- Paperback: 864 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (23 Sept. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0130092789
- ISBN-13: 978-0130092786
- Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 4.6 x 23.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,332,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Core CSS: Cascading Style Sheets Paperback – 23 Sep 2003
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Useful for both Web designers and developers alike, Core CSS Cascading Style Sheets provides a definitive guide to style sheets, which provide a new level of flexibility for browser-based content. With a comprehensive reference to all CSS1 and CSS2 features and an excellent survey of which features work in eight of today's browsers, this book shows off the strengths of style sheets for the next generation of Web content.
Particularly for developers, CSS allows a more precise level of control of elements inside browsers. (These abilities make it a lot easier to create Web clients that compete with traditional standalone applications.) But currently, support for CSS in today's browsers is spotty. The strength of this title is that it will let you learn both the CSS1 and CSS2 standards, even if they are still under development. In the meantime, this text shows off what each property is supposed to accomplish with sample HTML and screenshots. The author is careful to note problems with CSS properties in today's browsers. For the CSS1 standard, every property is marked as being "unsafe", "safe" or partially implemented on no less than eight browsers (including Netscape 3 and 4.x, Internet Explore 3 through 5, and Opera for Windows, UNIX and Mac platforms).
The second part of the book is devoted to the CSS2 standard with a description of proposed support for Unicode, for formatting Web pages (with "paged media" properties) and for tagging content so that it can be read out loud by computer generated voices. Although still under construction, the CSS1 and CSS2 standards will certainly offer a better Internet for us all. In the meantime, Core CSS Cascading Style Sheets describes what's available in today's browsers right now. It's a solid reference that will make CSS understandable to anyone, regardless of your level of Web expertise. --Richard Dragan, amazon.com
Topics covered: Introduction to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the CSS1 and CSS2 standards, the browser wars, CSS support on the Netscape, Internet Explorer, Opera and Mozilla browsers; basic CSS (grouping, inheritance and contextual selectors), cascading order, CSS units, pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements, font properties, color and background properties, text and box properties, classification properties, new CSS2 features; Unicode support, generated content and automatic numbering for lists, properties for printing Web pages, new table properties, aural style sheets for speech-enabled browsers, CSS1 and CSS2 reference and cross-browser comparison of supported properties. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
The Complete and Comprehensive Web Developer's Guide to Style Sheets
Core CSS, 2nd Edition is a comprehensive guide that shows both beginning and expert Web developers all they need to know to achieve great results with the latest style sheet properties. In this example-rich book, Schengili-Roberts provides in-depth coverage of the CSS1 and CSS2 standards, provides a "head's up" look at what to expect in the forthcoming CSS3 specification, and covers those CSS properties specific to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is the most complete and up-to-date CSS reference available.
CSS is fundamental to current Web design, allowing you to separate content from formatting, and to do Web page layout in ways simply not possible using regular HTML. Most books on CSS simply look at how you can accomplish certain formatting tricks, but this book delves deeper, looking at how each CSS property works, what CSS is capable of, and what to expect in the near future.
This book provides the most accessible and up-to-date listing available on CSS compatibility across browsers and operating systems so Webmasters can finally know which CSS properties are "safe" to use.
Detailed appendices provide full CSS property listings, compatibility charts, and more.
Core CSS, 2nd Edition delivers:
- Practical techniques for integrating CSS into your Web site development
- Expert insight into choosing the best style sheet code
- Hundreds of professional-quality code examples
- An overview of new CSS3 properties
Top Customer Reviews
I thoroughly recommend this book if you already know CSS and need a reference to remind you of certain style uses.
This book is always on my desk when I'm working!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
There *is* informative information, but you really have to dig to get to it. The entire text is truly an excersize in copy and pasting. The table of contents alone is over twenty pages. The index (which is really what we use) is only ten pages. A good example of the amazing bloat in this book are the pages on "padding". The primary properties are padding, padding-left, padding-right, padding-top, padding-bottom. Any sensible author would have given a comprehensive description of one of the properties, and then breifly stated the obvious difference between left and right. However, two pages are dedicated to each property. Each two-page description is virtually identical to each other, substituting "right" for "left" where appropriate, etc.
