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3.8 out of 5 stars10
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on 22 April 2001
I bought this book hoping to be able to implement some of the more complex style sheet ideas. However, a lot has changed in the two years since this book was published and a lot of factors are missing from the text. There is very little given to positioning, mostly suggesting it is really only used for dynamic effects, rather than constructing the layout of a site.
Examples are quite thin on the ground, but those that exist are good. If you are new to style sheets I would say this book is very useful, but if you have been using them for a while there probably isn't that much you'll learn.
That said, I was able to learn more about the fundamentals of using stlye sheets and for that alone the book was worthwhile.
As has been stated there are some problems with the book layout, with incorrectly numbered references and missing spaces.
Best advice is to wait for the next edition which will hopefully concentrate more on CSS as a full presentation media and will have updated information on newer browsers.
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on 24 November 1999
Having seen the damning review above, I can only envisage that the reviewer has (a) picked up the wrong book (b) is trying to be a pain out of habit, or (c) is an author to a similar text. If it is the latter - too bad, accept defeat and write something else. This is a well written book with clear text and simple explanations - everything a good tutorial should be but rarely is. If you are new to CSS as I was (not anymore !) you will fly through this book without the usual headaches of being bogged down in a textbook. Congratulations to the authors on an excellent book - the old cliches are the best .... if you only buy one book on CSS, get this one !
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on 27 August 1999
The second edition of Lie&Bos is a welcome update for designers using CSS. As more and more browsers support CSS, having a reference book written by the co-authors of the specification is very helpful. The book goes into more depth than most designers will need, but its reassuring to know that answers to all questions can be found when needed.
The updated of the book also lists which CSS features are supported by which browsers. The Opera browser comes out on top, with Microsoft and Netscape trailing behind.
If you're stuck in the GIF tarpit, this book will help you out!
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on 19 March 2001
"Cascading Style Sheets" is an excellent book for someone seeking to increase their knowledge of style sheets and the theory behind them. The authors are the undisputed world authorities on the subject and therefore you could not hope for a better understanding.
The book is comprehensive and the attention to detail is exactly what is required from such a reference. Certain features (such as Aural Style Sheets) are given decent coverage and the book goes a long way to delivering a greater understanding of the reasons behind certain attributes, as well as enabling you to create better style sheets. I especially enjoyed the section on lettering and the introduction to x-heights and letter-spacing, which I didn't understand previously to reading the book.
There are a few problems, such as the sleeve quick reference being completely incorrect and no reference to IE5.5 (or IE 5 for Mac) or NS 6, but hopefully this will be resolved in the next edition. Since the WWW advances at such a speed, it might be worth waiting for the next version of this book.
In conclusion, I would say that this is a handy book to have if you constantly refer to style sheets when writing, but it might be slightly too example-free to prove a worthwhile learning resource. Wait for the next edition!
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on 26 October 2000
Being self taught at Web design I live by books and this is without doubt the BEST book I have ever purhased. Within minutes I was creating styles that I had only admired others pull off. This is a fantastic book for anyone, beginner or expert, everyone will learn something from the book. It is also one of the easiest to read, you can read from beginning to end as a tuturial or simply pick out the sections that interest you. Either way if you need to learn CSS quickly you cannot go wrong with this book.
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on 9 September 2001
Unless you find the official W3C standards document easy reading this is the best availble guide to how CSS ought to be implemented. It explains the priciples well; but you will need to experiment a lot to find what works reliably in most browsers (Opera and Mozilla are best, just give up with Netscape 4). So a good book for people who want to do <em>the right thing</em>, but not a cookbook for muppets. The worst failing is the editorial standard; the flyleaf quick reference is useless as the page references are wrong and there are many typos.
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on 24 August 1999
comprehensive, well written, well structured and with the 2nd edition also up to date. A side effect: great overview on typographic terminology as well.
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on 23 August 1999
This book's own style is atrocious -- which is ironic, considering its subject. The outside back cover's clumsy rendition of the standard promotional cliche for tech manuals sets the tone: "This book should be on every web content provider, every web designer's shelf."
Between the covers, one finds a bizarre inattention to basic editing practices. The customary space is often not inserted after periods and commas. On pp. 213-217, for example, one sees: "ments,or"; "block.The"; "below.The"; "top,right,etc.,are"; "sheet,and"; "printed,such". (If you happen to see spaces, they were probably automatically inserted by some process after I wrote this.)
The index also breaks new stylistic ground, by not listing entries alphabetically.
The "quick reference" gives wrong page references (p. 202 for "border-top-style," instead of p. 190), making things a lot less quick.
The book also has terrible substantive problems, namely incoherence. Perhaps if you already knew CSS, you'd be able to figure out what the authors are talking about. Most of the time, I couldn't.
This is not a first edition, but the second. Addison-Wesley should be embarrassed.
[Courtesy copy of this review emailed to Addison-Wesley.]
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on 18 January 2000
This book has paid for itself. You only need to get one good idea out of a book for it to pay for itself. The only bit of this book I found useful was the part about EM units. This book is based around the W3C specification for CSS. The problem is current browsers are nowhere near to matching the W3C specs. This results in much of this book describing CSS construct that exist nowhere but on paper. This book may become more useful as time goes on but the W3C do like to change their minds and much of what is described here may never become a reality. In spite of this the book does give an interesting insight into the future of web presentation.
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on 18 December 2001
The book is well written and easy to understand, but concentrates on the W3C specification rather than implementation. There are no workarounds for different Browsers. Each aspect of CSS is covered in the same well illustrated detail, however in some cases this means there are several pages on features that the book clearly shows (in the side menu) are not supported in ANY browsers. Why do I need to know about something I can never use? I think this will confuse beginners. Good explanations but you will probably still need another book.
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