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The CSS: The Ultimate Reference [Hardcover]

Tommy Olssen , Paul O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 4 2008

A complete and thorough and up-to-date reference guide for CSS.

Stop wasting time doing Internet searches only to find inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete information. CSS: The Ultimate Reference includes all the ins-and-outs you need to know including compatability information for all major browsers, lists of useful hacks, known bugs in CSS, and much more - all presented in a beautiful, full color layout that will have you coming back over and over again.

Coverage includes:

CSS 2.1 syntax and specifications, including features from current CSS 3 working drafts that are implemented in one or more major browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera), and useful browser-specific features A clear and concise guide to the CSS cascade, including compatability information, known bugs and useful CSS hacks A media type guide, with coverage of which media types apply in which user agents under what conditions. A quick-reference guide to currently supported at-rules (@import, @media, etc.). An alphabetical property reference

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About the Author

Paul O'Brien is an independent scholar.


Paul O'Brien is an independent scholar.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference tool May 6 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book has been a great reference tool. It's not really the best book for beginners, although it does go through an overview of CSS elements, but if you have a basic working knowledge of CSS and want a book to grab to check things out as you're working, it's super handy. Well written, well organized. I went out and bought more from this series, as well as joined their website (full of articles, tutorials, etc for website design/construction). Sitepoint has all my praise!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate CSS Reference June 18 2008
By Dan McKinnon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
'The Ultimate CSS Reference' is exactly as the title says. A comprehensive REFERENCE for CSS styling. This book is not (NOT) a learning book or an example full book, rather a reference to using CSS. If you use CSS on a daily basis and need such a tool this is a good resource to have. My only gripe is that I don't know why the publishers decided to put this out as a hardcover. The costs could have been kept down and likely more sales would have been made if this had been released as a softcover like most of the other sitepoint books.

sitepoint has long been my favorite web publisher of books and nothing has changed with this release. A solid release albeit a different one from what has been released in the past.

***** RECOMMENDED
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every web developer should own a copy of this book Aug. 21 2008
By Colin Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The ultimate CSS reference by Tommy Olsson and Paul O'Brien is exactly what it says, a reference guide. As with all books however I've read this one cover to cover. The book covers every single CSS keyword, selector, pseudo-class and corresponding attribute known (including some that aren't even in the official ratified W3C standard but are supported by certain browsers and some that are currently in the standard but aren't supported by any of the major browsers) from CSS version 1 right through to the latest CSS 3.

The book is very well laid out and easy to look up as a reference with chapters on layout, list styles, box properties etc. Next to this is a quick reference stating whether or not the attribute is inherited, it's initial value, which version of the official W3C specification it comes from and a quick browser support reference stating whether it's fully supported by the browser, partially supported, not supported at all or whether the implementation is buggy for a particular browser. This is followed by a description of what the attribute does, any values that it takes followed by a more complete browser compatibility list. The list covers the major browsers that are currently out from IE5.5 through IE7, Firefox 1.0 through 2.0, Safari 1.3 through 3.0 and Opera 9.2. Following this is a brief description of any compatibility issues as listed .

As with any book of this nature, basically it is out of date virtually as it's printed. With Firefox 3.0 and Opera 9.5 just being released and Internet Explorer 8.0 just around the corner. However this and it's companion Ultimate HTML reference are definitely two books that I'd love to see updated once the new set of browsers are out.

Scattered throughout the book are numerous references to W3C RFCs, web sites showing compatibility issues and differences between the way various browsers handle the CSS etc. that are very useful.

This book is a must for any web developer no matter which programming language you use to build your web sites. Combine it's sister book with this one and you really do have the ultimate web reference sitting at your fingertips. No more looking through obscure RFC's. When you're designing a web site and come across a quirk in how you thought something should have been laid out, or a CSS selector then simply reach for this book and it will tell you if indeed it is a bug or whether you are just implementing incorrectly.
Tommy and Paul should be proud of what they have produced and this book should grace every web developers desk and be within fingertip reach.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference Oct. 15 2008
By D. J. Parry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have found more answers to subtle, complex and tricky layout problems in the few days since getting this book than over the last 12 months of googling and hunting through tutorials, guides and cookbooks.

I was surprised at how concise it is. There is not a lot of waffle, and the authors jump straight to the most important facts/features/oddities for every single aspect of the full CSS spec.

A very good buy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very EXCELLENT reference book on CSS July 19 2008
By J. Guthrie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not familiar with Mr. O'Brien's work, but I've been a fan of Mr. Olssen's blog and website for about a year. I dare to say that he is the most articulate writer on the subject of CSS that I have experienced so far. His explanation, on his blog archives, of CSS positioning and page layout is one of the best, and most succinct, on the subject that I have found.

So, when I saw the pre-announcement of this book I immediately ordered a copy. Since recieving and using the book I am not dissappointed. The book is a thorough "reference" treatment of all aspects of CSS. I keep it close by while working on websites (along with a copy of "The Ultimate HTML Reference").
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the most part Sept. 5 2008
By Rachel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Overall I give this book four stars. This is a REFERENCE book; not really intended for beginners. However, I read about some properties I did not know existed previously, so I learned a lot in addition to having one place to look up everything. I do like that it's hardcover--though I wish one of these days Sitepoint could make books that are able to lay flat!

I also like the fact that after every property, there is a little box that explains which browsers are compatible with it. The book even explains if the property is buggy (looking at you, IE), and then delves into why and if there is a fix. Unfortunately, this list will soon need additions to them, with the coming of IE8, Chrome, etc, etc. Still, very useful.

It doesn't receive a perfect five because I wish more example pictures could be displayed. I don't mean for the very basic things (like the height property). In some of the explanations, I was only 80 to 90% sure of what the paragraph was talking about, and with web I am very visual. I know this would have taken up more space, but I felt it was needed (but only for certain sections). I also didn't like how the "index" is set up. I think there should have been another index (keywords) in addition to the current, property-only one. For instance, div isn't even mentioned there. I know that's an HTML tag but it would have been nice to see all the keywords throughout the book regarding it, considering its interaction with CSS. I guess I'm not used to that sort of index, which is basically the Table of Contents but at the end of the book.

So yes, I would say if you want one book to look up all the different properties of CSS, this is it. Again, this is a reference, not a book with tutorials and explanations on how to create something specific (recommend the anthology book for that).
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