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The Book of CSS3: A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design [Paperback]

Peter Gasston
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 16, 2011 1593272863 978-1593272869 1

CSS3 is the technology behind most of the eye-catching visuals on the Web today, but the official documentation can be dry and hard to follow. Luckily, The Book of CSS3 distills the heady technical language of the CSS3 specification into plain English, so you can get started on your next project right away.

With real-world examples and a focus on results, The Book of CSS3 shows you how to transform ordinary text into stunning, richly detailed web pages fit for any browser. You'll master the latest cutting-edge CSS features, like multi-column layouts, borders and box effects, and new color and opacity settings. You'll also learn how to:

  • Stylize text with fully customizable outlines, drop shadows, and other effects
  • Create, position, and resize unlimited background images on the fly
  • Spice up static web pages with event-driven transitions and animations
  • Apply 2D and 3D transformations to text and images
  • Use linear and radial gradients to create smooth color transitions
  • Tailor a website's appearance to smartphones and other devices

From the simplest blog layout to the most feature-rich web portal, The Book of CSS3 puts the whole wide world of web design at your fingertips. The future of web design is now—what will you create with it?

5 Reasons to Start Using CSS3 from the Author

  1. Device-responsive pages
    The big growth area of web browsing is on smartphone and tablet devices such as Android, iPhone and iPad. New media features and page layout modules in CSS3 let you make pages which respond to the capabilities of the device that's viewing them, automatically optimizing your content for multiple screen sizes and giving your visitors a tailored experience.

  2. Eye candy!
    CSS3 brings web documents to life without complicated JavaScript. Rotate, scale and skew page elements in both two and three dimensions, add smooth transitional animations to elements when their values change, and go even further with keyframe animations which give you fine control over the behavior of your page elements.

  3. A better reading experience
    The web was made for reading text, but for years we've had to use a handful of fonts in a very conservative way. CSS3 brings the power to use any font you wish, to decorate the text with drop shadows and outlining, plus new ways of laying out the text such as in multiple columns, like a newspaper or magazine.

  4. Easier to maintain
    Using CSS2.1 usually means adding images (and extra markup) to your documents in order to achieve what should be simple effects. Something as basic as adding rounded corners to an element can mean using up to four extra empty elements to accommodate the graphics required to fake the appearance. CSS3 was created to address just these problems, so you can add rounded corners, drop shadows, gradient backgrounds and much more without writing unnecessary markup or creating multiple image files -- meaning a lot less work to make and maintain your documents.

  5. Cleaner code
    The greatly expanded range of selectors in CSS3 means you can add special formatting to links depending on their destination, loop through long tables and lists, even select form elements depending on their current state -- all without having to clutter your code with surplus class attributes.

Frequently Bought Together

The Book of CSS3: A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design + JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual + HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
Price for all three: $65.92

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Gasston has been a web developer for over 10 years in both agency and corporate settings. He was one of the original contributors to CSS3.info, the leading online destination for CSS3. Peter has been published in the UK's .net magazine, gives talks about CSS and web technologies at developer conferences, and runs the web development blog Broken Links. He lives in London, England.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (May 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272869
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter has been a pro­fes­sional web developer for many years, start­ing at the height of the dot-com boom. He has worked freel­ance and per­man­ent for agen­cies and cor­por­a­tions, for cli­ents inc­luding Orange, Skype, Cisco Systems and the soc­cer club he pas­sion­ately fol­lows, Arsenal. He now works for digital agency Poke in Shoreditch, London.

He spe­cial­ises in front-end de­vel­op­ment, mostly HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and is a firm pro­ponent of web stand­ards and semantic markup. He keeps his own blog about web tech­no­lo­gies, Broken Links, was a long-time writer at CSS3​.info, and has writ­ten for Dev.Opera and the UK web magazine, .net. He has given talks at London's web devel­op­ment com­munity meet­ings and other pub­lic events, and aims to do more of this in the future.

Peter lives in London with his wife, Ana. He loves to read, any­thing from lit­er­at­ure to his­tory (espe­cially nat­ural his­tory and evol­u­tion) and psy­cho­logy, and is a big fan of inde­pend­ent com­ics and film. The Book of CSS3 is his first book.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about CSS3 June 4, 2011
Format:Paperback
First off, let me start by saying that this book is not intended for beginners. This book expects you to have experience in HTML and CSS coding at an intermediate level. The main focus of this book is to teach the audience features in CSS3.

When you begin reading this book, you will realize that this book is loaded with sample codes and its output within the chapters of the book. The sample codes are clean and easy to read. To fully benefit from this book it is recommended that you test out the coding yourself to see exactly how it works.

Peter's style of writing is clear, simple, and to the point. He is on track and guides the audience at a nice pace. Despite the fact that this book is very in depth in material and codes, it does tend to get dry in certain areas.

