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Designing with Web Standards [Paperback]

Jeffrey Zeldman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Designing with Web Standards (Voices That Matter) Designing with Web Standards (Voices That Matter) 3.8 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

14 May 2003 0735712018 978-0735712010 1

You code. And code. And code. You build only to rebuild. You focus on making your site compatible with almost every browser or wireless device ever put out there. Then along comes a new device or a new browser, and you start all over again.

You can get off the merry-go-round.

It's time to stop living in the past and get away from the days of spaghetti code, insanely nested table layouts, tags, and other redundancies that double and triple the bandwidth of even the simplest sites. Instead, it's time for forward compatibility.

Isn't it high time you started designing with web standards?

Standards aren't about leaving users behind or adhering to inflexible rules. Standards are about building sophisticated, beautiful sites that will work as well tomorrow as they do today. You can't afford to design tomorrow's sites with yesterday's piecemeal methods.

Jeffrey teaches you to:
  • Slash design, development, and quality assurance costs (or do great work in spite of constrained budgets)
  • Deliver superb design and sophisticated functionality without worrying about browser incompatibilities
  • Set up your site to work as well five years from now as it does today
  • Redesign in hours instead of days or weeks
  • Welcome new visitors and make your content more visible to search engines
  • Stay on the right side of accessibility laws and guidelines
  • Support wireless and PDA users without the hassle and expense of multiple versions
  • Improve user experience with faster load times and fewer compatibility headaches
  • Separate presentation from structure and behavior, facilitating advanced publishing workflows

Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (14 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735712018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735712010
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 17.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jeffrey Zeldman¿s personal web site (www.zeldman.com) has welcomed more than 16 million visitors and is read daily by thousands in the web design and development industry. In 1998, Zeldman co-founded The Web Standards Project (www.webstandards.org), a grassroots coalition of web designers and developers that helped end the Browser Wars by persuading Microsoft and Netscape to support the same technologies in their browsers.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Designing with Web Standards - Great book 8 July 2005
I wasn't quite expecting this book to be so big, after checking out Jeffrey Zeldman's homepage (zeldman.com) and reading the other reviews on this title from Amazon I had the impression it would be an plane-English drop-in-reference style book, but it isn't; its more like a school text book, which, depending on how you look at it can be good or a bad thing.
The first few chapters are about what CSS really is, and how Zeldman thinks it should/must be used, most of the time he is right, personally on occasions I find his ideas a little lecturing.
If you are a web designer who is already aware that CSS and CSS-P is the way forward for the internet, then the first third of the book will not be so useful.
After this Zeldman goes into a mini project, which is split into two chapters with another lecture-style chapter between. I find this project and the chapters after are the meet and potatoes of the book, they are inspiring, functional and efficient.
On a final note, I found some of Zeldman's humour and jokes really not funny, maybe its me, but I got the feeling he was trying too hard, apart from this little artistic disappointment the book is really useful, I will recommend this book to any mid-level web designers!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucid and accessible -- the wave of the future! 15 Sep 2003
Zeldman does a good job of persuading one that web standards are the future for interoperability and accessibility. The only thing (I suppose) that lets the book down is a dearth of references (a few choice ones are recommended) and only two concrete design "walkthrough" examples. However he mentions books with more references and, hey, it's the web! We can find a plethora of ref's online.
The books is quite an easy read with some nice historical discussion and ought to be accessible by anyone with a reasonable amount of experience with HTML4 (such as taught in one undergraduate module on web design or books like "Teach yourself HTML in 24 hours"). It's not a full-on CSS book, but does a nice job of introducing some CSS basics. What's nice is that it is not a "tables are bad, pure CSS is good" evangelising book but discusses and approves of transitional approaches.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this Book! 5 Jan 2004
I don't often relentlessly urge people to "buy this book!", but Jeffrey Zeldman's 'Designing with Web Standards' is one of the best web design books I've read in ages.
It's well-argued and contains easy to follow (I'd say 'idiot-proof', but...). Follow the guidelines in this book and not only will your web pages be forward compatible (compatible with standards-driven browsers of the future), but they'll also be more widely accessible and, most importantly, they'll load much, much faster.
A week with this book and I was building pages one quarter the size of my originals (i.e. four times faster loading). Again: Buy this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny, smart and useful book 16 Dec 2003
By lesteph
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Without doubt, Zeldman is at the forefront of his field, and this book is a great collection of the concepts and practical tricks which underpin standards-based web design.
I came to it after reading the magazine site Zeldman runs, A List Apart. While it's useful to read individual articles by experts online, I wanted a more general guide to the whole subject, which this book provides.
The weakest aspect is probably the slow pace of the first half of the book. These sections make the case for standards-based design, which, while compelling, could be made much more concisely. Having said that, the joy of the book as a whole is Zeldman's discursive and amusing style which helps to keep you going through code examples which might otherwise be pretty dry. How many other authors 'break open the small salty snacks' with you when they've reached the final step of a code demonstration?
If you're in a hurry to learn CSS and XHTML, you might be best served by a Visual Quickstart guide based primarily on learning the tags. But if you take that approach, there's always a risk that you'll never fully grasp the reason for taking the extra trouble to create sites in this way. And alternatively if you just follow the many websites offering web standards tutorials, you risk missing the overview of the basics which this book presents to you in a logical order.
Overall, this book is as much about the history and the business case as the tags themselves. The end result is that you not only know the techniques, but you become an evangelist for web standards yourself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, brilliant 10 Jun 2004
I bought this book on the recommendations of the reviews on amazon, and after reading the book myself I can see why. This book is a superb read, it won't actually teach you and HTML or PHP etc.. however it does teach you to take a look at how you design and build websites, and try to conform to a common standard, and to hopefully be compliant to the many browser types.
A web designer myself, I know all about the problems with getting you newly created master piece to look right were ever its viewed, this book is a must buy, you will find the book a sort of like a Web designers bible as such, I've read through it a few times and still return to it Superb book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential purchase 23 Feb 2006
The title sounds a little dull and belies the importance of this book. Think about it like this; who specifies the web standards to which the browser makers are increasingly if not fully complying? The W3C. Jefferey Zeldman is the guy who wrote 'their book' about web standards.
Web standards isn't just about making sites accessible to the disabled, it's about making them work across browsers, and understanding how the whole whole website/browser thing works. Do you really understand how doctype switching works? Do you really know what XHTML is all about for example? Do you know how to separate presentation from content (cos that's the way it's going)?
The first part of the book is a general history thing and the second looks at techniques and examples. But, if you're looking for a CSS cookbook, or a complete tutorial in HTML, CSS then seek elsewhere.
If you're doing anything with websites today, you simply must read this book. It'll deepen your understanding 'and' save you time and money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of date and mainly rhetoric
It's ironic that a book that is so much about future proofing spends so much time talking about version 4.0 browsers, making much of the book fairly obselete. Read more
Published on 7 July 2006 by P. Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
This is a great book which will give you a thorough understanding of web standards. If you are a budding web designer, this book will explain important principles that will save... Read more
Published on 19 May 2006 by wardo
5.0 out of 5 stars All web designers must read this book
This is a very important book. In Designing with Web Standards, Jeffrey Zeldman describes the way websites were coded in the twentieth century, clearly explains why this is now... Read more
Published on 14 July 2005 by David Watson
2.0 out of 5 stars Annoying
It wasn't till page 147 that something useful emerged.
The first 146 pages spend most of the time trying to persuade you to use Web Standards and CSS rather than explain... Read more
Published on 17 Jun 2005 by Splonder
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious about web design - you need this book
Zeldmans "Designing with Web standards" is the perfect book for anyone who has a reasonable standard of web production skills but is yet to make the transition to tablesless... Read more
Published on 17 Jan 2005 by Mr
5.0 out of 5 stars In for a change?
I was new to web design about a year ago and read through difficult stuff on the internet... Finally I ran in to this beauty.
It's definitly worth the purchase. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2004 by Willem A.L. Nanning
5.0 out of 5 stars should be mandatory reading for all in the industry
Have spent the last year in London working for web agencies, some of whom have been quite arrogant in their 'knowledge' ... Read more
Published on 31 May 2004 by Ian Stalvies
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book for any web designer
Cannot recommend this book highly enough. Its simply the bible for all us web designers. Well written and you leave it with a new vision of how to build websites. Read more
Published on 2 May 2004 by "hicontrast"
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - inspirational
Finally! I've discovered the pure joy of CSS. I've been fiddling around with it for years but it was not until I read this book that I realised just how capable a tool CSS is for... Read more
Published on 1 April 2004 by R. Layfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Standards
As one of the wisest web designers around, Zeldman is a pure genius. His light writing style and passion for the subject area draws you into the exciting world of web... Read more
Published on 24 Feb 2004 by "bloo_fish"
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