Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
on 27 May 2006
As the majority of web designers and developers will testify, when it comes to creating CSS-based websites that adhere to current web standards, the Internet is currently a somewhat precarious mine field, littered with numerous technological tripwires and unexploded browser bugs just waiting to blow your careful positioning to smithereens.
Fortunately, due to the sustained efforts of the global web community to identify and document the potential pitfalls of modern day web design, the majority of hazards have been safely overcome. Consequently, the bookmarks or del.icio.us repositories of the average web designer/developer are stuffed full of links to a plethora of CSS hacks, filters and innovative workarounds.
For those users wishing to de-clutter their list of Favourites however, they should look no further than CSS Mastery in which Andy Budd attempts to collect together all of the latest tips, tricks and techniques into one handy volume. From rounded corners to fluid layouts, via drop-shadows, image replacement and accessible forms, Budd covers all of those fiddly little techniques that you know you know but you can't always remember. Cross-browser inaccuracies are also extensively addressed along with numerous ways to circumvent them, and the book concludes with two (brief) case studies by Cameron Moll and Simon Collison, in which the majority of the techniques introduced in the book are brought to life.
The book is not without its own bugs and inconsistencies however, and those expecting a thorough dissection of Cascading Style Sheets may be disappointed by the book's strong emphasis upon current "tips tricks and techniques" and other presentational workarounds. Consequently CSS Mastery is recommended to those who already know what they are doing rather than any newcomers to the field. Earlier editions also suffered badly from a disappointing number of typographical errors and technical inaccuracies, which may bewilder any CSS novices. I am pleased to note however, that the vast majority of these have been corrected in later editions.
Whilst perhaps not an essential purchase for those already familiar with the tips and tricks it presents, and despite being a relative latecomer to a somewhat saturated market of CSS publications, CSS Mastery is a useful resource for anyone who is sick of scouring the Internet for the solution to a particular browser oddity or a fancy presentational enhancement.