Cascading Style SheetsThe Designer's Edge

by Joe Gillespie — Jul 1, 2003

There are a lot of books about CSS on the bookshelves these days. I reviewed several others three months ago. Each one covers some common ground but takes a slightly different viewpoint.

Molly Holzschlag's book is certainly very thorough in its coverage of the whys and wherefores of CSS-based design and dives headlong into the deep end. It starts off explaining the principles of structured markup and CSS theory. If you don't know your DDT from your DTD, it's all spelled out here with utmost clarity.

Of course, being a Web standards evangelist and steering committee member of the Web Standards Project, means that she believes in doing it all by 'the book'.

There is a heavy emphasis on validation, which is not unreasonable, as standards are tightening up and browsers less forgiving of sloppy coding.

The attention to detail is exceptional and if you need to know about any possible aspect of Cascading Style Sheet design and implementation, it's here even if not fully supported in browsers just yet.

There are sections on color, typography and layout and examples of the various 'hacks' that have to be employed to workaround current and past browser bugs and inadequacies.

The CSS 'Box Model' and various aspects of floating with absolute and relative positioning are covered in considerable depth along with deconstructions of some commendable sites. Although the book is well written with lots of excellent code examples, useful side notes and colored screenshots, the production lets it down a bit. A book aimed at 'designers' should excite the readers when they pick it up. The uninspiring visual examples and presentation don't really do the contents justice.

Cascading Style Sheets - The Designer's Edge
Author Molly E. Holzschlag
Publisher Sybex
ISBN 0-7821-4184-6
Price $45.00 (Amazon $31.50)
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