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Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Web Design Paperback – August 19, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0321643384 ISBN-10: 0321643380 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (August 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321643380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321643384
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dan Cederholm is a Web designer, author, husband and father living in Salem, Massachusetts. He's the founder of SimpleBits, a tiny design studio. A recognized expert in the field of standards-based Web design, Dan has worked with Google, MTV, Yahoo, ESPN, Fast Company, Blogger, Odeo, and others. He embraces flexible, adaptable design using Web standards through his design work, writing, and speaking. Dan is the author of two bestselling books: Bulletproof Web Design, Second Edition (New Riders) and Web Standards Solutions (Friends of ED). Dan runs the popular weblog SimpleBits, where he writes articles and commentary on the Web, technology, and life.

More About the Author

Dan Cederholm is a Web designer and author living in Massachusetts. He's the founder of SimpleBits, a tiny design studio. A recognized expert in the field of standards-based Web design, Dan has worked with Google, MTV, ESPN, Fast Company, Blogger, Odeo, and others. He embraces flexible, adaptable design using Web standards through his design work, writing, and speaking. Dan is the author of two best-selling books: Bulletproof Web Design (New Riders) and Web Standards Solutions (Friends of ED). Dan also runs the popular weblog SimpleBits, where he writes articles and commentary on the Web, technology, and life. He also plays a mean ukulele and occasionally wears a baseball cap.

Customer Reviews

Easy to read, and lavishly illustrated.
David Alan Tussey
Dan Cederholm and Ethan Marcotte give concise principles and vivid examples to help you refine your web designs.
Leroy C.
There's got to be a better way to learn than going round and round in tortured circles like this.
digiboy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nate Klaiber on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The new release from Dan Cederholm is a great complement to his previous work in Bulletproof Web Design. For those who haven't read Bulletproof Web Design, it's premise was creating flexible websites and keeping a clear separation of your markup (HTML), styles (CSS), and behavior (JavaScript). It took examples of sites that weren't bulletproof, and showed the process to make them bulletproof. All great things. The landscape of browsers, CSS, and HTML has changed slightly since Dan wrote Bulletproof Web Design, and this book is focused on bringing those aspects to the forefront. This book assumes you have knowledge of developing with web standards, and therefore bypasses the why of adhering to web standards.

The entire book focuses on building a fictional site, the Tugboat Coffee Company. Each chapter builds a new layer into this site, with clear instruction of how each aspect progressively enhances the user experience, while not explicitly leaving other browsers in the dust. Here is a quick breakdown:

Introduction
This chapter is a quick example of why we need to be flexible with our designs and development. Using a list of menu items, Dan walks through how to best organize your markup and CSS. To me, this chapter was about first putting on your thinking cap and planning for how your sections should be organized within a site. Think about how the end user will experience and interact with your site. Even with a simple menu list, he shows how things change when text is re-sized, or simply making your clickable link area larger in a given area. While this chapter had a specific example, and code to work through--I really saw it as something to begin challenging you to think about your architecture.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on October 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I always love to read how a CSS master works and I found many of Dan's tools and tips extremely useful in furthering my already above average knowledge of CSS.

This is not a "step-by-step how to build a website using CSS" book, this is for folks who already understand CSS well. This book helped me reorganize my mind when it comes to CSS.

I'm a big fan of Dan Cederholm and will always buy his books because I like how he thinks. If I ever bump into Dan at SXSW I will buy him a beer.

The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because I found it a bit short. I'd always like to read more of what he has to say.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda F Lange on January 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
A fan of Bulletproof Web Design, I was looking forward to Handcrafted CSS and it did not disappoint. In addition to the code examples, I appreciated Cederholm's "progressive enrichment," "re-evaluation of past methods and best practices," "80 percenters," "fluid grids," and "craftsmanship."

"Progressive enrichment," for example, uses the border-radius property to achieve the visual reward of rounded corners on buttons in browsers that can handle them with CSS. The site displays attractively in all browsers with square corners on buttons in browsers not progressive enough to display the rounded corners. This example also illustrates "re-evaluation of past methods and best practices." Rounded corners on buttons can be achieved with graphics, but they lock in color which can only be changed be manipulating the images. With progressive enrichment, the button colors can be changed easily in the CSS.

Ethan Marcotte, in "The Fluid Grid" chapter, demonstrates that the key to non-fixed width layouts is font size. By setting all font sizes in context relative to a base font size of 100% and also setting percentage-based values for the columns of the grid, the proportions of the grid stay intact as it resizes.

My favorite detail in Cederholm's final chapter, "Craftsmanship Details," is his recommendation to "use the best possible ampersand" by building a font stack in the CSS based on order of "interestingness" of the ampersand. An interesting ampersand is well worth the trouble as I found out last year before I had read Handcrafted CSS. I had developed a header for a second website without the "interesting" ampersand which I had used in the original website, and the first thing that the client said upon seeing the second header was that he wanted the same "and sign" that the original header had. What fun for Cederholm's ampersand discussion to confirm my experience!
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Emile on July 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm familiar with most of CSS but was having some cross-browser compatibility issues...wanted to learn more about progressive design. This guy had lots of good reviews so I downloaded his book but unfortunately it's out of date.

He has a nice writing style and he's good at presenting information in a quick digestible way. That being said, his book is discussing the "future" of web development with progressive enhancement in CSS3. In order to cover that subject adequately you need to address IE8, which apparently wasn't developed when this book was written.

Also, his guest commentator refers to SIFr, a script that has been out of development for about 2 years now. He's also making recommendations for transition effects in webkit where the overwhelming consensus is the use of JavaScript frameworks (such as jQuery) for animation.

Another example is he devotes 20 or so pages to CSS float clearing employing a trick that involves ":after." This technique is vastly over complicated in comparison to the industry accepted use of putting "overflow: hidden" in your containing elements.

I'm only 60% of the way through the book, so maybe it will get better. I hate to give it such a negative review, since he seems like a good, amiable guy with a knack for technical writing. I think the fault should fall on the publisher for not putting out a revised updated edition.
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