As a bonus, the author includes a section towards the end of the book which lists the current major browsers that supports CSS3 and its features. He also lists online resources to learn more about CSS3 and provides tools to help you in your programming.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book for an experienced web designer.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CSS3 rules explained July 26, 2011
By mko
Format:Kindle Edition
Peter is perfectly right with his introduction to the book - "Let me tell you a little about who I think you are: You're a web professional who's been hand-coding HTML and CSS (...)". This sentence, probably, describes most of the home grown HTML developers around the world. If you are working with CSS and you want to know what to expect when it comes to CSS3 this book sound to be quite useful. Peter goes over the features of CSS3 while at the same time presenting them in a structured way. He discuses particular rule, shows examples of the usage, and, at the end of each chapter, summarizes their support within most commonly used web engines: WebKit, Firefox, Opera, and IE. You will find this list again within appendix - this way you can easily check whether particular feature is missing or not within given Web browser.

When it comes to the content, it turned out that I am really a casual user of CSS. There are many rules that I was not aware of. This way, I was able to learn new stuff. On the other hand, I think that material is quite demanding for the reader. As Peter states at the beginning of the book: "The Book of CSS3 helps you leverage the excellent knowledge you have of CSS2.1 in order to make learning CSS3 easier. I won't explain the fundamentals of CSS". This is true indeed. You have to have the knowledge of basics in order to benefit from the book. I suggest getting some other position that will teach you CSS from the scratch before targeting this one. What I can definitely say about the book is it's style. It suits me. Peter simply focuses on the matter itself. However, keep it mind that book is not for a beginners.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars catalog of amazing capabilities June 7, 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a good catalog of the surprisingly powerful features available in CSS3, e.g., a 3D flying logo like TV stations had back in the 1980s. The book is organized by type of feature rather than by project or goal, so it is useful as a survey of what CSS3 can do and then useful as a reference. For a tutorial you'd want something organized by project and example.

I give the book four stars rather than five because there isn't much explanation for when or why you'd want to use particular features. Also, the examples seem contrived rather than lifted from real style sheets.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a professional level book, meant for developers already capable with CSS. Gasston does an effective job of describing all the currently practical and theoretically useful capabilities of CSS 3. He approaches each topic by starting with a high level explanation of the syntax for each CSS 3 property. He then gives a brief but practical code example accompanied by a black and white figure showing the effect of the code snippet.

If there are a number of ways the CSS can be used to create different effects, Gasston goes through each one. For examples, he has numerous examples of what can be done with multiple columns and gradients. He lists which browsers (if any) support the property now and which browsers have promised support in the near future. If browser specific prefixes are needed for properties, he specifies which ones.

The chapters are arranged in an order that takes the reader from parts of CSS 3 that are immediately useful and dependable to things that are still theoretical and not yet implemented. There are two appendices. One collects all the browser support data from each individual chapter and property. The other is an excellent set of links for online resources.

I think this book would be most useful to a developer as a reference. Keep it on a nearby shelf and grab it when you need to check on how to do something or check on what needs a browser prefix or check or the syntax needed to accomplish a particular effect. It's immediately useful, but it will also be there with solid information as some of the not-yet-implemented aspects of CSS 3 come into common use.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful although outdated at this point
great book for intro to css3. Laid out quite nicely for a book. Wish it came with digital examples though. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Aojiroir
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference
Bought it in hopes of having jsut a simple reference book for CSS, and I was excited with the title being for CSS3. Read more
Published 4 months ago by King
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book
Great book, great explanation, great writing, what else can I say? Everything in this book is near to perfect. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Piyush Agarwal
4.0 out of 5 stars Not comprehensive enough for me
I like this publisher. For example, The Tangled Web, also by this publisher, is an authoritative treatise on computer security. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Puneet S. Lamba
2.0 out of 5 stars I expected more
Unfortunately book get pretty old. Some features get stable, some just died.

Probably better to buy something new if you want to read about new CSS3 features. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Krzysztof Kula
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice!
CSS3 and HTML5 is indeed the perfect combination for a step in the future of web design! So this is a 'must' in developers library!
Published 17 months ago by Gkratsia
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift
This item was sent as a gift, but was met with appreciation, so I can only give a positive rating.
Published 18 months ago by Niniane
5.0 out of 5 stars Class Act! Geared toward intermediate to advanced developers . . .
The Book of CSS3 by Peter Gasston is nothing short of a class act. The book took roughly ten days to read, but provided a wealth of knowledge gain. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Susanne Cardwell
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great!
The throughout of this book is amazing, chapter by chapter explains you how to understand every topic of css3, if you maybe sometime has used some css3 snippets that you don't... Read more
Published 20 months ago by ERIK WILLIAM CHACON
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Web Developers
To everyone that is unsure about purchasing this book. I fully recommend it to any web developer or web designer. Read more
Published 21 months ago by mauricessid
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