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HTML & CSS: The Good Parts (Animal Guide) 1st Edition
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About the Author
Ben Henick has been building Web sites since September 1995, when he took on his first Web project as an academic volunteer. He has worked in nearly every aspect of site design and development, from foundation HTML through finicky CSS to larger scale architecture and content management. He has written for A List Apart, the Web Standards Project, and most recently for Opera Software's Web Standards Curriculum.
Top Customer Reviews
I picked up this book because I was looking for a detailed guide to HTML and CSS which covered best-practices, code minimization, and provided some real world examples of what to do, and what not to do when writing large website frontends.
In short, this book did NOT live up to my expectations in the least.
First off, this book is just shy of 300 pages of content, which could easily be summed up in ~10 pages. The author is EXTREMELY verbose, and seems to drag on and on with every little insignificant detail in the text.
Secondly, this book contains almost no code samples at all. There are very few code snippets throughout the book, and the ones that are provided are small, not rendered with any pictures near them (which is unforgivable, as they are supposed to show how certain CSS attributes can display data), and extremely simple. If the author would have added images / diagrams to at least show how the CSS snippets effect the design of the page, I would be slightly more understanding here.
Thirdly, this book doesn't really discuss the 'good parts' of HTML and CSS. Sure, it has chapters labeled Good Parts, Bad Parts, and Awful Parts, but it doesn't actually draw any meaningful distinctions between what is good, what is bad, and WHY.
Over all, this book is not worth the money. It:
1. Seems quickly thrown together.
2. Is far too verbose.
3. Does not have enough code samples / diagrams.
4. Has almost no real content.
5. Doesn't explain anything about the 'good', 'bad', and 'awful' parts of HTML or CSS.
I honestly can't recommend this book to anyone, as it is not geared towards beginners, intermediate developers, or advanced users.
"An element with a float value of left or right must: ... Be contiguous with the element boxes of affected non-floated elements that it precedes in the source order, but not the contents of those elements. This behavior is quite relevant when composing multicolumn layouts."
I was left with many questions in my head after that.
There were many paragraphs in the book which made my eyes glaze over. I'm through struggling with this book.
With that said, I have been struggling for the past few years to say with confidence that I am a web designer. At age 31, I was starting to feel obsolete because I just couldn't wrap my brain around HTML and CSS enough to feel that I really owned it. I could edit bits and pieces of things. I could grasp some general concepts. But all in all, I was lost. I could play checkers with code, but I could not build things.
I was at that point when this book came to me.
This book contained the context (the why, and the how) behind the disparate jibbly-bits floating in my head behind a website.
This is not a book that will walk you through a bunch of step-by-step tutorials. Those tutorials don't help me anyway. Design and development are not linear processes.
What was helpful (for me) was feeling like I had an expert with a willingness to speak above my head *just a little bit* and pull me along into a foreign language. It's not an easy read, but it was something I could curl up with on a couch with some coffee and dive into. Did it hurt my brain? Yes. But in that sense that I was really learning something. And that feels good.
I highly recommend this book for others like me who are transitioning from being a print designer to being a web designer who knows how web sites work.
I appreciate that the author endorses the spirit of web standards without being a language lawyer. Sometimes you have to make compromises.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book that needed a good editor. I know there is a short shelf life
on these books, and that every minute spent on them costs money, but
this is a case of where... Read more
This is a good book for any Web Designer to have as a reference. The price was right as well.Published on March 6, 2014 by Louis Winkler
HTML & CSS are keys to much of the improvement in the use of standards for web site development. The information may seem fundamental for the advanced web site designer but is... Read morePublished on January 30, 2014 by J. Crowe
This is a terrific resource for those with significant prior exposure to HTML and CSS. If you're looking to elevate your game to the next level, this book will point you in the... Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Puneet S. Lamba
I definitely encourage you to avoid this book.
Its pedantic style makes reading hard. It is lacking meaningful, guided, real life examples. Read more
This book has completely the wrong name. It should have been called "How not to write your HTML and CSS". Read morePublished on December 21, 2011 by Stephen Chapman
This book is really horrible. Contrary to the title, it has no good parts. It is badly written, obscure, and will have you tearing your hair out trying to make sense of it. Read morePublished on September 14, 2011 by G. A Wheeler
This book may have some good parts in it but I never got to them because it is so poorly written. I found myself reading and rereading run on sentences to figure out what they... Read morePublished on January 19, 2011 by ncp1113
In the day to day use of HTML and CSS, most developers operate from a set of `go-to' practices, and once they find what `works' for them 90% of the time, they tend to stick to it. Read morePublished on November 8, 2010 by Jeremy Ivy