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Web Designer's Reference: An Integrated Approach to Web Design with XHTML and CSS Paperback – 20 Dec 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2005. Corr. 3rd printing 2005 edition (20 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590594304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590594308
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 681,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Craig Grannell is a British writer, designer and, frankly, a bit of a geek. In his youngling years, he battled with Commodore VIC-20s and space invaders. Now he's beyond such things, but only because he's battling space invaders on his iPad, which is FAR MORE GROWN UP.

Along with writing for more British, American and (oddly) German design, technology and gaming mags than you can shake a stick at, Craig was at some point convinced to write books. He still thinks this could have been some amusing jape that no-one's let him in on, but he's nonetheless proud of his web design and iPad tomes, and they've sold quite nicely, so he must be doing something right.

In 2010, he won the prestigious Totally Made Up Because I Haven't Won Any Awards award, and he'd therefore be grateful for some proper awards, which can be sent by post to the usual address. In a brown paper bag.

Product Description

From the Author

I hope you enjoy reading this book, and that it helps you in your day-to-day work creating websites. Supporting files are available for the book on the friends of ED website. Use the Quick Book Finder to select Web Designer's Reference and you'll have access to downloads (including all files for completed exercises) and errata.

Craig Grannell, December 2004.

About the Author

A bio is not available for this author.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thelotornis on 3 Feb 2006
Format: Paperback
Clear, straightforward, well written - all that so many IT books are not. This book enables any web author, novice or expert, to write markup fully compliant with the latest standards, while catering for the foibles of non-compliant browsers. Never has hand coding a website seemed so simple, or the interaction between XHTML and CSS to control the page layout. Don't overlook the links to the free W3C online validation services.
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By sa.vuec on 20 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback
good product. good price.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aparato on 24 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback
Covers the subject - XHTML & CSS - well enough albeit in a rather chatty style. My main gripe is the extremely poor quality of diagrams/pictures. For a book that covers a subject that, in the authors own words, "Users craved - demanded, even - color!" it is appalling that the same author has produced a book without a single solitary instance of colour anywhere (other than the front cover). Most of the illustrations are screenshots that can only be described as poor quality, fuzzy and grey-scale only. Example text is typically shown as "displayed in red", and a textual description of colour charts beggars belief. A shame because this ruins what would have been a good book and distracts from the actually quite informative content.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A comprehensive and compact all-in-one guide 9 Feb 2005
By John Woods - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book has XHTML in the title, don't let it scare you off, it simply means that the advice author gives is XHTML standard compliant. On the other hand, if you are looking for a comprehensive XHTML guide, you may want to look elsewhere, even though there is a reference section specifically about this standard, which is an XML reformulation of HTML, in one of the appendixes.

Another acronym in the title - CSS - cascading style sheets is the preferred mechanism for implementation of design on the web. CSS is growing in popularity as it allows separation of content and presentation on great scale at the same time matching very well to the wide array of http serving technologies from simplest static web pages to dynamic ASP.NET, PHP, and other forms of web sites.

Web design with CSS is in the core of this book, author does excellent job introducing readers to the methodology, and teaches to use deferent aspects: text, images, navigation, layout. The advice is not limited to CSS, on the contrarily, you will see plenty of tips on graphical image preparation for the web, various techniques, JavaScript code, and even some FormMail and PHP suggestions. The later two strictly not belong to the realm of the web design, but this is what makes this book different from many other books, - the out of the box paradigm.

This book was written by an actual artist who is not afraid to let his opinion known on many subjects discussed. You don't have to agree with author on everything, but when you are looking for advise it will be right there in your face, you won't have to dig for it or second-guess it.

This is an excellent well-structured book filled with useful examples. I highly recommend it.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Nice guide to modern web designing 5 May 2005
By John A. Suda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It seems as if nearly everyone and his brother is writing books supporting standards-compliant web design with XHTML and CSS. I have read and reviewed a half dozen this year alone. People are obviously trying to tell us something - plain HTML has to go!! "Web Designers' Reference: An Integrated Approach to Web Design with XHTML and CSS" by Craig Grannell is the latest of these pronouncements.

The reasons are clear and compelling. The World Wide Web Consortium which promulgates web design standards has decreed HTML as obsolete. Newer, more compliant browsers, will in time not support the older tags and code; the new standards facilitate much better use by the disabled of screen readers and non-graphic browsers. Not least, the newer code makes writing and revising code easier and more efficient, as well as more capable.

These are certainly good reasons for web designers to move to the new code. Nevertheless, surveys show that most web pages are not compliant and that thousands of designers continue to use deprecated code. I confess that I am one of them. After a number of years learning and getting used to HTML, the need to learn new and more code is onerous. The inertia of habit is a factor I'm sure.

