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Designing With Web Standards [Paperback]

Jeffrey Zeldman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 24 2003 Voices That Matter

You code. And code. And code. You build only to rebuild. You focus on making your site compatible with almost every browser or wireless device ever put out there. Then along comes a new device or a new browser, and you start all over again.

You can get off the merry-go-round.

It's time to stop living in the past and get away from the days of spaghetti code, insanely nested table layouts, tags, and other redundancies that double and triple the bandwidth of even the simplest sites. Instead, it's time for forward compatibility.

Isn't it high time you started designing with web standards?

Standards aren't about leaving users behind or adhering to inflexible rules. Standards are about building sophisticated, beautiful sites that will work as well tomorrow as they do today. You can't afford to design tomorrow's sites with yesterday's piecemeal methods.

Jeffrey teaches you to:
  • Slash design, development, and quality assurance costs (or do great work in spite of constrained budgets)
  • Deliver superb design and sophisticated functionality without worrying about browser incompatibilities
  • Set up your site to work as well five years from now as it does today
  • Redesign in hours instead of days or weeks
  • Welcome new visitors and make your content more visible to search engines
  • Stay on the right side of accessibility laws and guidelines
  • Support wireless and PDA users without the hassle and expense of multiple versions
  • Improve user experience with faster load times and fewer compatibility headaches
  • Separate presentation from structure and behavior, facilitating advanced publishing workflows


Product Details


Product Description

From the Back Cover

You code. And code. And code. You build only to rebuild. You focus on making your site compatible with almost every browser or wireless device ever put out there. Then along comes a new device or a new browser, and you start all over again.

You can get off the merry-go-round.

It's time to stop living in the past and get away from the days of spaghetti code, insanely nested table layouts, tags, and other redundancies that double and triple the bandwidth of even the simplest sites. Instead, it's time for forward compatibility.

Isn't it high time you started designing with web standards?

Standards aren't about leaving users behind or adhering to inflexible rules. Standards are about building sophisticated, beautiful sites that will work as well tomorrow as they do today. You can't afford to design tomorrow's sites with yesterday's piecemeal methods.

Jeffrey teaches you to:
  • Slash design, development, and quality assurance costs (or do great work in spite of constrained budgets)
  • Deliver superb design and sophisticated functionality without worrying about browser incompatibilities
  • Set up your site to work as well five years from now as it does today
  • Redesign in hours instead of days or weeks
  • Welcome new visitors and make your content more visible to search engines
  • Stay on the right side of accessibility laws and guidelines
  • Support wireless and PDA users without the hassle and expense of multiple versions
  • Improve user experience with faster load times and fewer compatibility headaches
  • Separate presentation from structure and behavior, facilitating advanced publishing workflows

