16 comments | Posted: 28 February 06 in Books, by Nathan Smith
I am going to go out on a limb here, and assume that if you are currently reading this article, you are interested in web design. If that’s true, then you should really purchase CSS Mastery by Andy Budd. No, seriously – Just buy it right now, and read the rest of this review later. Go ahead, it won’t hurt my feelings, I’ll wait…
Have you made your purchase yet? Good, you won’t regret it. With all of that squared away, allow me to say that this is one of the most valuable web design books I have ever read. You could think of it like a compilation of every cool CSS trick and technique that has been discovered / invented to date. While you might be familiar with some of these methods already, having them all at your fingertips in one place makes this book worth its weight in gold.
Ever wonder how to do those cool Flickr style roll-over tags? Confused about the many available methods of text / image replacement? Longing for an effective way to comment your code? Need a better understanding of all the CSS hacks and filters (yes, there’s a difference) out there? This book covers it all. It’s not only smoke and mirrors though, as there are several chapters on solid principles such as specificity: descendant / child / adjacent selectors, as well as absolute and relative positioning. There are also the requisite chapters on advanced layout techniques and creating functional navigation systems.
As if that wasn’t enough, Andy has enlisted the help of two other CSS Masters: Cameron Moll and Simon Collison to help wrap things up. These are two guys who are not only visual design experts, but also know how to create beautiful code. They have each contribued a case study chapter, showing how to create a professional looking site from scratch, describing each step along the way.
Dan Cederholm has described this book as “a card catalog of indispensible solutions, tricks, and tips that a web professional such as yourself should not be without.” CSS Mastery isn’t for beginners, but if you’re already familiar with the basics and are ready to kick it up a notch, this is the book for you. I am typically not one to over-hype things, but I was genuinely impressed with the sheer amount of information packed into such a concise read. It is definitely one that will remain near my desk, within arm’s reach, for years to come.
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