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Bulletproof Web Design: Improving Flexibility and Protecting Against Worst-Case Scenarios with XHTML and CSS [Paperback]

Dan Cederholm
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Aug 2007
No matter how visually appealing or content-packed a Web site may be, if it's not adaptable to a variety of situations and reaching the widest possible audience, it isn't really succeeding. In Bulletproof Web Desing, author and Web designer extraordinaire, Dan Cederholm outlines standards-based strategies for building designs that provide flexibility, readability, and user control--key components of every sucessful site. Each chapter starts out with an example of an unbulletproof site one that employs a traditional HTML-based approach which Dan then deconstructs, pointing out its limitations. He then gives the site a make-over using XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), so you can see how to replace bloated code with lean markup and CSS for fast-loading sites that are accessible to all users. Finally, he covers several popular fluid and elastic-width layout techniques and pieces together all of the page components discussed in prior chapters into a single-page template.


Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (9 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321509021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321509024
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 19.1 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

No matter how visually appealing or content-packed a Web site may be, if it's not adaptable to a variety of situations and reaching the widest possible audience, it isn't really succeeding. In Bulletproof Web Desing, author and Web designer extraordinaire, Dan Cederholm outlines standards-based strategies for building designs that provide flexibility, readability, and user control--key components of every sucessful site. Each chapter starts out with an example of an unbulletproof site one that employs a traditional HTML-based approach which Dan then deconstructs, pointing out its limitations. He then gives the site a make-over using XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), so you can see how to replace bloated code with lean markup and CSS for fast-loading sites that are accessible to all users. Finally, he covers several popular fluid and elastic-width layout techniques and pieces together all of the page components discussed in prior chapters into a single-page template.

About the Author

Dan Cederholm is a Web designer and author living in Massachusetts. He's the founder of SimpleBits, a tiny design studio. A recognized expert in the field of standards-based Web design, Dan has worked with Google, MTV, ESPN, Fast Company, Blogger, Odeo, and others. He embraces flexible, adaptable design using Web standards through his design work, writing, and speaking. Dan is the author of two best-selling books: Bulletproof Web Design (New Riders) and Web Standards Solutions (Friends of ED). Dan also runs the popular weblog SimpleBits, where he writes articles and commentary on the Web, technology, and life. He also plays a mean ukulele and occasionally wears a baseball cap.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for Everyone 20 Dec 2005
Format:Paperback
Another fine book from Dan Cederholm. This time around he divvies a typical web page down to its components - text, navigation, boxes and rows and the layout itself and explains and demonstrates the most bulletproof way of implementing them in a standards-compliant way.
In each chapter he'll pluck a real-world example to deconstruct, tell you why it's not bulletproof and offer a rebuild in a very easy to follow manner using XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. He'll then explain why his solution is bulletproof.
There's something here for everyone, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on the CSS front but I've said "Ohhhh, that's neat" a few times already (I'm hopping around the book). Which is another point, it's very accessible in that respect - no reading chapters 1 to 4 before tackling the issues presented in chapter 5 (hypothetical use of numbers).
Beginner or expert alike, I think you'll like this book a lot.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for intermediate web designers 15 Sep 2007
Format:Paperback
A best practice CSS & XHTML book aimed at the intermediate-advanced web designer. If you're a beginner looking to learn CSS web design I suggest you look at The CSS Anthology or Web Standards Solutions books first, then come back to this book to polish your skills.

The book dives straight into common approaches to everyday techniques. It makes an explanation as to why it may not be the best solution and suggests `a bullet-proof approach' and justifies its reasoning. The book is one of few with colour illustrations which is nice and makes for clearer example images. The book concludes with a chapter demonstrating all the examples in a single website. There are some good techniques in this book and there's bound to be something new even for the seasoned CSS web designer.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for developers, designers, and hobbyists. 23 Aug 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you design or develop web sites then you really have to read this book. You may, as I did, think that you know a thing or two about putting together a website. Well this book in combination with Mark Pilgrim's dive into accessibility guide, and Dave Shea's CSS Zen Garden, have taught me otherwise.
While other texts explain the why, this explains the how - and it does it very well too. This is a hands-on book that takes a number of websites, points out what is wrong with them, and re-creates them using web standards. That is not to say the book preaches in a condescending tone about standards - it simply points out why the bad way is bad and the good way is good. It then does what so many standards evangelists fail to do and actually give practical guidance on how to improve websites.
Even if your eyes haven't been opened to the negative effects of poorly marked-up and low-accessibility websites you will not regret buying this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jolly good read in my opinion 2 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As someone who is new to XHTML/CSS I bought this book (along with "CSS: The Missing Manual" and "The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks") as I'm soon to convert a static web site into an interactive one using DHTML, Ajax, PHP, MySQL etc. I last did web work with MS Frontpage many years ago.

