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Cascading Style Sheets :The Definitive Guide (en anglais) (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 2000
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Using Dreamweaver as my design tool, I thought there might be a book where I can learn more about CSS. I already own a couple of good books, but they are light on CSS, and nothing is indexed. I was hoping this book was a 'reference' on every CSS property for CSS1 & CSS2 with a variety of examples. That is exactly what Eric Meyer's book fails to deliver.
For new authors, this book will get you started into the wondeful world of using style sheets - Eric delivers his examples with clear dictation in an editorial style. It's an excellent starting point with good examples and solid explainations on how CSS works.
If you are like me however, an experienced webguy, pass on this book. It does not have a complete list of EVERY CSS property, nor are the examples given robust. The book is written in editorial format, flowing from one topic to the next without really getting into the meat of CSS. It's as if Eric wanted to say something on everything, but in doing so, he limited is ability to offer in-depth explainations of each property and it's power/flexibility.
To sum up, yes, this book is a good tutorial, but NOT a definitive guide. Maybe Eric should of called it the CSS: Definitive Starting Guide To Get You Going. Next time, I'll actually take time to skim through the book at my local computer book store.
N.B. Are all these praises for this book from the author, publisher, or friends of the author to help sell the book? I have my suspicions because a lot of the comments sound 'canned'. Hopefully my review gets published to prove this is not the case.
This book has too much author me me me me-ing (kinda like my review, heh heh) and not enough clear, concise explanations as to how CSS works and what problems might be encountered in which browsers if you use css to replace tables for page layout.
I recommend a css beginner go to w3schools site. They have a beginner's css course that is quite good, for the basics. Plus they allow you to try out the css in a browser. It's not a full-on course, but it IS a good beginning and it's free. You should know HTML before you take the css course. Also, you can go to lissaexplains for tidbits of css info such as how 'div' works, etc. Then just start building a site for the practice. If you can't think of a website idea (if you are a beginner, that can be a difficult thing... the design of a website), and you have access to 2002 or newer Microsoft applications, just use one of the office programs (Word or Publisher) to generate a couple of basic webpages, then view the template in a browser, and printout the pages. Don't look at the 'view source' of the generated Microsoft webpage as all that baloney microsoft code will freak you out. Then try to duplicate the webpage layout by writing your own html/css code... after you have learned css at w3schools, etc. You will discover you'll need at least TWO stylesheets for your webpages as css works differently in various browser. Don't worry about it, w3schools will explain the basics. Generally speaking, you'll need one stylesheet for Firefox/Mozilla, the other for MSIE and Opera. But don't waste your money on this book. It's not a beginner's book though it purports to be, and the author, well, he really needs to teach a couple of nightschool courses on css, using his book as the courseware. The questions that the night school (aka 'highly motivated') students will ask over and over and over will quickly enlighten him as to what's wrong with his book and give him a little needed humility. (Teaching nightschool CompSci sure worked for me, heh heh.)
HOWEVER, if you want a book then I recommend anything by Danny Goodman. He's a good 'explainer'. His book (ISBN: 0-596-00316-1) Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference, 2nd Edition is a good book to have by your side as you are learning web building.
The short answer is unacceptably poor technical editing.
First and foremost this book suffers from the disease that afflicts virtually all O'Reilly Definitive Guides: An apparent phobia about providing cross-references to the page or pages contain cited information. It thus becomes your job to wade through the T.O.C. and/or index and find the information referred to.
Second, this book assumes that you're keenly interested (to cite but one example) to know what as-yet-unavailable CSS3 might someday do with regard to "Glyph versus content area." As for me, I found the book's abundance of this too-clever-by-half ("Look at how much *I* know!") esoteric detritus infuriating. Again, one can't blame the book's author for wanting to show off a bit, but one can fully blame the book's editor for allowing him to.
Then there's the book's laughably over-complicated section on Tables. Pages of windy bloviation about how XML doesn't understand tables but but precious little on how to use CSS -- the title of the book, remember? -- to get a table setup the way you might want it to be. Did an editor even look at this section?
In the end this book contains lots of excrutiatingly abstruse background minutiae about XML standards and the like that you might possibly enjoy reading about once you've independently acquired your own understanding of it. In the meantime don't think for a second you're going to be able to use this book to come up with a reasonably straighforward explanation of to how to use CSS to display some content the way you want to -- your time will instead be spent trying to swim your way out of yet another of the book's overly detailed technobabble digressions...
The book covers a number of different subjects, including browser compatability issues (after all, there doesn't seem to be any elements that all browsers support quite the same way), along with element units and values, fonts and text properties, colors, and visual formatting. I now realize the fascinating things you can do on a web site with the help of style sheets.
As with other O'Reilly books, there's a wealth of resources in the Appendixes, including a Resources appendix and a sample Style Sheet, done in HTML 2.0 (It always helps to see what a "sample" sheet looks like in order to further understand what all the element attributes mean).
An excellent reference guide to Cascading Style Sheets.
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