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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2006
One of the first things to become apparent from the front cover of this book is that there is no obvious purpose suggested in the title, it is instead necessary to proceed past the acknowledgements and a section about the authors to the introductory section.
It is then explained that the book is intended; in part to be a documentation and narrative about the Zen Garden website ( but primarily it is intended as a tutorial on the best practices and techniques relating to modern web design. Simultaneously the book serves as a gallery of "eye candy" that can be referred to for inspiration for reader's projects.
The intended target audience of this book falls under the umbrella of anyone interested in designing and developing websites, and is then subcategorized into the following:
* Designers - Teaching practical design and real-world problem solving.
* Programmers - Using already logical skills and putting them into a design context.
* CSS Novices - Expand on knowledge of basic syntax/concepts and apply them to work.
Personally I'd classify myself as the programmer, however whilst reading through the book it is certainly apparent how users falling under the other classifications would perceive things.
The book is structured as well as any I've encountered, beginning with an introduction, then followed by the main tutorial section which is constantly reinforced by examples from the Zen Garden Website ( which I believe to be a strong tool as it means readers always have a visual representation of what they are reading.
Overall I would deem this book suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about CSS, for me the main level on which The Zen of CSS Design reached me was the design aspect, as I consider myself to be primarily logically minded, it's always extremely useful for me to have examples on which I can base my own designs. Alternatively I'd assume that for a designer, the book will reach them on the programming level by teaching them the basics of logical thinking in regards to CSS. Finally for the novices this book will serve as a valuable and effective balance between the two areas, thus creating the next generation of coders who will have proficiency in both disciplines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2005
When building a website, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) can make or break a website, This book will show you how to build a website out of nothing but CSS. In my opinion Zen Garden is "Cadillac" of web design. In this book there is a lot of high detailed pages showing you many example templates, then it goes on to tell you how they coded/made the design. Also gives a lot of snippets and other types of bits of coding, also covers how to overlap and set transparency to pictures and menus. Also lets you know what browsers will be compatible with CSS. CSS isn't perfect and just like any other type of coding, you might end up spending hours and hours trying to get something right, with this book you wont be spending hours coding, this book also tells you the "do's and don'ts" for building a CSS website, also gives you a few sites where you can check your work for errors and whatnot. Also gives you many CSS resource links, where you can get help, templates, code example, other CSS books. I recommend this book for anyone that uses CSS, from the most basic user to the advanced.
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on March 25, 2005
I recieved this book in the mail a couple days ago and I haven't put it down. This is by far the best book I have read on css. I really like that it focuses on design and not code - there are many other books for that (the ones by Eric Myers being particularly good).
The best comment that I can make to sum up the value of this book is that it is equally as inspirational as cssZenGarden dot Com itself.
I highly recommend this book for anyone with an intermediate to advanced understand of xhtml and css, and a love for design.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2005
As someone completely self-taught in all things web-development, I've enjoyed immensely reading Shea's book. It skips over most of the stuff you can pick up on forums and mailing lists and really jumps into the less celebrated topics of typography, colour balance, contrast, and layout.
It's not a CSS book at all. In fact, I find it to be more of a general design-tips guide, although there are occasional discussions on browser support for various different tricks and methods. Don't count on this as a reference until you've read it all through once. The information is organised by entry, rather than
It's also very practical. No diatribes, here, on the ills of this or that practice. (Semantics evangelists, I'm looking at you) A beautiful layout is presented, and then various techniques are shown for achieving such a result, at the design stage, at the graphical stage, at the technical stage, and at the presentation (CSS) stage.
If you're looking to learn CSS, hit up Eric Meyer's books or just hang out on the forums. But if you already know lots of it and want some inspiration and advanced tips, pick up this book.
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on July 21, 2015
Awesome book. HTML and CSS are pretty easy to figure out. The challenge is design. That's what this book really helps you with.
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