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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2004
So you've figured out Web Standards are a Good Thing(TM), either by reading Zeldman's 'Designing With Web Standards' or because you're naturally smart. Now you need to know how to code with standards, and that's where this book comes in.
I've had the book since it was published, and since then it's not left my desk. It's taken up residence right next to 'More Eric Meyer on CSS', which ought to give you an indication of how good Dan's book is.
Rather than concentrating on a technology and just showing you all it's bells and whistles, this book uses a better approach. It states a common design problem and then presents multiple standards compliant solutions. Dan then takes you through each one of those solutions and shows you the good and bad points of each. You not only learn -how- to code well, you learn -why- it's good code in the first place, and that's important.
Dan's writing style is friendly, clear and does an excellent job of making you understand what's being said, so you feel confident about transferring the books examples into your own website. It's written in a way which should be easy enough for a beginner to understand, but isn't patronising. I would expect most web professionals will learn a lot from this book too (I should know, I'm one of them).
This is a great book and highly recommended.
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on 9 December 2004
Only recently I started coding HTML again after a long break (several years, actually) focusing on backend related stuff. I found out that there had been a strong move towards coding by 'web standards'. I learned to code HTML back in 1998-99 and therefore I had to upgrade my skills, which was one of my reasons for picking up this book.
Jeffrey Zeldman's book "Designing with Web Standards" put me on the right track, but I must say that "Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook" pushed even further down the track.
First of all I must say I like this book. I like it a lot! It is truly an impressive book! I was amazed by the speed of which I was able to consume the contents. It gives you a practical insight how to do some common tasks, e.g. a menu, a form etc. All the things that you used to do with tables, spacer gifs etc. are turned upside down. The book is well written, with no-nonsense (although a bit corny here and there) how to do common tasks according to standards. It's exactly to the point and no space is wasted anywhere. It's in no way an academic overview on 'web standards' but a down to earth how-to book.
This book really gives you a different perspective on how to do webdesign. If you have coded a little bit of HTML, with or without knowledge of web standards, this is the book for you. Unlike other books, this one doesn't hit you in the head with the dreadful web-standards-hammer. I cannot recommend this book enough. Excellent work!
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on 23 February 2005
I bought this book on the strength of the other reviews, and couldn't agree more with the 5 star status it has achieved.
I've been using CSS for a couple of years now, and although I was familiar with many of the techniques contained in this book, there were many moments of 'aaaah!' during the course of my read; litte things that can really make the difference.
If you're reading this review, then it's quite likely that you're interested in implementing web standards in your web sites.
This, when complimented with books from Meyer and Zeldman, should form the core of any serious web developer's library.
No hesitation in giving it five stars.
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on 30 March 2006
I can't describe how essential this book is to any serious web designer.
This is not a book that you merely learn code from parrot-fashion. What it does is to explain the semantics of web structure and fully explains why you should do things as well as how.
The first read is a true revelation to how you have been building web sites in the past. I use this book every week and have had it now for at least a year I think.
Every so often a book comes out that you just must have in your collection, and without doubt this is one of them - miss this at your peril.
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on 11 November 2004
It's all too easy to forget, or perhaps ignore, even the simplest of practises in all walks of life. This book acts as a constant reminder to do things - concerning web design, at least - properly.
I read this book from cover to cover before getting my hands dirty with any code. In retrospect I think this was a very productive way to use this book, rather than treating it as a series of tutorials.
By reading non-stop I simply learnt the format of the book, the conepts, the considerations and most importantly, memorised where to find certain pieces of information when I needed them.
I have since designed two sites and I find myself dipping into this book not for code reference, but for a reminder on the best (correct) way to go about certain aspects. For instance, what is the best way to markup a styled list? (chaper 1, by the way) - You probably think you know, or DO know the answer, but it's seemingly obvious things like this than the author gives clarity and instils in the reader the confidence that they have marked up their content using the best possible method.
I find myself dipping in for reminders on various concepts constantly, which due to the neat structure takes seconds. Much quicker than trying to find what you're looking for on the web.
In summary, this book isn't so much a beginning-to-end voyage of discovery of designing with CSS, it's more a tool that reminds you - "oh yeah, silly me, of course!" - of the correct way to go about marking up your webpages and writing your CSS - And although that doesn't sound particularly useful, it is. Very.
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on 15 November 2005
I bought this book based upon the reviews I saw here at Amazon, and can honestly say that they were are accurate. This is an excellent book, and Dan Cederholm certainly has a talent for getting the most important points across with relative ease.
The text is very clear, and divided up into manageable sections, each of which contain some real gems. I wish there were more books around like this one which actually contain practical information on web development, rather than just technical details. I have plenty of books on my bookshelf which contain the latter, but few, like this one, which I have on my desk all of the time. Nice one Dan!
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on 15 October 2004
This book is great. I've got numerous css books and although many of them explain the concept of separating structure from presentation, most of them read like text books. Dan's style of writing is easy to read and understand. He explains why we should use one tag over another, he gives "simple" examples to illustrate concepts but at the same time produces professional looking results that you can use on your own website and he makes css easy to understand and use.
Even better still, you don't need to be sat at your computer to read this book. I read it on the way to work and by the time i get home i'm itching to try out the examples.
This book is a winner because it's the kind of book that makes you want to incorporate web standards into your website.
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on 11 April 2005
If you search the web diligently you'll find a wealth of great technique and valuable insight into CSS. Save yourself the hassle by buying this book - every page has something you can use on your websites. Practical, clear, useful.
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on 7 October 2004
This is a total must-have book for any web designer! The book shows you how to use standards properly with real-world solutions. The writing style is relaxed but you instantly know that the author really does know what he's talking about.
Web standards are becoming the big thing now and it's a book like this that really shows you that standards don't stiffel creativity.
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on 31 July 2007
This book, along with Dan's Bulletproof Web Design, was recommended to me as a great start into the world of standards compliant CSS+XHTML web design. It is written in a very easy to understand style and has real nuggets on every page. I went from zero to a strong understanding of the basics within a few days using it. I recommend this book all the time.
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