The "CSS: The Missing Manual" book was delivered first so I started reading that (currently half way through). Then this book arrived today and, as it looked so clear and readable, I read it from front to back this afternoon.

What an excellent book! Dan can certainly write in a clear style and fully explains the point he is trying to make without any distractions. As someone who is late to this world of CSS etc I found it invaluable to see the bugs that are in IE5 and IE6 and how they can be circumvented. (I am aware that I'll need to test our site in many different browsers but I have got the latest versions of them all so would not pick up old browsers and the problems that arise using them.)

He also points out issues re: the structure of HTML elements for users who use readers etc (content before sidebars for example so they get straight to the detail). Our site is aimed at the disabled so I'll certainly bear these issues in mind when re-developing the site.

I bought it from the used & new section and got it for £16.25 + p&p - a bargain in my opinion.

Just one comment. I downloaded the source and immediately tried the chapter 9 example in all my browsers. All worked flawlessly except IE7. Sometimes when you resize the page the sidebar goes to the bottom below the end of the content and above the footer. (At least, after reading this book, I know why IE7 is doing this!) This is corrected by adjusting the width of the browser by a pixel or so. So, for IE7, the hacks aren't bulletproof! I blame Microsoft for writing rubbish software.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book 20 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to say that I'm suprised at one reviewer saying that it was confusing.Not at any point did I find it confusing.This book is a very very good example of how to write reusable bulletproof code. Obviously the code supplied from the website,as with ALL coding books, is not quite the same as the written examples, but hey! the point is that YOU write the code,not cut and paste.And yes he does point to others websites as examples of how they can be improved with DECENT code,bloody right, there's far too many people still writing sloppy xhtml and css,with sites that belong in the dark ages.Get with it! and get some standards.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT +++++
Both Dan Cederholm and Ethan Marcotte are not just experts, but widely acknowledged as authorities on CSS and website design. Read more
Published 7 months ago by SeanJ
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought the wrong book!
This book must be great for those web designers who want their pages to be presented as designed on all the various web browers available. Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2011 by kenw
5.0 out of 5 stars The clue is in the name (Bullet Proof Web Design)
This is both an easy to read volume on the everyday skills needed to make good your web pages.
While at the same time being informative about the rudiments of constructing... Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2011 by Ed Bernard
5.0 out of 5 stars Cederholm the Hero
Cederholm is the hero of the web? His book for some maybe hard to grasp? But I fount it interesting and let me glued. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by Jamie Hallam
5.0 out of 5 stars Css, Html une approche interessante
Ce livre vous apporte une très bonne base sur le bon code en Html 4 et css. A lire
Published on 2 Jun 2010 by Vignaux
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intermetiate resource
Dan Cederholm's book is a great read for intermediate web designers and developers. I note the latter as one of the book's main themes, the separation of content and presentation,... Read more
Published on 9 Nov 2009 by doubi
3.0 out of 5 stars Talk about code bloat...pot... kettle... black
While in general this is a good, well written - and intentioned - book, the fact is its contents could have easily be laid out in a book half its size. Read more
Published on 26 July 2009 by J. Mclaughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Bulletproof Web design
This is a very good book, which addresses accessibility, flexibility and a whole lot more. It has examples which shows a sample site, and a rework of the site (bulletproof... Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2009 by Jackie O
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book. Highly recommend
This is a superbly written book that i would highly recommend to any developer, even veterans developers. Read more
Published on 16 Dec 2008 by D. Chaplin
5.0 out of 5 stars The design bible for Web 2.0
I bought this along with Dan's other book, "Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook" last year. Read more
Published on 31 July 2007 by Mr. Conor Oneill
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