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Designing with Web Standards (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 15 Oct 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 3 edition (15 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321616952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321616951
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 597,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover


About the Author

Dubbed King of Web Standards by Business Week, Jeffrey Zeldman (zeldman.com) was one of the web’s first designers and bloggers. He publishes A List Apart “for people who make websites;” runs Happy Cog™, a leading web design studio; and co-founded An Event Apart, The Deck, and The Web Standards Project.

Versatile user experience designer/developer Ethan Marcotte served as a steering committee member of The Web Standards Project, and has worked with clients including New York Magazine, Harvard University, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Books to which he has contributed include Handcrafted CSS, Web Standards Creativity, and Professional CSS. Ethan writes and does technical editing at A List Apart, and is a popular educator and conference speaker. He would like to be an unstoppable robot ninja when he grows up (unstoppablerobotninja.com).

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Designing with web standards" follows very honourable principles and encourages the web design community to embrace standards and follow them, in the hope that we can all use any browser on any platform we like and use any web site perfectly - including anyone with special needs or a disability.

I am all in favour of the principles, but I was disappointed that half of the book is spent explaining how wonderful standards are and how it will make everyone's life easier. I was hoping to seem some clear advice on what to do - and how - and not spend most of my time listening to a very convincing and successful evangelist.

The writing is very good and I do like the style. It will certainly convince a lot of people to follow web standards and give everyone, technical or not, enough ammunition to convince clients or the boardroom to invest time and money in using web standards.

If more emphasis was put on concrete advice on how to reach web design "nirvana" and less pages spent on listing all the advantages, I would give this book the full five star rating. As it is, you have to skim read a large chunk of the book before you get to the juicy details - and hence only three stars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very influential book in the history of web development, and is something of a classic of the fledgeling genre; Zeldman writes in an enthusiastic, engaging style which makes it a pleasure to read, something that cannot be said of the majority of computer books.

That said, I'm not sure that it is the must-read text that it once was, for two main reasons: (a) we are now lucky enough to live in an era where the current versions of all the major browsers are highly standards compliant, and as such doing anything other than coding websites according to the common standards sounds like a hopelessly quaint idea, and (b) if you take an active interest in web development - if you read blogs, listen to podcasts and follow leading developers on Twitter - you'll probably have assimilated many of the ideas presented here through osmosis.

I've very much enjoyed reading it, but it's mostly served to reinforce beliefs about the right way of building websites that I already had. Probably the person who will gain most from reading this is someone who is coming to web development for the first time, or someone who used to have a GeoCities site in the nineties and wants to bring their skills up to date.
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Format: Paperback
Pros:
- You come away with an excellent understanding of web standards in every context where they can be applied as well as the reasons for their importance - this book does exactly what it promises, teaches you about designing with web standards.
- Great chapters on CSS & browser bugs, understanding DOCTYPEs, how to use divs and classes the *right* way & introduction to typography.
- Also includes some good initial discussion of HTML5 & CSS3.

Cons:
- The first 5-6 chapters are really quite basic - even historical - and require only light skimming (or the motivation to plough through!).

NOTE: Although some chapters are quite in-depth and all chapters contain links for further reading, if you are looking for deep knowledge in a particular subject other than web standards (CSS, HTML5, typography, fluid design), you will probably be better off with a book specialized in that subject.

------------

Full review:

Zeldman is excellent at providing a thorough understanding of web standards and arming us with a myriad of reasons on why they're important. For example, it's often difficult for designers to avoid filling their XHTML with divs and classes as presentational hooks rather than using them semantically (with relevance to the content of the actual webpage). Although most people know the broad strokes of 'divitis' and 'classitis' (overuse of divs and classes), Zeldman helps the the reader get under the hood of the problem and really understand what the better alternatives are.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is absolutely a must have if you are a web developer. No matter if you are designer or programmer or both, you really need to learn the basics about standards and this book really explains and makes it easy to understand and learn.
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