For those web designers like me, Mr. Grannell's book is a welcome addition to the literature because it systematically deals with the topics under discussion. In its coverage of XHTML, CSS, Javascript, and complementary coding like php, it provides a nice framework guiding "old dogs" like me into standards-compliant code. Not only does it provide some historical perspectives on these codes, it compares the old with the new in regard to all of the important elements of web design.

The author is an experienced web designer and operates a design and writing agency. He also writes articles for a number of computer magazines.

Grannell's goals are to teach cutting-edge, efficient coding, and how to master standards-compliant XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.1. There are a dozen chapters. He breaks down the elements of web design into modular components so that one can focus on each element separately, like page structure, content structure, layout, navigation, text control, user feedback, and multimedia. Relevant technologies are explained in context of producing a typical website.

If one finally decides to move forward, as many suggest, this is a very good volume by which to get your start. It will facilitate a fresh start for the "old dogs". For new designers, this is a nice primer to learn what is expected, in an overall sense, of good, advanced web design.

This is a well-produced book with clear writing, comprehensive approach, dozens of practical examples, and downloadable files with the code examples used in the book. The author writes in a logical sequence much like an engineer would. It is a heavy text-book-like read, only lightly sprinkled with style and personality. It should appeal primarily to novice designers, but has enough advanced information to satisfy an experienced designer who is looking for that fresh start.

The structure of the book facilitates the "fresh-start" idea. It starts with a web design overview giving an experienced user's tips on what software to use to write code, what browsers to design for, how to build pages from the very top to the bottom. (XHTML, unlike HTML, requires a preliminary document-type definition (DTD) to validate. Only after the introductory section does the first HTML tag appear.)

Like others writing in this area, he firmly advocates design for standards compliance, usability, accessibility, and last and least, visual design. Marketing Department people may want to choke on that priority list but there is no inherent conflict between function and aesthetics. Grannell does not spend a lot of time on the aesthetics aspect.

The middle chapters concentrate on modular construction of pages - the XHTML introduction, the structural elements like text blocks and images, the logical structure of the links and navigation flow, and finally, the stylizing with CSS. Comparisons of pages styled with HTML vs. CSS compellingly demonstrate the benefits and advantages of CSS. There will be no going back once you've decided to upgrade your technical approach.

Basic CSS concepts are explained and illustrated with code samples and screenshots. Grannell describes how to use CSS for text control, navigation, and layouts. There is a broad section on frames and another on forms and interactive components.

The last chapter covers testing and tweaking including how to create a 7 item browser test suite. Much time is used throughout the book in discussing overcoming browser quirks. There is detailed technical information, especially in regard to the XHTML introductory section of the page, which I have not seen elsewhere.

There are three welcome reference appendices at the end covering XHTML tags and attributes, web color coding, and a very comprehensive entities chart noting currencies, European characters, math symbols and more.

Much of this material is covered elsewhere in the growing set of publications about standards-compliant code. This book has the virtue of having a useful overall perspective on web design and acts as a framework for new designers and converting designers to renew and upgrade their technical approaches.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Should be renamed: Web Designer's Handbook 12 April 2005
By A. Miles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is honestly a book that I take with me everywhere with design in mind. I have about 5 or 6 CSS/XHTML books and honestly this is still the first one I reach for. The author's a well-edited (no errors), his examples are carbon-copy from his site, and he covers all the basics in this book in English. If you want to finally quit reinventing the wheel and learn how to apply standards that are re-shaping the web, this is the book. Nuff said, thanks Craig.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Could be a classic? 10 Feb 2005
By Jim Symes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Now this is the way a computer book should be written - short, clear, to the point, great examples, real world work arounds, firm opinions on standards and most importantly, real solutions to problems a web designer will face integrating Xhtml and Css. I'm new to the web development world and I want to build a website now, but I want to do it right observing standards that will be in effect for the future. I don't have the time or the energy to wade through a telephone sized tome that spends a 150 pages explaning the beauty of CSS, nor do I have the patience (or the backround) for the so called definitive guides that seem to be talking to the "club". Yes, I've bought them all, and I can safely say that if you are in a similar place as me (you want to build a website now), than buy this book. Thanks Craig! Oh, by the way, your other book on Dreamweaver MX2004 is just as good.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for tutorial as well as a cookbook 29 April 2005
By Michael D. Lesser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was looking for some time for a book that would teach me the rudiments of contemporary web design (with XHTM and CSS), as well as provide examples or cookbooks to let me get to where I wanted; that is, pretty sites with

a separation between the layout and the content (MySQL, etc).

After going crazy looking at piles of books, I finally got a look inside this one. Perfect! You get the basics, and the issues (browser bugs, etc), recommendations on design choices, and some very attractive examples (which are lacking in many of the beginner books I've seen). There's even a great table example.

I'd expect that after using this books for a while I may jump up to the advanced books, like Zen or Meyer's books, but this is a really nice place to start.
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