Book Review - Professional CSS - Cascading Style Sheets for Web Design
Often it's hard to find a good book to take you beyond the "how" of technology and get into the "why". This one does... Professional CSS - Cascading Style Sheets for Web Design by Christopher Schmitt, Mark Trammell, Eathan Marcotte, Dunstan Orchard, and Todd Dominey (Wrox).
Content: The Planning and Development of Your Site; Best Practices for XHTML and CSS; Blogger: Rollovers and Design Improvements; The PGA Championship; The University of Florida; ESPN.com: Powerful Layout Changes; FastCompany.com: Building a Flexible Three-Column Layout; Stuff and Nonsense: Strategies for CSS Switching; Bringing It All Together; HTML 4.01 Elements; Rules for HTML-to-XHTML Conversion; CSS 2.1 Properties; Troubleshooting CSS Guide; Index
I've spent the last year or so getting into CSS for some site development I've done. Most of it has been learn as you go, and do whatever works. But a book like this forces me to take a step back and examine the "why" of site development with CSS. Each of the authors are seasoned professionals at web site design, and have worked on some of the largest websites out there. They are well qualified to take an aspect of design (like Blogger's "rounded box corner" look) and go into detail about how it's accomplished. Along the way, you pick up insights as to how high-end designers think about their craft and how you can start using the same techniques.
I find books like this extremely valuable as I'm more mechanical than artistic when it comes to programming. I can do a lot when it comes to building functionality, but I'm extremely weak when it comes to designing aesthetically pleasing visual effects. But I can copy real well. :-) Perusing through these pages give me a number of ideas I can implement right away, and I start to look like I know what I'm doing.
Definitely a book that earns a spot on my shelf at work under close watch and guard against "borrowers"...