- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: friendsofED (June 7, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590593812
- ISBN-13: 978-1590593813
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,280,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook (Pioneering Series)
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About the Author
Dan Cederholm is an award-winning web designer, consultant, and author who specializes in designing and building sites with web standards. Throughout 2003, Dan became well known for his redesigns of the websites for Fast Company and Inc. using standards-compliant methods, while pushing the limits of CSS. Dan also runs the popular weblog SimpleBits, for which he writes articles and commentary on the web, technology, and life. His consulting firm of the same name focuses on applying the methods found throughout Web Standards Solutions (Apress, 2009) in creating simplistic and attractive interfaces. Speaking at conferences such as SXSW Interactive, Dan shares his simplistic approach to web design and development while spreading the word on the standards-based markup and style techniques he's collected. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Kerry, two cats, and one gecko.
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This book takes a very clear approach to laying out many paths to a single, or similiar, solutions. I think a big problem with all of us "non gurus" who are trying to get into CSS is knowing whether a tag or style is compatible with the "popular browsers" and if we are going to hand off the project to our clients full of holes and subsequently full of complaints. You can trust Dan as a professional who lays down a number of approaches that can be used, none of which are totally obselete and are going to leave you with an unhappy client.
Another great element of this book is the value it adds to your work. When you put these skills to work on your sites, your not only creating visually great work, but your also making your work compatible on all levels (hand helds, multiple browsers, screen readers, non CSS compatible browsers)and the book even shows why using specific techniques will optimize your code for search engines (and anyone worth thier weight in gold knows how important search engine optimization is for clients).
There are alot of great reasons to fork over your money on this book. As I believe I heard someone mention before, if you have basic CSS knowledge and this book you will be ready to rock. Just dont pick it up expecting to learn CSS from the ground up. For those who have that basic working knowledge, this is the next step in your CSS revolution!
Web Standards are a bit iffy as standards to one person can be different to another. In addition, with the different browsers and their incompatibilities its a tough subject to handle. This book does a great job at showing you good practices for you to write cleaner code and explaining the reasoning behind it.
The examples shown are core to every website from clean lists used for navigation to techniques on text replacement. Also explanations of when and what to use tables for as well as avoiding the over excess usage of just throwing in "<divs>" all over the place.
Much of the skills and techniques can be found on the web but to have all in one book makes it a ease for reference and to go back to. In addition, the explanations are clear and easy to follow. If you have a bit of knowledge of HTML and CSS already, this will be a good book to further advance those skills in a proper, best practices way.
This is a perfect book for a web-designer that has been toying with css for a while and is ready to make the jump to full-fleged web standards.
Like Zeldman's "Designing w/ Web Standards", this book reads more like a conversation than a tech book. It explains things easily and not in a condescending way.
I particularly liked the way this book gives you real-world explanations of taking what you are *used* to doing and showing you how to better do it with css. It's very clear and makes the transition much easier.
My only complaint from this book was that CSS Positioning was not covered very lightly. It would have been nice to have expanded on this area bit more.
I can't recommend this book enough.
Here's the reason, in four words: It makes things easy.
If you have been struggling with tables nested in tables nested in more tables, with pieces of images here and bits of images there, and font declarations everywhere, all so that you can make things line up nicely and make your pages look attractive, be aware that there is a way out of the wilderness. Dan Cederholm can show you how. In the process, he has created a fine example of the way a computer manual ought to be written.
The first section of the book deals with using CSS to mark up various elements of a page, including lists, headings, forms, anchors, and, yes, even tables. The second section broadens the scope to consider how CSS can be used to structure larger things, like an entire page. For example, there's a very good (and simple!) section on how to set up a page with a header, footer, and two columns. By adding a few lines of CSS, the two-column layout can be turned into three columns. And with no tables at all. Hallelujah.
Each section of the book starts with an explanation of what he would like to accomplish -- create a menu, for instance, or apply a font style to just one page on a site, or one element on a page. He then shows you several ways that you can use CSS to do this, and goes over the pros and cons of each. The code is always simple, even though the results are impressive, because CSS allows you to do these things easily. But to keep you from going astray, Mr. Cederholm first shows the basic code, then adds one feature at a time, and shows the result of that. All of this is presented so clearly that it's trivial to understand, yet highly effective when you see what he's accomplished.
As for caveats, there are only a couple. It should be emphasized that the book is an introduction to CSS; if you're looking for a comprehensive guide to every feature of the language, you won't find it here. The book will definitely whet your appetite, and make you want to learn more, but you'll need other manuals to take you further.
I was also going to say that CSS veterans probably won't find much that is new here, but on second thought I'm not entirely sure of that. There are a lot of nifty ideas in this book. Mr. Cederholm was the designer for the Fast Company web site, and he shows some of the problems he encountered when architecting that site, and the solutions he came up with. They are clever and simple, but not necessarily obvious.
If you're debating whether to buy the book, take a look at a sample chapter on the author's web site. I did, and was so impressed that I went ahead and bought the book. I suspect you will, too.