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on 13 April 2013
This book is an easy read but it is marred by the fact that the many large illustrations are meaningless in back and white. In one case the author specifically chooses to illustrate colour styling which is totally pointless. I also found that one of the code examples did not work. I also thought it perverse to change an element so that it was a table element by using CSS - you might as well be honest and use an HTML table in the first place with the problems it imposes.
If you already have the RWD mindset the evangelical opening chapters will ne tedious and the book is more of a coffee table book than a serious reference book or tutorial. However, this book does stimulate one to research new ways of doing things for oneself.
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on 17 March 2013

I am now a quarter of the way through this book. The style of the writing is easy going with good reference points explaning why the author has chosen to produce CSS3 in the specified way. The pace of the book is good and reading it on a tablet while following along works well.

So why the low score?

I am a veteran developer who has read many books over the last few years, to help learn I find that the code examples in the book should relate to the screen shots they are using within the book. In this book the author has made a website relating to the oscars, this is a simple design and relates nicely to the early chapters. However, the examples in the screen shots used within the book have nice graphics and text within the relevant sections (Header / Content / Footer etc.) but the code examples you are following along do not include this additional data and with no downloads supplied by the publishers you are unable to get your own code to reflect the examples within the book. This is very frustrating and if your code is not behaving as expected you are left pondering whether you have made a mistake or the code in the book is wrong.

I am currently trying to work out why my navigation panel bottom border is offset and not behaving like the images in the book, but the code is the same.

Here are a couple of examples explaining the problems I have encountered.

1) A previous review to this book suggests downloads are available from Packtpub, however if you go to Packtpub.com they advise no downloads are available for the book.

2) Whilst explaing the use of em rather than pixels to declare sizes within your website, page 75 "As an example, the first pixel-based font size in our stylesheet controls the site's title, AND THE WINNER ISN'T.... at top left" And then references the css #logo.
This is the first this part of the stylesheet has been mentioned and is therefore not in your code if you are following along, the book is telling you to change this part of the style sheet, but infact you have to add it from scratch. (But with the book adding previously unmentioned stylesheet elements I am not surprised when my code does not behave as expected.)

The theory behind this book is very clear, but if you are somebody who learns by practical experience rather than just reading you may find it better to spend your pennies elsewhere.
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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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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 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 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 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 26 September 2012
I'm in two minds about responsive design. I believe it certainly has its place, but I think the "mobile first" herd are barking up the wrong tree. I am far more happy with the notion of "tablet first", but this book is structured in such a way that it is simple to take just what I want out of it.

What you will get out of it is the following:

Good hands on intros to HTML5, CSS3 and the concept of responsive design.
Useful tips on using some of the more cutting edge techniques out there. I was especially interested in the sections dealing with image sizing.
Reproducable results.

This book is not steeped in theory, it is designed to show you how to get your hands dirty. I originally had the electronic version of this book, because I am tight. However, I liked it so much that I bought the hardcopy too. I can now read it in the tub without fear of damaging my tablet!

Before you get a whole library of books covering emerging trends, get this one. You may not need to get much else after it.
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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 16 October 2014
Having digested a number of tomes on the subject matter, one arrives at coming to the understanding this title delivers what was intended, again a little prior knowledge assists greatly, and for those just simply starting out fresh won't put a foot wrong in the long run.

The text itself is easy read; informative and provides explanation from the ground up and follows the standard in relation to academic works executing the discourse of instruction and insight to the platforms of both HTML5 and CSS3 which effectively work with each other provided the coding syntax is correct.

There were upon occasions where a little back and forth through sections was required to complete the assembly, such as with box positioning and keeping the 'Footers' to simply stay on the bottom, but please don't let this issue put you off.
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