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on May 10, 2004
This is a good book, but before buying it, check that you are in the target audience. It is not a reference book. It is not for complete newbies. It is not for gurus, either.
It is more like a hands-on CSS training course for somebody who has used HTML a lot, knows a little bit about CSS, and who wants to make fuller use of CSS. If this is what you are looking for, this is an excellent book. It is well-produced, with appropriate and intelligent use of color screenshots, too.
You will need to use some kind of reference in addition to this book when you actually write CSS for your own sites.
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on March 11, 2004
Being in the IT industry, mostly web based, I thought I would give this book a try to see what new material I could learn and apply in my job. Anyway, it was a disappointment. The book doesn't really explain anything but walks you through on changing from a non CSS site to one. It's not that good for what CSS is capable of doing either and the options associated with it. Overall, this book really isn't any good for someone that has experience. To me, it's more of a beginner to intermediate level for those who have only scratched the surface of CSS. If your experienced, don't bother.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 3, 2013
So far I am just dabbling with CSS. This book is great for taking you from ground zero to something svelte. The lessen format is like having your personal tutor. I will eventually get around to something practical. In the mean time I am expanding my universe.

So far I find this to be midlevel coding. The real problem with top level is that you have know idea want you are doing and a lot of superfluous overhead is added to the commands; it is good for a quickie but can later paint you into a corner. Low level will give you tighter code and more control over results. Midlevel is a compromise but sometimes adds functionality that can not be reached at the lover level command line coding.

Every language has it strengths and purpose they just do not invent more complexity for the fun of it. I hope to have the mechanics down before I find out what it is.

CSS may come and go but it is necessary to be aware of it incase you need to correct someone else's code. For me this is the right book at the right time. What time is it for you?