About the Author

Jeffrey Zeldman¿s personal web site (www.zeldman.com) has welcomed more than 16 million visitors and is read daily by thousands in the web design and development industry. In 1998, Zeldman co-founded The Web Standards Project (www.webstandards.org), a grassroots coalition of web designers and developers that helped end the Browser Wars by persuading Microsoft and Netscape to support the same technologies in their browsers.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usable and relevant May 23 2003
Format:Paperback
Jeffrey Zeldman, godfather (in the non-scary, non-bloodbath sense) of the web design industry, returns to the book-publishing fray with his latest tome, the extremely usable & well-written "Designing with Web Standards".
For quite a long time most web designers have treated standards compliance with the same respect as Microsoft enjoys on Slashdot. They are nagged by an annoying voice in the back of their heads that scream, "design for the future" - but drown it out with the client's cries of "design for the past" and their own misapprehension that "everything should be pixel-perfect in Netscape 4".
They hack, triple-test, pet every single line of carefully-crafted HTML, spend countless days ironing out every obscure browser bug known to man, and then pull their hair out in large knots when a new browser comes along & everything breaks.
If you are one of those people (I certainly used to be), perhaps it's time to stand back & realize the obvious: standards compliance is the only way of future-proofing your sites. It's the only way of making sure that what you build today won't break tomorrow.
And fortunately for you mr. Zeldman is here to take your hand, show you where you went wrong, and guide you gently into this brave new world.
It's foolish to claim that standards compliance can solve all the problems of web development - but it's equally foolish to continue living in the past when you have an excellent book like this that can make your professional life so much easier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great case for using standards. June 30 2004
Format:Paperback
Being still in the beginning of my webdesign endeavour, I do appreciate the updated and especially the unbiased view Jeffrey Zeldman provides in his book. Respecting Flash as an emerging standard (though proprietary), and more up-to-date than Jacob Nielsen's Web Usability one might settle just for Jeffrey Zeldman.
Standards sound dry and boring but Jeff manages to keep the reader motivated with lots of wit and an excellent writing style, complemented by a very good structure of this book. (There are not too many text books out there that can be read from beginning to end without getting bored or wandering off topic.)
This book continues and updates the attempts by Nielsen and McLellan and deserves a spot right next to them in your library. In fact, you should keep it upfront since it's probably the best advice you can get these days.
Printing quality and overall design and craftsmanship are very high.
more detail ... [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended! June 11 2004
Format:Paperback
I purchased this book as a recommendation from a client I do web development for and it ended up being the best tech book I have read in a long time. I jumped in head first by implementing web standards design before I finished the book. The examples are very helpful and the code sniplets are very usefull. By using the princples of this book, I am designing and coding pages much faster and with fewer cross-browser hickups than with old-school markup and nasty table nests. Get this book and get an edge on your competition now!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Eh, just so-so June 3 2004
Format:Paperback
This is a very good book if:
a) you dont mind starting on page 141
b) you can get past trite attempts at humor such as "Not a Panacea, but Plays One on TV" (page 107) or "Poop in the Soup" (page 134)
The first 140-ish pages involve the author trying to convince you that you need to use standards, where the standards come from, the history of web design etc. The real meat for me started in Part II.
I was not really into the author's sense of humor, but hey, maybe that's just me.
There are many tasty nuggets in this one - you just have to do a lot of chewing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, tongue-in-cheek, wordy May 26 2004
Format:Paperback
Jeffrey Zeldman is an authority on the topic. You should read this if you develop Web sites...but be prepared for a Frodo-like journey through Middle Earth to find the tokens of wisdom in Zeldman's circular, cliché-per-minute writing style.
Don't get me wrong, it's better than boring, but it could have used a wave of the wand by a concise-thinking (redundancy-slashing) editor. After reading the book, you'll know your stuff, understand the history, and be prepared for productive future-minded, accessible, and tidy XHTML coding.
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Format:Paperback
Target Audience
Web designers who want to move towards coding pages according to standards and forward compatibility.
Contents
This book examines the use of CSS and XHTML for web page coding in order to adhere to standards and make pages that are readable on all platforms.
The book is divided into the following chapters:
Part 1 - Houston, We Have a Problem - 99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete; Designing and Building with Standards; The Trouble with Standards; XLM Conquers the World (And Other Web Standards Success Stories)
Part 2 - Designing and Building - Modern Markup; XHTML: Restructuring the Web; Tighter, Firmer Pages Guaranteed: Structure and Meta-Structure in Strict and Hybrid Markup; XHTML by Example: A Hybrid Layout (Part 1); CSS Basics; CSS in Action: A Hybrid Layout (Part 2); Working with Browsers Part 1: DOCTYPE Switching and Standards Mode; Working with Browsers Part 2: Box Models, Bugs, and Workarounds; Working with Browsers Part 3: Typography; Accessibility Basics; Working with DOM-Based Scripts; A CSS Redesign
Part 3 - Back End - Modern Browsers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; Index
Review
Even though I'm a developer, I hate books on web design. Simply put, they all seem to be written by "experts" who push their opinions and studies as hard-core truth, and woe to all who don't design based on their recommendations. I really dislike dogmatic ranting in tech books, and I must admit I was not looking forward to this book with much enthusiasm. I knew I needed to read it, but it was going to be one of those things that was "good for me", but not enjoyable. Imagine my surprise when I found myself actually liking the book! There's some really good material in here...
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly hype, didn't teach me much
I learned HTML back in 1994. I barely updated my HTML skills until a couple years ago where I picked up very basic CSS but all my HTML was still table based, font tags, etc.. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2005 by Ryan de Laplante
3.0 out of 5 stars needs to be said, but could be said in fewer words
this is the book i've been waiting for. a book that could revolutionalize web design as we know it. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by tyrsia
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst books I've ever read
The title of this book should be "Redesigning with web standards": it only tells how to reimplement existing web pages. Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by Dhr P. Van Bemmelen
1.0 out of 5 stars Worse than useless
Here, Zeldman attempts to translate the cult of Zeldman into some of your hard earned cash. There are two kinds of reviews here. Read more
Published on May 10 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Great web design and usability book
'Designing with Web Standards' by Jeffrey Zeldman is a book about the use of standards in creating websites. Read more
Published on May 9 2004 by Vinny Carpenter
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless book, don't waste your money
This is the worst technical book I've ever read (and I've read thousands in my career).
It starts with 150 pages of advocacy: why it's a good idea to design with web... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by njdj
1.0 out of 5 stars Straight dope
Zeldman is revered in web-design circles. In fact, most aspiring web jockeys aspire principally to remain in his good graces. Have a look through the reviews - there are two kinds. Read more
Published on May 1 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect
Zeldman is a great writer and the book is a page-turner. He tells you that everything you've been doing is bad, but it's OK because that's just the way things develop. Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Brian Stork
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