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I have a set of minor complaints about the text, and one major complaint about the physical durability of the books.
First, the text seems to have a tendency to repeat the same example. This would not be an issue if the example code was reused in order to clarify a new point, but it gets slightly annoying when it is simply readdressing a learning topic that was already covered earlier in the text.
Also, if you come from a programming background, these books sometimes leave you with a lot of questions, i.e. they do not provide enough technical details in some passages. However, to be fair the books do target beginners, so this was somewhat expected.
Because I previously reviewed both titles and they deserved very high position on my all-time web design book chart I think it would be best to summarize both reviews below.
- HTML & CSS: Designing and Building Web Sites’ -
I should start this review by saying HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Duckett is a beautifully designed book. Although this alone should not be a reason to buy any book, all visual learners will be thankful because it makes the process of learning easier, featuring graphics explaining core concepts, combined with code snippets and images how something would look like on the web.
The book is examining many aspects of HTML5 and CSS3, comparing new methods to the older ones, explaining in process when and why any of them would be useful. Although some things are always changing in ever changing web design world, for sure but it would provide necessary information for designers new to HTML and CSS.
Book includes many useful design resources; web standards, free font libraries, color picking tools, typography and even search engine optimization (SEO) are discussed.
The only drawback for some would be that the book lacks the depth of detail needed to get into more complex layouts, for enhancing a website already built. But it should be fair to say that was beyond this book's purpose, this is an excellent resource for a learner trying to expand her/his skills. For this purpose I could recommend you "CSS Mastery" book written by Simon Collison, Andy Budd and Cameron Moll.
Through book Duckett will gracefully guide reader into writing HTML, explaining its purpose tag by tag in same time providing a clear visual reference. Use this book to dive into HTML for the first time, but also intermediate users could use it as a visual reference for HTML tags during coding.
As final verdict, if you're new to intermediate user with HTML and CSS, this book should be an excellent buy. I definitely would recommend it to those who self-taught students or as required read in the school design departments.
As was the case with his previous book, Duckett again doesn’t disappoint in terms of design resources – inside numerous samples of codes and user exercises can be found that enable novice Java web designer to start working instantly.
Beside first general chapter, the book is divided in additional twelve chapters which respectively deal with following subjects:
- Decisions and loops
- DOM (Document Object Model)
- Using Ajax and JSON
- Using APIs
- Debugging and dealing with errors
- Content Panels
- Filtering, searching and sorting
- Form enhancement and validation
Overall, you cannot miss with this collection because separately both books are great and among the best on the market, while as the collection it becomes even more evident, and therefore I fully recommend them.
Talk about good customer care!! Thanks again Jim!
"My old review: I really love these books, the explanations are super clear and the examples are good but what I find unacceptable is the way the JS&JQ book is falling apart on my first reading (haven't started the other one yet).
I would definitely give this set a 5 star rating if it wasn't for the fact that their binding is horrible."
Construction: A ton of reviews have said this already but I can not belabor the point of how poorly these books were constructed. The bindings barely hold the pages and the ink smears with even the slightest bit of pressure. The publisher should be embarrassed.
Overall: 3/5 A great reference book with a terrible construction.