Top critical review
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Useful but has bad habits
on 9 August 2010
This book is a short book which contains information about common techniques and when best to use them. It teaches a bit about problem solving and the logic that is applied to using these common techniques. It covers a bit about CSS 3 as well, and covers a fair bit about floats and positioning, using a fluid grid, amongst other things. The book also has good quality paper, colour images and is very easy to read and understand.
However, I've only given this book 3 stars. The reasons are:
1) The author used transitional XHTML whilst giving the reason that it's what he uses. To me that's not only lazy but also smacks of ignorance about why he would be better off using HTML 4.01 Strict in many cases. There's certainly no reason at all to be using XHTML let alone the transitional doctype for the purposes of teaching CSS. It gives the wrong idea that it's somehow better to use XHTML rather than plain old HTML as well as basically saying that it doesn't matter if the transitional doctype is used. It's just laziness and ignorance. It made me wonder if the author can actually be bothered to learn better habits within his work. It reduced his credibility in my eyes.
2) There were times when the author used certain tags inappropriately which gives out the message that it's okay to forget about being semantic, yet he goes on a bit about the importance of being semantic. Again, that's just laziness.
3) An entire chapter has been devoted to fluid grids, which is awesome, and helped me to understand them better, but I would have liked it if using a grid for elastic layouts was covered too as I would have found that very useful. No mention of elastic layouts were mentioned at all in this book which is a great shame.
All that said, I'd still use this book for reference whenever I get stuck with a CSS issue I may experience. It's just a good job I'm not ignorant about which doctype I should use and when, nor am I ignorant about using proper semantic markup (proper use of doctypes and semantic markup are basics for heaven's sake!).