The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks Paperback – Aug 7 2009
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About the Author
Rachel Andrew is the Director of edgeofmyseat.com, a Web solutions company based in the UK. She is a member of the Web Standards project, serving on the Dreamweaver Task Force.
Rachel's writing credits include: Dreamweaver MX Design Projects (Apress), Fundamental Web Design and Development Skills (glasshaus) and HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS, 2nd Edition (SitePoint).
Top Customer Reviews
The CSS Anthology sets out a question and answer type of resource. Most people using this book will be browsing the topics for solutions to particular problems. However, if worked through from start to finish, this book would even serve beginners well.
The CSS Anthology is complete with full code and illustrations. I find this aspect is particularly useful for trying out different approaches. The book also contains a lot of good tips about compatibility and when CSS is not the best choice.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
By way of illustration, my CSS library already contains a so-called "definitive guide" that provides excellent, albeit somewhat spare and dry, descriptions of every single CSS selector and property. The problem is that while this definitive guide is a useful reference, it seldom illustrates how to use CSS to achieve many common formatting effects. I'm thus obliged to wade through the descriptions of several CSS selectors and properties in a search for the ones that will allow me to achieve my rather simple presentational goals.
This is where the CSS Anthology's example-driven format excels. The vast majority of the book's sections are titled "How do I...?", followed by a straightforward illustration of how to use CSS to achieve a specific sort of output; the examples include some sophisticated and advanced effects that go well beyond my simple requirements.
The CSS Anthology also provides an extremely understandable description of how and why various types and versions of browsers do or do not process standards-based CSS properly. Having gone numb trying to assimilate the information contained in the sprawling browser compatibility tables found in other more comprehensive reference books, I found the CSS Anthology to be refreshing in its straightforward, understandable summation of browser compatibility issues and possible workarounds.
In summary, I would recommend the CSS Anthology as one of the members of your CSS reference library. Note, however, that you'll most likely also want to obtain a complementary reference book for a more definitive guide to the nits and bits of all the CSS selector and property elements; the CSS Anthology does not pretend to be a definitive reference guide.
This books starts out with basic css. I quickly reviewed the first few chapters. The chapters I got the most from were Forms and User Interfaces, Browser and Device Support, and, my favorite, CSS Positioning and Layout.
This book is set up very nicely. There is a question (for example, "How do I create a fixed-width, centered, two-column layout?") followed by a solution and then a discussion. The code for the css and html files are presented in the discussion section. Better yet, all the files can be downloaded from sitepoint.com. And then the solution section discusses the code point by point. My method was to open the html file in my browser and also in notepad. I also opened the css in notepad. I deleted all the code that I wanted to learn (leaving the html tags and the content). I then recreated the web page by writing the css file and linking it to the html file and modifying the file. For me, this was a good way to learn.
For any web designer that is learning css, relying too much on html tables and wants to transition to css, this is a book you should have.
I'm the kind that likes to go right into a project and learn the technologies as I go. I've done a bunch of websites using WYSIWYG editors and got to the point I needed to work the code myself. I checked into current standards and learned about XHTML and CSS. Rather than just modify existing projects, I started fresh and followed standards from the get go.
But since I don't read books on languages or technologies from cover to cover (does anyone?), I need a book that lists possible problems and real solutions. Not pointers to go back and read half a dozen chapters in some "learn over a weekend or a lifetime" kinda thing. This is that book.
My current project needed non-java menus that gave the web2.0 kinda look. Bingo! Here tis.
If you do CSS, you'll find this book useful. CSS reminds me of JCL in that there's no logic involved, just a lot of memorization. This will help when you forget - or never read it in the first place.
Good book - well org'ed.
Also, the book is published in mid 2009 and still talks about IE 4 and 5. Oh well...
And the important DOCTYPE discussion? It is discussed on page 233, near the end of the book. Wouldn't it be very important to talk about it at the very beginning of the book? For example, if your CSS doesn't work, maybe the root cause is in the DOCTYPE? So shouldn't it be discussed in Chapter 1 or the Intro?
And talking about the important ordering of specifying link's pseudo classes: L V H A (link, visited, hover, active), the author didn't mention "focus", to make the order complete: L V H F A.
Also, the author published this book since 2004, and now she is publishing another book called "Everything You Know About CSS Is Wrong!" It is fairly conflicting to choose titles like that.
It is hard to justify this book as a 4.5 star book. Maybe a 3 star.