CSS: The Definitive Guide by Eric Meyer
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on June 9, 2004
Excellent Book!
This book is a definite plus for all people who have dabbled in table-free design but weren't quite ready to dive head first. If you are not familiar with basic CSS mark up, this book is not for you. If you wish to learn CSS from the ground up- see Christopher Schmitt's book "Designing CSS Web Pages" published by New Riders as well. Anyone who uses heavy javascript in their design will also find many streamlined CSS alternatives to that clunky code. "More Eric Meyer on CSS" starts off with a lesson on how to convert an existing table layout to cascading style sheets. I like the way Eric leads through the examples, every step in the code reveals possible browser conflicts. Lucky for us, he is able to supply the right workaround to make the pages compliant. Readers will also walk though styling a photo gallery, styling a financial report, 'transparency layout', and many more. My favorite lessons were CSS-Driven Drop-Down Menus, Opening the Doors to Attractive Tabs, and Designing in the Garden. I have been a fan of the csszengarden site, and I had fun reaching the Zen Garden!
Overall, this was a useful and comprehensive book. Eric Meyer has a simple way of presenting the lessons. None of the ten lessons he covers should take longer than one hour. He is obviously extremely knowledgeable in this field. His praise is well deserved. I personally plan on implementing these lessons on my personal site and those of future clients. The only flaw I found with this book was chapter 10's missing lesson file from the books website, this was alright, as a similar html file was supplied. It was definitely not enough to lower my perfect rating though.
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on October 26, 2003
New Riders publishes nice looking books, but many of them, this one included, suffers from a lack of professional editorial oversight. A book that sells for $45.00 should be proofed a little more closely. The book's companion site lists dozens of editorial errors that should have been caught before the book went to press: [...] After spending this much on a slim paperback volume, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour paging through the book, hand-correcting editorial errors that New Riders' editors should have caught in the first place.
Otherwise, Meyer's command of CSS is evident, but this is not the book that it could be. The presentation is hampered by its organization into "projects", and the reader must slog through details of Meyer's application of strategies in his own projects to find ideas that can be used elsewhere.
CSS is a great technology, but users are in need of something better organized, better presented, more comprehensive, and less crippled by rampant editorial gaffes.
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on October 5, 2003
Like many others, I bought the book based on on-line raves. I thought it was great at first but now the blush is off the rose. The book IS a more informative and user-friendly intro to CSS than the others I have (many are "look what I made, mommy" books by designers...nice visuals but not the best learning tool). Some of the lessons were a struggle so, fortunately, there were the free tutorials from to help with the rough spots.....never thought of myself as a slow learner until now.
Then, just when you think CSS will answer all your prayers, you get seriously gored by the infamous NN4 incompatibilities and then IE problems crop up.
What this and every other book lacks is a decent chart reference which shows browser incompatibilities like the great cheat sheet programming cards from BUT, I shouldn't have to buy this kind of critical tool, it oughta be a pullout or be in the appendix.
Until a better book comes out, prospective buyers should go ahead and get this one PLUS Meyers Programmers Reference (ISBN #0072131780). Round it out the Visibone cheat sheets for quick reference and to keep those nasty NN4 and IE4 nightmares from giving you an ulcer. Between all this stuff and the W3C School site (PS:which also has HTML and CSS validator links and other very cool stuff), even I was able to master CSS...but it takes more books and programmer's aids.
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on August 8, 2003
I give this book 3 stars, because it does a very good job of explaining and dealing with common issues in CSS. Unfortunately, the designs themselves are on the whole horrible - sorry, it's the only word. It's a shame that the author didn't get some designs from a graphic/web designer to complement what are on the whole excellent explanations of dealing with real world CSS issues, especially as he makes design comments, he's not qualified to make. Have a look at excerpt 10 in the sample pages to get an idea. This is an important issue because one of the powers of CSS is that it can be used to integrate the design and the content in a meaningful and elegant way. On the positive side, often the small pointers that he has for labelling css are particularly good, and I regularly find myself going 'ah, that's so useful'. If your CSS skills are well up to scratch perhaps look at Zeldman's 'Designing with Web Standards' as a possible alternative, but if your still working your way through the CSS in the real world then this is a very useful and practical book and I for one (with 8 years of web-building behind me) find it useful.
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on August 7, 2003
I recently purchased this book based on the customer reviews I read here on Amazon. I must say that it is a very well-written book, and the author seems extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter. However, I am slightly disappointed that there is not more technical information on how to correctly write Cascading Style Sheets and all the different CSS properties available. Instead, the author leads the reader through several hands-on projects designed to teach the reader how to implement different design techniques using CSS. I would have preferred a little more reference information (maybe an appendix) that allows the reader to use the book as a quick reference when starting a new CSS project or brushing up on some of the technical aspects. The material strikes me as having been written more for someone already very proficient in CSS who simply needs more design ideas, not for somone who is still learning how to implement CSS into a Web site. Nevertheless, it is still a very useful book.
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on June 15, 2003
This is a gorgeous, full-color, masterfully laid-out piece of work by an author with cutting-edge understanding of Cascading Style Sheets and willingness to share his fine creative judgement. Yet it may take you a while to convince yourself (as it did me myself) that you need one more Eric Meyer CSS title. The glowing reviews finally broke through my resistance, and my facility with CSS has had several breakthroughs as a result.
Like many of you, I already have Eric's two premier titles for guiding web transitions from the difficult world of patched-together HTML solutions to the powerful, systematic, maintenance-friendly potentials of CSS. Here's my experience so you can see if it matches yours.
Through insightful and persuasive volumes such as Owen Briggs 'C S S: Separating Content from Presentation' (see reviews at ISBN 1904151043) I finally got that *aha* experience about CSS: These new standards are more than just style sheets, design aids, and download-enhancers; more even than the sum of these: once HTML 4 standards are better followed by browsers, CSS will open up all web-design work in remarkable ways. *HOWEVER*: design life in the meanwhile is extremely frustrating while browsers take their sweet time repairing past imbedded sins. As much as I wanted to break free from old HTML ways, the inconsistencies and vagaries of how browsers render CSS so discouraged me from solving design issues with CSS, that I considered taking a two year sabbatical from design until technology caught up. I thought I was just 'losing it' until I found Eric's own statement right on my desk in 'C S S: The Definitive Guide': "You may notice that, unlike other chapters, almost none of the figures in (the chapter on Positioning objects) was generated with a web browser. This is... a statement about the reliability and consistency of positioning implementations..."
What's the average designer to do when even Jeffrey Zeldman admits (in his preface here) that his fallback position in the current world of CSS is *emailing Eric Meyer*? In this volume we see. Eric walks you through common types of design and redesign issues are solvable through CSS (and provides frequent color screen shots displaying exactly what happens after small changes in code). It is refreshing that so much care is taken with both the design and writing of this book. Even the *hints* in margins surprise me - after I thought I had read practically every CSS hint published to date. Eric puts them together in an engaging manner.
No matter how skilled you are with design or with HTML, unless your mastery of CSS specifically is on a par with Eric's (all 3 or 4 of you such people), I think that after reading twenty pages of "Eric on CSS" you are likely to feel you wasted valuable time each week since this book's release! Thanks, Eric. Thanks, New Riders for the time and expense to make such a quality volume. Fine work on the companion web site and downloadable code as well!
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on April 5, 2003
This book does a great job on what it says it does. But do you know what it does? Just be sure you do before you buy it. This book is intended not to teach you CSS, it presumes you already know CSS2. Instead of teaching you the actual language this book shows you how to apply it. Each chapter is a detailed 'case study' if you want to call it that. Meyer does a great job at walking you through various real life scenarios you might encounter such as converting a normal web template to a CSS one. So don't get me wrong this book is a 5 star book in that regard but the problem is I don't think most people realize that's all this book is really for.
Simply put, if you don't already know how to write complex CSS2 stylesheets then BUY ANOTHER BOOK first. Fortunately for myself I've been a professional designer / developer for 5 years now, so when I picked up this book (not knowing how to write complex CSS prior to reading it) I was able to figure out the code and learn CSS2 on the fly. However this is not a good way to learn for many people so if you don't know CSS yet or not really familar with it try another book before picking this one up. Otherwise BUY THIS BOOK becuase YES, it is really really good!
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