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Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook, Special Edition 2nd ed. Edition
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The chapter breakdown: Lists; Headings; Tables Are Evil?; Quotations; Forms; <strong>, <em>, and Other Phrase Elements; Anchors; More Lists; Minimizing Markup; Applying CSS; Print Styles; CSS Layouts; Styling Text; Image Replacement; Styling ; Next Steps; Index
The chapters follow a common format... A topic is introduced, and three or four different methods are shown on how to accomplish the task (like lists). Each method is explored for pros and cons, with the goal of finding a solution that puts emphasis on semantic meaning and clean markup. This is followed by an "extra credit" section that pushes past the basic topic and starts to show some more unique ways to use CSS for appealing page images.
For one, the tone is conversational in nature. You're not being lectured to or scolded for not adhering to perfect and exact standards (or opinions). The book is also not a reference manual as such. It's a practical guide on how to use CSS to get the job done and give yourself a solid design that will work for multiple types of browsers. Throw in a little humor along the way, and this book becomes one which you find yourself picking up repeatedly.
The sign of a good book for me is one where I'm using the book either before or during my review. Based on a project I'm currently coding, I've already started to memorize certain page numbers I keep going back to. This book will definitely secure a spot on the bookshelf at work, and will be closely guarded to make sure it doesn't disappear.
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!
If you have done little web standards (X)HTML and would like a good place to start, this is absolutely a book I would reccomend. If you know your web standards, and like them too, I would reccomend looking elsewhere.
Invaluable to the freshly converted - yes - but make sure you know your stuff or this book will leave you floating nowhere. There are no explanations, or details on XHTML or CSS, you must have a reasonably good grasp of both.
The book assumes we are here to learn the simple applications without being confusing. Thats cool, but the book also assumes you have a good working knowledge of CSS, so its simple, but not so simple. I was disappointed that there was not much depth to the examples shown, and some of the potential pitfalls were not indicated. For example, on the chapter on CSS positioning, were given a float method, but its not explained why this is not ideal or where to find more information about the related issues. That stuff would seem relevant to the readers of this book.
Anyway, i enjoyed it, it was really useful - all the applications are excellent, but be careful as you will probably get stuck without a grounding in XHTML and CSS.