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Designing with Web Standards Paperback – 14 May 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (14 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735712018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735712010
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.6 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 817,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "mallmus" on 8 July 2005
Format: Paperback
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 By "jkdenholm-price" on 15 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
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 By Christopher Murphy on 5 Jan 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By lesteph on 16 Dec 2003
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 By Alisdair Comb on 10 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By Studland on 23 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
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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