CSS Cookbook, 2nd Edition, O'Reilly
C# Online.NET Book Review
I know many Web developers are still using HTML tables to accomplish all their fancy layouts. However, they are doing it the hard way. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a powerful way to accomplish all that can be done with tables and much more. You will be much more productive once you are proficient with style sheets. They are not difficult to learn and are incredibly useful. And, style sheets give better separation of content and presentation. Plus, this book, in particular, has good coverage of style sheets for replacing table based layouts. So, now, you have no excuse for creating non-standards-compliant layouts.
There used to be a major issue of different browsers supporting CSS to different levels and interpreting it in different ways. This is largely a thing of the past as modern browsers do a good job of implementing style sheets. In particular, the newly-released Internet Explorer 7 is a major improvement over the older version.
As I have said in other reviews, I am a huge fan of cookbooks. They are invaluable for finding just the right bit of code which can be adapted to your requirements. Related recipes are organized into chapters. Each recipe—as in most O'Reilly cookbooks—has the following form:
- Problem: a brief description of what is to be accomplished;
- Solution: presents the CSS and HTML needed;
- Discussion: explains the solution;
- See also: recommends further resources on the topic.
Each chapter moves from simpler problems to more complex problems. A few of the advanced recipes cover centering fixed width items in variable width areas, CSS-based splash screens, variable length folder tabbed menu items. This no-nonsense approach has a lot of appeal for busy developers and is suitable for a reference book.
The book is loaded with CSS hacks, tips, tricks, and workarounds. For example, there are many tips on how to create CSS that works across browsers. And, there are details on handling quirks in browser rendering.
This second edition of the book features coverage of CSS 2.1; and, it has been updated for Firefox and Internet Explorer 7. For a cookbook, it is on the small side with some 500 pages; yet, it covers all the major bases and then some in a concise fashion.
The author's style is readable; and, there are plenty of screen shots to illustrate the effects of CSS.
CSS Cookbook is a wonderfully concise reference for putting CSS style sheets to work solving everyday Web page design problems.
For those all-too-common dilemmas that crop up with each project, CSS Cookbook provides hundreds of practical examples with CSS code recipes that you can use immediately to format your web pages. Arranged in a quick-lookup format for easy reference, the second edition has been updated to explain the unique behavior of the latest browsers: Microsoft's IE 7 and Mozilla's Firefox 1.5. Also, the book has been expanded to cover the interaction of CSS and images and now includes more recipes for beginning CSS users.
As the industry standard method for enriching the presentation of HTML-based web pages, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow you to give web pages more structure and a more sophisticated look. But first, you have to get past CSS theory and resolve real-world problems.
For those all-too-common dilemmas that crop up with each project, CSS Cookbook provides hundreds of practical examples with CSS code recipes that you can use immediately to format your web pages. Arranged in a quick-lookup format for easy reference, the second edition has been updated to explain the unique behavior of the latest browsers: Microsoft's IE 7 and Mozilla's Firefox 1.5. Also, the book has been expanded to cover the interaction of CSS and images and now includes more recipes for beginning CSS users. The explanation that accompanies each recipe enables you to customize the formatting for your specific needs. With topics that range from basic web typography and page layout to techniques for formatting lists, forms, and tables, this book is a must-have companion, regardless of your experience with Cascading Style Sheets.
About the author(s)
Christopher Schmitt has been working with the Web since 1993. While an undergraduate at Florida State University for a fine arts degree with an emphasis on graphic design, Christopher interned for both David Siegel and Lynda Weinman in the mid-'90s. The author of several books on web design and digital imaging as well as a contributor to many web development magazines, he is the principal of Heatvision.com, Inc., a new media publishing and design firm, and is based in Tallahassee, Florida.
Table of Contents (abbreviated)
2. Web Typography
4. Page Elements
6. Links and Navigation
9. Page Layouts
11. Hacks, Workarounds, and Troubleshooting
12. Designing with CSS
B. CSS 2.1 Properties and Proprietary Extensions
C. CSS 2.1 Selectors, Pseudo-Classes, and Pseudo-Elements
D. Styling of Form Elements