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on 20 December 2005
Another fine book from Dan Cederholm. This time around he divvies a typical web page down to its components - text, navigation, boxes and rows and the layout itself and explains and demonstrates the most bulletproof way of implementing them in a standards-compliant way.
In each chapter he'll pluck a real-world example to deconstruct, tell you why it's not bulletproof and offer a rebuild in a very easy to follow manner using XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. He'll then explain why his solution is bulletproof.
There's something here for everyone, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable on the CSS front but I've said "Ohhhh, that's neat" a few times already (I'm hopping around the book). Which is another point, it's very accessible in that respect - no reading chapters 1 to 4 before tackling the issues presented in chapter 5 (hypothetical use of numbers).
Beginner or expert alike, I think you'll like this book a lot.
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on 23 August 2005
If you design or develop web sites then you really have to read this book. You may, as I did, think that you know a thing or two about putting together a website. Well this book in combination with Mark Pilgrim's dive into accessibility guide, and Dave Shea's CSS Zen Garden, have taught me otherwise.
While other texts explain the why, this explains the how - and it does it very well too. This is a hands-on book that takes a number of websites, points out what is wrong with them, and re-creates them using web standards. That is not to say the book preaches in a condescending tone about standards - it simply points out why the bad way is bad and the good way is good. It then does what so many standards evangelists fail to do and actually give practical guidance on how to improve websites.
Even if your eyes haven't been opened to the negative effects of poorly marked-up and low-accessibility websites you will not regret buying this.
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on 15 September 2007
A best practice CSS & XHTML book aimed at the intermediate-advanced web designer. If you're a beginner looking to learn CSS web design I suggest you look at The CSS Anthology or Web Standards Solutions books first, then come back to this book to polish your skills.

The book dives straight into common approaches to everyday techniques. It makes an explanation as to why it may not be the best solution and suggests `a bullet-proof approach' and justifies its reasoning. The book is one of few with colour illustrations which is nice and makes for clearer example images. The book concludes with a chapter demonstrating all the examples in a single website. There are some good techniques in this book and there's bound to be something new even for the seasoned CSS web designer.
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VINE VOICEon 30 August 2006
Dan Cederholm's second book is a must-have for all web designers. This is essentially a 'cookbook' that uses a problem and solution approach to solve oft-encountered situations (such as creating navigation tabs). Each chapter begins with a new situation and the 'old school' (tables, spacer-gifs etc) way of doing it before explaining why this is wrong and then constructing a step-by-step bullet-proof solution. Bulletproof basically meaning that the code is more flexible, accessible and easier to maintain. This mainly involves trimming down the XHTML markup to its bare essentials and then adding everything else using CSS.

Dan's writing style is very easy to follow and the presentation of the book sets new standards for this type of book - full colour, glossy paper means that all the code examples are easier to follow and there are some excellent diagrams and screenshots.

Highly recommended.
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on 15 February 2006
This book will set you on the right path to the way web design should be. It's well thought out easy to follow chapters break down the essentials of XHTML and CSS making it easily understandable and interesting. I read the book cover to cover in one sitting. As someone with little knowledge and understanding of CSS this book has help me enormously and now I look at the code view as much as the design view. Highly recommended.
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on 10 February 2007
I used this book in conjuction with my course at University and it really helped me.

This is an easy-to-read book which, unlike most computing/website design book is incredily dry, nor does it have a soporific effect on the reader! Quite a change from most.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It is supberb, and has a flexiably structure that allows you to jump from place to place in the book, if you feel a paticular chapter is of interest to you.
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on 6 July 2006
I'm on chapter 3 of this book and I love it. Its easy to read due to authors language and prose, its all colour and very enjoyable.

I read other reviews on this book thoroughly (also on Amazon.com site) and this helped me decide this was the next book to go for.

One question I didn't wasn't sure about before buying the book was just how skilled in XHTML and CSS I had to be as this book is Intermediate/Advanced (as stated on the back cover). Well, I would recommend that you know the basics of CSS such as defining lists using < UL > etc. The author jumps straight in to solving niggly cross-browser problems and so won't explain how padding and margins work etc.

I would say its also good to experience some of these problems that web designers encounter such as text not resizing on IE when it does on Firefox, probelms creating scaleable site navigation menus and so on.

It is a cookbook. I found it handy to be typing some of the CSS into Dreamweaver just to see exactly what was going on. Athough I was a bit peeved at having to go and get the laptop at first, it did improve my overall understanding of the problem in the end.

In conclusion: This book tackles common issues in a logical manner and does indeed attempt to make them Bulletproof. Recommended for people like me who have been working with XHTML / CSS for a little while but need to tackle common problems properly.
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on 2 May 2009
As someone who is new to XHTML/CSS I bought this book (along with "CSS: The Missing Manual" and "The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks") as I'm soon to convert a static web site into an interactive one using DHTML, Ajax, PHP, MySQL etc. I last did web work with MS Frontpage many years ago.

The "CSS: The Missing Manual" book was delivered first so I started reading that (currently half way through). Then this book arrived today and, as it looked so clear and readable, I read it from front to back this afternoon.

What an excellent book! Dan can certainly write in a clear style and fully explains the point he is trying to make without any distractions. As someone who is late to this world of CSS etc I found it invaluable to see the bugs that are in IE5 and IE6 and how they can be circumvented. (I am aware that I'll need to test our site in many different browsers but I have got the latest versions of them all so would not pick up old browsers and the problems that arise using them.)

He also points out issues re: the structure of HTML elements for users who use readers etc (content before sidebars for example so they get straight to the detail). Our site is aimed at the disabled so I'll certainly bear these issues in mind when re-developing the site.

I bought it from the used & new section and got it for £16.25 + p&p - a bargain in my opinion.

Just one comment. I downloaded the source and immediately tried the chapter 9 example in all my browsers. All worked flawlessly except IE7. Sometimes when you resize the page the sidebar goes to the bottom below the end of the content and above the footer. (At least, after reading this book, I know why IE7 is doing this!) This is corrected by adjusting the width of the browser by a pixel or so. So, for IE7, the hacks aren't bulletproof! I blame Microsoft for writing rubbish software.
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on 20 May 2008
I have to say that I'm suprised at one reviewer saying that it was confusing.Not at any point did I find it confusing.This book is a very very good example of how to write reusable bulletproof code. Obviously the code supplied from the website,as with ALL coding books, is not quite the same as the written examples, but hey! the point is that YOU write the code,not cut and paste.And yes he does point to others websites as examples of how they can be improved with DECENT code,bloody right, there's far too many people still writing sloppy xhtml and css,with sites that belong in the dark ages.Get with it! and get some standards.
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on 31 July 2007
I bought this along with Dan's other book, "Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook" last year. It has been a constant companion since and really gave me a strong understanding of how to use CSS in some incredibly intelligent ways and avoid all the horrors of tables for layout. His approaches for fluid designs are particularly smart and I loved working through the examples and using the examples myself. A must-own book if you have any interest in web-design.
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