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on 23 January 2013
I came to this book straight after reading a beginners book about Web Design. So, I cannot speak as an expert, but I understood the book straight from the off.

It's based on the format of: Here's how we currently do it. Now here's how you should do it.

It shows you how to deconstruct a current fixed layout web page, and make it fluid. I'd rather the author started with a blank canvas. I can understand why the author has used this method, he is trying to change a mindset.

For current Web Designers this is probably the best approach. This book is not aimed at beginners anyway. All this aside, this book delivers the goods. The author is very experienced and delivers some very good tips. I particularly like the tip about using the CSS 'display:table' declarations to correct the horizontal navigation bar.

The book is very cutting edge introducing methods based wholly on CSS3 and HTML5, with plenty of examples of how to gracefully degrade your CSS3/HTML5 design for the older browser.

My one criticism is the layout and lack of colour. I'd rather the pages were larger, so code and examples were allowed to remain on the same page, where possible. You'd think for any book that has 'Design' in the title it would be laid out more professionally.

I would give this book a 5 star rating for its content alone, but I cannot whilst the book is in it's current format. Publisher take note.
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on 9 July 2012
The starting point is that you know some HTML and CSS and that you currently have a website which looks ok on a desktop or laptop but you want to adapt it for phones and tablets. Well, that's me - and I suspect other self-employed, self-taught people who want to get up to date.
Like other reviewers I found that Ben Frain's writing style is user-friendly and that the chapters are easy to dip into if your time is limited.
Download the script files from the Packt website before you get started & the whole website development process becomes easier.
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on 26 September 2017
Avoid - Many things are very poorly described - the information about flex is awful, fx the flex-direction is missing an in-depth explanation. Also "cross axis" is used at page 50 but cross axis explanation is at 55! Book is more a kind of a "show-off" rather than a book that is teaching things. This is absolute not for beginners!
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on 27 May 2012
HTML considers to evolve, with Frain explaining this latest combination of HTML5 with CSS3. The text is directed at the web page designer, someone with a background in already writing web pages. If this describes you, then you might have been wondering about the latest abilities in the languages.

Chapter 3 shows that we are still faced with the problem first encountered around 1995, where there are different screen sizes and the difficulties of scaling images. Now at least you can easily make images scale when the layout is fluid. The text explains that the best way is via an entry in the CSS file. Another good tip is to use em instead of pixels when doing sizing of typography.

Another chapter (well, it's chapter 4) shows that now if you migrate to HTML5 you no longer need worry about which level of header tag you are currently in. You know the context, right? When you have a bunch of <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc. The author recommends the new <hgroup> for outlining. It can simplify this coding aspect and thus make your code more robust against silly little bugs.

More importantly, there is now much better ability to handle dynamic content stuck on your web page. Also explained is how to embed rich media; which I guess can also be considered as dynamic content. There is some politicking history that the book briefly goes into. How Apple did not want to use Adobe's Flash on its iOS machines. So Apple ended up promoting HTML5 as the industry standard, which certainly helped boost its acceptance. What you might appreciate if you have put video or audio into HTML 4.01 pages is how the new syntax is much cleaner. Akin to adding images. You simply use the paired tags of <video> and </video> or <audio> and </audio>.

On this subject of video and audio, the book mentions what is still unfinished business. The Ogg containers will only work within some HTML5 browsers with WebM and in other HTML5 browsers with MP4. Unfortunate, and you might have to wait a few years for this to get resolved.
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on 1 October 2012
I was set a challenge of learning responsive web design in a couple of weeks and found this a great book to get me started.
I have a good working knowledge of HTML and CSS but still have lots to learn. I got his book to work through rather then constantly searching the internet for tutorials on RWD and I'm glad I did.
It is written with a sense of humour, not only by someone who knows his stuff but also someone who cares about what he does. This makes it, for me anyway, easier to work through and easier to understand. I think to use this book to it's fullest you do need to have some knowledge of HTML and CSS or it may get abit confusing, and I certainly found the sections covering CSS3 really useful and fun and have got some new techniques to try out.
Some of the more technical aspects of the book did, admittedly, go over my head abit, but least I know they exist and once my skill base grows I'm sure they will make sense. But thats a good thing that they are there, cover all bases.
My only minor criticism was that although you can download the files to accompany the book it would have been beter, for someone like me anyway, if the files were made so that they can be worked on alongside the chapters. So instead of just seeing the code finished you could also have the basic code there to alter and adapt where needed. Also would have been nice if the images were in color.
Overall I would recommend this book to newbies to RWD, CSS3 and HTML5 but also to those who just want to brush up there knowledge and techniques.
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on 24 February 2016
I've been teaching myself Front-end web development for the past few months. I have a reasonable take on HTML5 and CSS3 and wanted to better understand the approach to building a site from scratch with mobile devices in mind. This book is easy to follow, humorous in places and transfers a huge amount of useful knowledge from someone that knows their stuff. I wouldn't read this book before understanding the basics of web development but it is refreshing after some rather dry reads on Javascript that I have just put myself through. Highly recommend this book and I will be keeping it near me for easy reference (and to copy some of the obvious code that will make designing and building much easier). Thanks Ben for a great read.
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on 18 April 2014
I love this book and extremely happy I bought it. I have a reasonable amount of HTML and CSS knowledge but still learnt a thing or two. However the only disappointment was the book, more or less, just shows you have to convert a standard HTML & CSS non-responsive website to a responsive website using HTML5 & CSS3. Cleaver but an example from scratch would have also been beneficial to the book. But having said that I would still give is 5 stars as it is very clear, concise and well thought out.
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on 19 June 2013
I've been debating whether to buy this book for some months, due to trying to find the information myself on the web and the book reviews. I can say that I'm glad that I have bought this book because it gives you all the information you need for creating a responsive website.

The problem is that when searching on the web is that people have different ways and recommendations of creating a responsive website. So you start to follow one technique and then they don't cover all the areas or have too many conflicting ideas with other techniques. This is a problem when trying to search on the web! This book does contain everything you need to know from start to finish. Yes, the images are in black and white but that does not matter and some of the code is spread over a couple of pages. But this does not matter at all, the code is just an example. It's very easy to get the fundamentals and start straight away.

I would say that I am an advanced user of HTML and CSS so I did skim read the parts I already know, but did learn a lot from the book. I also use HTML5 boiler plate to start with with makes it even easier.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that needs the answers to responsive design, HTML5 and CSS3.

Excellent job!
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on 17 July 2016
A rambling shambling horror of a book, undisciplined and self-indulgent, at one moment the author assumes you are scared of simple arithmetical division and the next he is assuming you have been coding web pages for years. I have, but found his explanation of Flex boxes, for example, almost impossible to follow. Avoid.
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on 18 May 2012
I bought this book when it first came out. It is easy reading and well laid out, I would have preferred it if it was in colour as well as they do not supply any supporting files that you can download to actually see the look that they are describing.

Saying that, it does not detract from the details that are contained in the book and it is very easy to follow, but I would not recommend this book to a beginner to HTML and CSS as it may be confusing, as this book is not meant to teach beginners on how to use standard HTML and CSS scripting.

The only reason why I have given it a 4* rating and not a 5* is that it would be far better if the images were in colour.
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