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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usable and relevant
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...
Published on May 23 2003 by Michael G. Schmidt

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh, just so-so
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...
Published on June 3 2004 by hang10web


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usable and relevant, May 23 2003
By 
Michael G. Schmidt (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (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
By 
T. Theuerkorn "Theuerkorn" (Hickory, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (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
By 
M. Standal (Durango, CO.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (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
By 
hang10web (Midwest, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (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
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly one of the best web design books I've ever read..., May 16 2004
By 
Thomas Duff "Duffbert" (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (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...
Zeldman approaches the subject of standards-based web design from a pragmatic viewpoint. By using XHTML and CSS correctly, you can design pages that render beautifully in modern browsers, but degrade gracefully when you view them in older browsers or other devices like PDAs. The goal isn't to write pages that render exactly the same in all platforms, but to use XHTML to structure your page content, and allow CSS to control the presentation aspects of the page. By maintaining that structure/content division, other browser devices can adequately display the core content of your site without losing all page visibility. And by using CSS to control the presentation of the site, you can dramatically cut the size of your pages down, thereby reducing your overall bandwidth usage.
What I appreciated most about the book was Zeldman's humor and practicality. For instance, using nested tables to control a unique page design is bad. You can do the same thing with CSS. But rather than absolutely declare tables as being bad, he suggests a hybrid approach that may use a basic table for simple layout that would be difficult to do in pure CSS. Rather than being dogmatic about it, he focuses on what's practical to get the job done. And the writing style is very humorous and enjoyable. He definitely writes "to the reader", and there are plenty of asides and jokes that make the book approachable and "real", the perfect antithesis to other web design standards books written by "experts".
Conclusion
Quite possibly the best web design book I've read, and one that will completely change the way I write web pages.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worse than useless, May 10 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (Paperback)
Here, Zeldman attempts to translate the cult of Zeldman into some of your hard earned cash. There are two kinds of reviews here. The 4 and 5 star reviews are written by the ingratiating suck-ups hoping to win Zeldman's favor. The 1 star reviews are by those with the kahones to tell it like it is - there's no content in this garbage. It is the total abandonment of substance in favor of style - and not the CSS sort you're hoping for. It's all edge, attitude and posturing, giving the suck-ups what they crave.
You need a book that will show you how to do constructive things. You don't need to submit to a cult of personality, which is all Zeldman is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great web design and usability book, May 9 2004
By 
Vinit Carpenter "j2eegeek.com/blog" (Brookfield, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (Paperback)
'Designing with Web Standards' by Jeffrey Zeldman is a book about the use of standards in creating websites. Jeffrey Zeldman is a very well known web designer that manages the several very popular design websites. He also co-founded the Web Standards Project to persuade browser makers to comply with standards. I've been creating websites using HMTL since the early 90's and wanted to learn more about CSS, XHTML and so I picked up this book.
This is not your traditional tutorial book - In fact, a majority of the book is spent discussing the topic of standards, which gives this book an almost academic feel. In spite of that, I still really like this book and found this book extremely helpful is designing standards compliant websites.
In particular, the chapter on XHTML is well written and does a great job in explaining everything from DOCTYPE, HTML tags case, closing tags, empty tags and encoding valid XML tags such as < > and &. The chapter on structure combines CSS and XHTML to provide a complete solution for websites. I had used DIV's before but never really understood how and what they were and what was the difference between id and class. After reading this chapter, I feel like I have a very good understanding on the principles of layout and CSS.
I love all the examples in the book, especially in the latter part of the book where you work through different layouts using the technologies you just learned about. I also love the section of the book that lays out and documents all the deficiencies and bugs of existing browsers and how to work around those issues.
If you want to create websites that work in every browser, load quickly, consume less bandwidth and still be visually and functionally attractive, you need this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Useless book, don't waste your money, May 3 2004
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (Paperback)
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 standards. Mr Zeldman: if I wasn't already convinced that designing with web standards was a good idea, why would I buy a book called "Designing with Web Standards"?
The author is one of those humor-impaired people who think they are witty. Example: "If changing tag fashions were all there was to it, ...this book would be filled with delicious tofu recipes. Like tofu honey pie with blueberries. Yum! It's even better if you use cream cheese instead of tofu. And sugar - lots of sugar. And butter and eggs - don't forget the eggs."
If you enjoy reading drivel like that, you might like this book. Perhaps it should have been titled "Jokes that never made it to the Tonight Show". But if you want to read about designing with CSS and XHTML, don't waste your time on it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Straight dope, May 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Designing With Web Standards (Paperback)
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. The 4 and 5 star reviews are written by the ingratiating suck-ups hoping to win Zeldman's favor. The 1 star reviews are by those with the kahones to tell it like it is - there's no content in this garbage. It is the total abandonment of substance in favor of style - and not the CSS sort you're hoping for. It's all edge, attitude and posturing, giving the suck-ups what they crave.
You need a book that will show you how to do constructive things. You don't need to submit to a cult of personality, which is all Zeldman is.
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Designing With Web Standards
Designing With Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman (Paperback - May 24 2003)
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