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Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3 Paperback – April 10, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ben Frain has been a freelance front-end web designer/developer for over a decade working directly with clients and alongside design agencies worldwide. He also works as a technology journalist, contributing regularly to a number of diverse publications on the Mac platform, future technology, website design and technology systems. Before that, he worked as an underrated (and modest) TV actor, having graduated from Salford University with a degree in Media and Performance. He has written four equally underrated (his opinion) screenplays and still harbors the (fading) belief he might sell one. Outside of work he enjoys playing indoor football whilst his body (and wife) still allow it. Visit him online at http://www.benfrain.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/benfrain
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849693188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849693189
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3" offers lots of examples of modern techniques that are available nowadays for building a responsive website.

The differences between a responsive website and a mobile website are clearly explained. The author emphasizes that responsive web design is not the solution for all problems related to showing websites on different (mobile) devices. In some situations however, when building a pure mobile website is too expansive, a responsive design can be an excellent option. It offers an alternative that is normally better than a standard website with fixed-width design.

The author also shows some cases in which responsive web design is less suitable, like a client who wants the site to look exactly the same on IE 8 and below. A rule-of-the-thumb is that when more than 70% of all users are using IE 8 or below, don't use a responsive web design. Is has too many disadvantages.

Media queries and using percentages in CSS is covered very well. These are more or less the basics for a responsive web design.

With all the examples given, the book is a manual for making a responsive website, especially in combination with HTML5 and CSS3.

As said before, the book contains a lot of examples. Normally however, a very limited part of the HTML or CSS code is given. Also the browser prefixes are omitted. Personally I would have preferred less information about the possibilities of HTML5 and CSS3 and a more step-by-step approach to the new responsive website. Now the results of the code changes are shown, but the code itself is omitted. This prevents the reader building the same site together with the author.
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Responsive web design, in my opinion, represents huge potential for business web development. It can be so easy to view it as just another buzzword, more marketing jargon if you may but if you take the time to understand what is means for web development, you will see its pretty hot with huge potential.

Many people, I suspect, are unclear on what exactly Responsive web design is, what does it mean. Indeed, I thought ' ooh not another book on fluid layouts '. Far from it, I can assure you. The author moves through a well worked out movie website project to show that Responsive web design is not a huge single monolithic thing but instead a series of existing technologies ( HTML5, CSS3 ) and design techniques ( flexible grid layout, flexible images and media and media queries ). The majority of the book naturally focuses on HTML5 and CSS3 and the powerful enhancements these technologies bring forth. In addition to their application in Responsive web design the author explores new HTML5 elements ( the semantically meaningful nav element and many more for example ) and shows the vast improvements in CSS3 aesthetics. I particularly loved the simplicity of Text Shadows but we also have Transitions, Transformations and Animations. All very, very useful stuff.

HTML5 and CSS3 are maturing technologies, best to keep this in mind. Hence, to make available the majority of their features in older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6,7 and to a lesser extent 8, not to mention running your site across multiple browsers, a JavaScript tool called Modernizr is required. The last chapter explores this tool.

Readers should have familiarity with previous versions of HTML markup and CSS selectors to gain maximum benefit. The book is really a joy to read and perhaps a launching pad for interesting developments yet to come. Wonderful stuff.
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Honestly, I feel duped by all the 5 star reviews. This book is worth about $10 if you are say, a freelance web developer interested in a feet-wet dip into responsive design. For $35 I expect a reference book and this book falls far short of that. To explain more: In the first 4 chapters, ff you cut out the random opinions by the Author, the repetitive 101 level CSS2 stuff and the screen shots, then you are quite literally left with a couple of examples on media queries. Maybe 3 pages of actual information. It does get a little better after that but there is still a ton of filler.

This book is a gentle, first person written intro into some aspects of responsive design. Most of the story-time sections are plain common sense to any developer, regardless of their level of knowledge in responsive design. For a book on HTML5 there is a major lack of understanding of JavaScript from the author. When he is not recommending against it, he recommends its use in antiquated or inefficient ways, such as using in line event handlers.

Another detraction from the book for me was an unforgivable error that the Author makes:

He encourages the use of % over pixel. He is totally right that for fluid layout that technique works. However he devotes a half page to defending it and even argues that you should not round a 9 digit number (like 43.9919951%) to a more reasonable 4 or 5 digits. That statement shows a total lack of comprehension of basic math, browser interpretation and even screen resolution.

To a screen there is no such thing as 1/2 a pixel. On a device with a 2400 pixel wide screen, the difference between 43.991 and 43.999 is not even 1 pixel. So 5 digits is more than enough.
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