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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good content but..., 13 Jan. 2008
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This review is from: HTML Dog:The Best-Practice Guide to XHTML and CSS (Paperback)
what about the white space?

The book has been written by an author that obviously knows his stuff and there's plenty in here that'll help anyone get started with using XHTML (or HTML for that matter), and in a way that'll ensure that content and presentation are well separated and that the best possible use is being made of CSS features. Even those who feel they've got a grip on the whole thing will find there's something here to make them think again about what they've been coding.

The writing style is chatty and for the most part it manages to seem like someone 'older and wiser' in the office offering help and advice from their vast experience. It's a book you can browse.

The main thing that's missing is information on dealing with the differences between browsers, and you'll probably need another book for that. The CSS Anthology is pretty good in this respect and would complement this book quite well.

So, what about the white space? I really thought I'd seen the last of books with acres of white space around the page and using widely spaced lines. But apparently not. In fact this is one of the worst offenders I've seen in quite a while. It's so bad I actually measured the pages and borders. A page is 170mm by 230mm and the text on it is 115mm by 147mm. That's close to a third of a page that's blank. In addition, there are appendices for CSS and HTML specifications that are equally generously proportioned. The book could have been small and light enough slip into a bag without noticing it if the space had been better used.

5 stars for content, 3 for that wasted paper
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Oct 2008 16:50:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Oct 2008 16:51:08 BDT
Mr Guinness says:
The big white spaces (margins) your talking about are roughly an inch and a half thick - perfect for writing notes in, which i'm willing to bet was the intention. And the leading of the text is just fine.

I think your finding fault in this superb book for the sake of it.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2008 12:31:07 GMT
Mr. S. Crook says:
Hardly finding fault for the sake of it. I *liked* the book. For me the space was an issue, which was why I mentioned it.

As I said, all that space made the book bigger and heavier to the point where I don't want to carry it in my laptop bag. Which is a shame because it's so useful. You're wrong about the leading too, I did a few comparisons with other technical books and manuals and it is wider than the norm...

I wouldn't expect to see a novel written with that spacing, and *for me* it's just a waste...

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Dec 2008 10:05:08 GMT
Rich Moog says:
By the Grace of the King Himself.. I thought I was a typophile but arguing about leading on Amazon has made my Christmas!! LoL..

Posted on 27 Feb 2009 14:37:22 GMT
T. Eversley says:
The white space you talk of is also known as ambient or negative space - it is called graphic design. It lets the pages and typographic content breathe, it is part of the design and very intentional, and also part of the custom grid on which the book is based.

You might want to read up on design, white space and grids in design - it might make your websites look a little better and give you a smidgen more understanding on all things aesthetic.

And, yes, I am talking from experience, I'm a professional designer with a first class honours degree in Graphic Media and have been working in industry for 10 years.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Sep 2009 23:52:39 BDT
Mr. S. Crook says:
Sigh... I'll repeat myself again. The white space makes it *bigger* than it needs to be. So I don't carry it around with me, so I don't read it, so it's not as useful as it could be. Which all goes to show, you can design the hell out of something make it look really pretty and everything, and you've wasted your effort if it's not used. The Philippe Starck juicer springs to mind. An iconic design? Yes. Practical? Errr, probably not.

Also, snooty remarks about the assumed quality of my education and work (since you know nothing of either) don't strengthen your arguments.
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