Everything You Know about CSS is Wrong! Paperback – Nov 7 2008
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About the Author
Rachel Andrew is a director of web-solutions provider edgeofmyseat.com. Rachel takes a common sense, real-world approach to web standards, with her writing and teaching being based on the experiences she has in her own company every day.
Rachel's writing credits include: The CSS Anthology (SitePoint), HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS, 2nd Edition (SitePoint), Dreamweaver Developer's Instant Troubleshooter (Apress), Dreamweaver MX Design Projects (Apress), Dynamic Dreamweaver MX (glasshaus), Fundamental Web Design And Development Skills (glasshaus).
Kevin Yank is a world-renowned leader in web development. When not writing best sellers, Kevin is the Technical Director of sitepoint.com and editor of the popular SitePoint Tech Times newsletter.
Top Customer Reviews
The authors view the internet through the rose coloured glasses of early adopters and web designers, not taking into account that the majority of both business and home users are now on 5-6 year hardware upgrade cycles, and it is during the upgrade cycle that a user is most likely to upgrade their browser because frankly IE 6 is "good enough" to Joe Sixpack or John the Businessman.
While the stuff that the book talks about is interesting and illuminating, this is a book for the early adopter, and not for someone looking to get started in CSS. For those people I suggest CSS Mastery or Bulletproof Web Design.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What this book really provides is an introduction to CSS-table based layout. It does a good job with that. Later in the book, it describes ways to mitigate the lack of support in other browsers - it does a fair job of that.
Despite what the authors might leave some to believe, IE6 is far from dead, and neither is IE7. If you use this layout technique, you either don't support the browsers currently used by over 60% of web users, or you keep a separate style sheet. Understand that by keeping separate style sheets, the trade is an increase in maintenance.
IE6 will be around for years. Many companies with tens of thousands of employees only support locked-down versions of IE6 on their corporate desktops.
The actual content of the book is extremely light, and a bit disappointing. It is 116 pages, including the table of contents, and you don't get to CSS tables until page 29. The numerous illustrations (pictures of web pages) are all approximately 1/2 page in size, then they stuck in comments from 4 CSS "superstars". There is a chapter on CSS3 grid selectors, which is pretty useless. I figure that there is maybe 20 pages worth of useful content here seriously padded with fluff.
The sample code is extremely simple. The book would have been better for me demonstrating more complete layouts.
This is quite a short book weighing in at just over 110 pages and really only deals with one topic, however it does that in-depth. The style of writing is good and flowing and it feels like you're just reading a magazine article.
This book deals with CSS layout for the latest browsers and talks a lot about the upcoming version of IE8 and how it fixes things so that now you can use CSS 2 styles on your site and they will work across all major browsers (as long as you're running the latest ones, Firefox 3, Opera 9 etc.) and now that Internet Explorer is finally supporting web standards it will work on Microsoft's browser platform as well.
In that respect, all the tricks and work-arounds that you've had to learn in the past to get layouts looking correct are indeed wrong as you will no longer need to use them, for example using floats to get multiple columns.
The main thrust of this book is positioning using CSS tables. The book explains what these are, how they are different from HTML tables but create the same results, some of the pitfalls you may come across (there is no equivalent to colspan or rowspan for example) and how to code for these instances. The introduction of web standards across all major browser platforms and the adherence to CSS 2 specifications will make web designers and programmers immensely easier and this book explains how.
There is also a chapter dedicated to backwards compatibility and what you should be doing with layouts and yet still make things look on older browsers like Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7.
The final chapter of the book deals with some things to look forward that are currently part of the CSS 3 working draft and how they will make your job even easier yet.
This is one of those books that I actually have a hard time reviewing, not for the content, the style and layout etc. but for giving it a rating. I think this is a must read book for anybody who designs or layouts web pages, whether you a graphic designer or programmer or in-between however the book is very short and really only deals with a single topic, even though it does it in-depth. The book is in full color which makes it a beautiful book however it's also a book that you would perhaps only read or twice and wouldn't be used a reference book so the longevity takes a hit. I wish the book had more to it and covered a few more topics. That said, I still stick by what I say in that everyone who designs or codes web pages should read this as it will make their jobs a lot easier.
One of the books writers, Cameron Adams, makes a comment about using tables for layout saying "The only problem is, they're evil." What a weenie. They work. They're very browser compatible. Dang, what do you want. There is no magic wand in CSS tables.
It's fun to dink around with them but you'll still end up with ie6 (true evil) fixes all over the place. ;-)
There isn't much to the book, mostly a discussion of the new table handling in CSS. Informative, but not worth $30. And the title is definitely misleading, if not downright false. You need not "unlearn" everything you know about CSS, only learn new techniques for page layout using CSS tables instead of HTML tables.
I really didn't know what to expect from this slim volume (111 pages). I read it in one sitting, and filed it on my bookshelf with the other "need not revisit" tomes.
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