There are no skeleton documents that could be used for step-by-step development, especially when starting Web documents from scratch. Evidently, the authors are not true hand coders even if their knowledge and influence on Web standards are unquestionable.
Although Zeldman correctly interprets some advantages of XHTML over HTML, he recommeds the Transitional variant of XHTML 1.0, which actually allows strictly presentational elements and attributes that have been deprecated in the Transitional variant of HTML 4.01 way back in 1999.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Super technical
Technical, technical and technical. I'm glad I read it, but it's a tough read. It's a great text for learning the basics. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Holly
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems more like preaching than teaching
I had to buy this book for a HTML course and I liked it overall, but Zeldman spends most of his time preaching the good sermon about W3C and basically repeating information. Read more
Published 15 months ago by K. Byrge
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid knowledge of (x)html and css
I bought an electronic version of the book. I found it very helpfull in my web project. Clear and simple language.
Published 23 months ago by Jacek Duda
5.0 out of 5 stars The Web Standards Bible
I bought the first edition when it came out 5 or more years ago, and it completely changed the way I design and develop. Read more
Published on September 10, 2010 by Marc
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Recommend
To summarize: too much lecture not enough tangible content. As other reviewers who are not keen on the book point out the first six chapters go on and on about the same topics -... Read more
Published on August 12, 2010 by Ron Pisarz, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide to web standards
Jeffrey Zeldman did it again. He made a huge impact with his Designing with Web Standards book (1st ed) close to a decade ago. Read more
Published on May 21, 2010 by B. G. Palin
5.0 out of 5 stars Ammo to use when doubters question why we code the way we do
This book is not a step-by-step or hands-on-training kind of book, but is a confidence builder for developers that are already validating code and thinking of what tags are most... Read more
Published on May 3, 2010 by C. Thien
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information, well presented.
Zeldman does a great job of making Web standards -- past, present, and future -- interesting and entertaining, and he presents a clear case for using them correctly and... Read more
Published on March 22, 2010 by Ben Stallings
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Designing with Web Standards serves as a great introduction to web standards for web developers, and even those that are just interested in the subject. Read more
Published on March 9, 2010 by Josh Rucker
5.0 out of 5 stars standards are here to stay - hooray
Developing with Web Standards and Designing with Web Standards immediately replaced most of the books of comparable material in my collection being so succinct and covering their... Read more
Published on January 30, 2010 by Sam Asher
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More About the Author

Jeffrey Zeldman is among the best-known Web designers in the world. His personal site (www.zeldman.com) has welcomed more than than 16 million visitors and is read daily by thousands in the web design and development industry. In 1998, Zeldman co-founded The Web Standards Project (www.webstandards.org), a grassroots coalition of web designers and developers that helped end the Browser Wars by persuading Microsoft and Netscape to support the same technology in their browsers.


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