on 2 August 2006
In this fantastically detailed book, Eric Meyer explains the basics of css and systematically elaborates on each css property, their scope, and values. Whilst the book is not designed to be read as a guide or an introduction, it does make an excellent reference for those times when you need definitive information on a particular css property.
If you're looking to learn about css, I wouldn't recommend relying on this book alone; buy yourself a real beginner's guide, and maybe get this as a reference tool for when you need to clarify something. As I learnt more about css, I found often found myself flicking through the book and having moments of realisation when paragraph or two would clarify something I'd read elsewhere. That's the sign of a good reference book.
Some people may find the book a little heavy going to begin with. I don't think the book has been designed with the intention that the reader go through it cover to cover in one go. I found that reading a lot of the book at once left me with a lot of questions: these were answered through practical experience with css, and through other, less detailed, introductions. However, I do feel as though the difficulties I had were a result of my lack of understanding rather than any real problem with the book itself; it's still the one book I'll turn to when the others don't answer my questions.
All in all, this is a great book: it won't walk you through your first steps in css, but it does provide exactly what you need when you're lost and need some real answers. If you're new to css, pair this book up with a well-rated introductory text, and you'll be all set to go. For those who have some practical css experience, I'd recommend this as a great reference tool, without hesitation.
on 25 April 2011
I first read this book a few years ago, and it was a fairly painful experience. It is what I would describe as a functional book. It does exactly what it sets out to do, which is teach you CSS. However, it doesn't do it in a very interesting fashion. Simply put, its boring.
However, in its favour, the samples are accurate, and you will definately learn CSS if you stick with it. However, you can also reach the same standard following the Apress guides, which tend to be a bit more interesting.
Lets face it, most of the learning CSS books tend to have the same samples of sliding doors, tabs and other obscurely named techniques anyway. If you fancy help from the steady dependable chap, then use this book. If you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, then you may want to look elsewhere.
Incidently, the author now has a sequel of sorts, which is a lot shorter but far more interesting to read. If you are a beginner, I would start here then move on to that one later. You will be more likely to read that one more than once.
On a final note, in my experience, one thing nearly all the CSS books lack is a decent explanation as to how position: absolute works. So I will give a quick one now. When you use position: absolute, you can then specify the position of an element absolutely. You can specify top, left, bottom and/or right. The position is absolute with respect to the browser window itself, or the nearest positioned parent. The key phrase here is "positioned parent". If you have a div and you have given it the "position: relative" attribute, then any element within that div can be positioned absolutely with respect to that parent div. So, imagine you have a little search box. Provided it is wrapped in a position: relative, it is simple to plonk a go button in it, and use absolute position to get it looking exactly how you want.
Hmmm, having explained it myself, I can see why other people have had problems as well.
on 22 November 2015
I have read several books now on CSS, but I rate this one as one of the best - although it is quite heavy at times, it is worth pursuing as it gives a thorough grounding in the real technicalities of CSS.
This edition is somewhat dated now - not covering CSS3 and its application to HTML5, maybe worth buying a cheaper secondhand edition for now.
On Eric Meyers website he says he is working on the new edition of this book but not due out until mid 2016.