Since it's been on my shelf, I've gone to it occasionally for quick reference, and it's painfully difficult to find anything specific. Far better references can be found on the web for free.
The book is easy to look through and use as a reference. The preface describes the target audiences as already "web authors" who want to become more effective. If you are completely new to CSS, the book does a nice step-by-step education of the ins and outs of CSS. However, if it had been my first CSS book (instead of 6th), I'm not sure that I would have had the motivation to learn how to convert all my planning from simple HTML markup to CSS; that I got most persuasively from Owen Briggs' "Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation" ISBN 1904151043, which I highly recommend to anyone still just mixing CSS into their HTML for occasional convenience. Nor is the writing engaging enough to carry along a reader who is not already convinced that they have GOT to learn CSS.
"Core CSS" does provide pretty comprehensive reference material, although some of it will not become "pragmatic"(the stated objective) for a few years -- e.g., all the material on CSS-3. The author usually includes the caveat "proposed" before the term CSS-3 ( the standards are still developing). Three years from now when browsers start to attend to CSS-3 standards, this material will apply (or be outdated if final standards different). Anyway, for CSS newcomers the inclusion of all the not-yet-applicable CSS-3 material will probably be more confusing and distracting than useful. More "pragmatic" to me would have been the inclusion in the extensive browser-compatibility tables of Apple's Safari browser (i.e., Mac OS X). Safari's user base is closing in on 10 million; it is the fastest and arguably most convenient browser yet designed; and although Mac users are a minority, their ranks include above-average incomes (and hence web shopping, etc.) and a preponderance of designers (including web).
My other concern about attempting to present "Core CSS" as an all-in-one CSS is that it does NOT have examples of how to WORK AROUND the documented quirks introduced by the pervasive disregard by browser designers for CSS standards. Here is where ANY CSS designer needs to study a copy of Eric Meyer's "Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design." The latter volume enables a designer to see how/why to employ CSS from scratch in designing pages/sites and special strategies for REdesigning to maximize efficiency for author and visitors.
I'm not one to encourage monopolies, yet I must say to the beginner that once Meyer's volume has given you the strategies to design with CSS, Meyer's reference volume (0072131780 - Cascading Style Sheets 2.0: Programmer's Reference) continues to be handier to work with as a daily-basis reference than "Core CSS" - even including basic conceptual frameworks such as the "box model" in a way that helps your planning (despite being two years older). Although "Core CSS" includes some screen shots, they do not offer as strong a conceptual underpinning for beginning one's work with CSS. My apologies to the publisher for a tepid review of Core CSS: it is improved over the first edition; but it doesn't amount to either an effective introduction for beginners or a comprehensive 2004 reference for the experienced.
"Core CSS" turned out to be a well-written, well-organized, thorough, nearly-error-free book, which surprised me. It also answered several small questions I had, which made it worth buying -- but it would have been very difficult to use, if I hadn't had some experience with web programming already.
"Core CSS" lacks four things: 1) a really, really good introductory chapter that shows me exactly what css is and how it is used on an html page, 2) some really good two-page examples of "best-practice" css stylesheet implementations ( I am baffled that the book lacks this), 3)a MUCH better discussion of inheritance -- when, why and HOW to do it, and 4)a separate chapter on web page design basics using css.
Still, I was surprised at how good this book really is. It manages to very clearly and painlessly summarize a hash of difficult W3C/Microsoft/Netscape/GodKnowsWho Specifications, and provides the most consciencious reference to browser support that I could have hoped for -- and that's important, given the state of browser support and the complete obliviousness of Employers who ask "power-user" employees to support everything their customers use. This is a fine, useful book. I expect the Third Edition to be a classic.
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