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Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook, Special Edition [Paperback]

Dan Cederholm
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 7 2009 1430219203 978-1430219200 2

Welcome to the expanded second edition of Dan Cederholm's best-selling Web Standards Solutions. Web Standards are the standard technology specifications enforced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to make sure that web designers and browser manufacturers are using the same technology syntax.

It is important that these implementations are the same throughout the Web, otherwise it becomes a messy proprietary place, and lacks consistency. These standards also allow content to be more compatible with multiple different viewing devices, such as screen readers for people with vision impairments, cell phones, PDFs, etc. HTML, XML, and CSS are all such technologies.

This book is your essential guide to understanding the advantages you can bring to your web pages by implementing web standards and precisely how to apply them. Web standards such as XHTML and CSS are now fairly well-known technologies, and they will likely be familiar to you, the web designer. Indeed, they are all around you on the Web. However, within web standards still lies a challenge: while the browser's support for web standards is steadily increasing, many web developers and designers have yet to discover the real benefits of web standards and respect the need to adhere to them.

The real art is in truly understanding the benefits and implementing the standards efficiently. As a simple example of its power, you can use CSS to lay out your pages instead of nesting tables. This can make file sizes smaller, allowing pages to load faster, ultimately increasing accessibility for all browsers, devices, and web users.

  • Expanded edition containing bonus material.
  • Teaches how to use Web Standards effectively to build better web sites.
  • Solutions style promotes learning by work-through examples and assessments.

What you'll learn

Web Standards Solutions is broken down into 16 short chapters, each covering the theory and practice of different web standards concepts and showing multiple solutions to given problems for easy learning. You'll learn about multi-column layouts, using image replacement techniques to your best advantage, making the best use of tables and lists, and many more. This highly modular approach allows you to rapidly digest, understand, and utilize the essentials of web standards.

  • Use XHTML elements correctly so that your markup is compact and more easily understood.
  • Use CSS to style different elements of a web page.
  • Lay out pages easily and effectively.
  • Compare multiple methods of achieving the same results to make better design choices.
  • Learn about advanced web design techniques and their important caveats.
  • Make your sites more efficient and more accessible.

Who is this book for?

Web developers and designers wanting to learn standards-based techniques to improve their sites%mdash;making them more efficient, more accessible, and transferable across multiple browsers and devices.

Frequently Bought Together

Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook, Special Edition + The Non-Designer's Design Book (3rd Edition)
Price For Both: CDN$ 47.26

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Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Dan 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 this book in creating simplistic and attractive interfaces.

Speaking at conferences such as SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX, 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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not enough Sept. 9 2010
Introductions and conclusions of each chapters are too long. There is a lot of chapters like chapter 1 where the target readers seem very newbie because the author take a while to explain why is bad to create a list with or instead of <ul>.

All the book is dedicated to CSS but there is not enough CSS.

I think, this is better to buy a book on how to be a master in CSS and a book on how to create clean html and all the best practices will follow naturally.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
135 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly practical, and will become indispensible to me... July 22 2004
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
I've mentioned in the past that books on web standards and markup tend to irritate me due to their "I'm an expert and my opinion is always right" attitude. But never one to give up, I had the chance to review Web Standards Solutions - The Markup and Style Handbook by Dan Cederhold (Apress). Much like the book Designing With Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman, this is a refreshing change and extremely practical. I really like it!

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.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much needed book with superb approach March 13 2005
By Adam Helweh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For just under a year now I have been dipping into the online community of advocates for the many uses of CSS. As someone who is a graphic designer and part time web designer it can sometimes be a pain to find that mix of visual, structural, and functional design needed to take your portfolio and skills to the next level.

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!
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction Feb. 23 2007
By Jørgen Arnor G. Lom - Published on Amazon.com
I whish I'd read this one sooner. This book is a great introduction to the fabulous world of web standards. This is not, however the right book if you are already an experienced coder of standardized (X)HTML. Unlike books such as CSS Mastery (Budd, Moll, Collison), this book contains little of the "oh, right - I had completely forgot about that" tips, that experienced users could use.

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.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Booster for those who've passed their XHTML & CSS exams Jan. 4 2005
By Chris Crunch - Published on Amazon.com
First off, this book is definitely not a reference book, if you want to code up in XHTML and CSS, then you need to do the groundwork which is covered in other books. What this book does do, is show you how to practically apply these technologies in everyday situations of web design, and show patterns of commonly accepted, useful tricks and techniques.

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.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, but elegant solutions June 30 2004
By David Powers - Published on Amazon.com
Dan Cederholm runs a company called SimpleBits, and that's the philosophy that runs through this book: keep things simple. Don't let that deceive you, though. Simple doesn't mean plain or boring. In fact, Dan offers some very elegant solutions to common problems - styling navigation lists, pull quotes, and table-free layout. He also shows you how to style tables with CSS, as well as exploring uses for some of the lesser-known semantic tags for text layout.
The book is targeted mainly at web designers who haven't yet taken the plunge with CSS, or who are finding it hard to get to grips with. By taking things in small bites, he shows that CSS doesn't have to be complicated; and he warns against the disease that seems to affect many new converts to CSS - becoming "class happy", where classes are liberally spread through web pages with greater abandon than old-style font tags. Jeffrey Zeldman's Designing with Web Standards argues the case with passion. Dan Cederholm just quietly gets on with the job - and very effectively, too. Each chapter is short, and to the point. I enjoyed it thorougly.
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