Sep 05 2006

Stylin’ with CSS: A Designer’s Guide

Published by at 8:17 pm under Books,General

by Charles Wyke-Smith

This is the second book that I’ve read on-line via O’reilly’s Safari book service and since the first, O’reilly has changed the system from html pages of ajaxian image fragments.  Overall, their new implementation was a step backwards.  Pages seemed to load more slowly and there was no ability to copy snippets of CSS out of the text to play with.  Yes, the CSS and XHTML were available from the book publishers website, but that was more steps and more of a hassle.  Not a good use of AJAX, I think.

The book itself was just okay.  It was a well narrated description of basic CSS and a few commonly used structures: mainly menus and forms controlled by CSS.  It was a ‘cookbook’ with narrative and limited scope.  Lots of repetition of html and CSS fragments but no real explanation of how CSS hangs together.  Made it seem pretty ad hoc which I don’t believe it is.  Good for an introduction to the basics of CSS.

A underlying thread was all the hacks necessitated for MS’ flawed implementation in stagnant Internet Explorer technology.  When know shortcomings and bugs have created a cottage industry of clever work around.  Unintentionally, this served as a good example of ‘simple’ abuses inflicted by a company with monopoly powers.  MS still has 80 plus percent of the browser market despite letting their browser product stagnate and not implementing web standards.  Causes aggravation and cost for all web content developers.

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