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CSS: The Ultimate Reference Hardcover – Mar 7 2008
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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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As with any book of this nature, basically it is out of date virtually as it's printed.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.
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").
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!
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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