Book Review: Eric Meyer on CSS
By Michael Moncur (October 07, 2003)
Eric Meyer on CSS
Almost everything I know about CSS came from one of Eric Meyer's books. He was one of the earliest CSS gurus, still one of the best, and most experienced designers have probably seen one of his books.
While Eric's previous books have generally been references, this is his first tutorial book. It takes a "learn by doing" approach with 13 complete projects.
This book is not for HTML beginners, and the introduction makes this clear. You should be pretty good with HTML and have a basic understanding of CSS before you attempt these projects.
The introduction also makes it clear that the projects in this book are not for Netscape 4.x or Internet Explorer 4.x. Since a great deal of messy workarounds are required to accommodate them, and their userbase continues to shrink, I agree that it's time for books to focus on the elegant possibilities of the version 5-6 browsers.
Unlike some tutorial books that rush through projects, seeming more like a recipe book than a learning tool, Meyer takes his time with each project. Each begins with a clear explanation of the theory, and when the actual code is presented it is interspersed with detailed explanations.
The following projects are included:
The Web site
As with many books these days, this one provides a companion Web site in lieu of an included CD-ROM. You'll need the site to get the graphics, HTML, and other components for projects, some of which are not included in the book in their entirety.
Fortunately, this Web site lives up to the book's promises. The project files are there, available individually or in .ZIP and .SIT archives. There is a list of errata for the book, updates from the author, and even some bonus material that didn't fit into the printed book.
If you know a bit of CSS but need practice, this book will be very helpful. You may also find some useful ideas for your site from skimming it - I know I have. In addition to the technical details, there's some good insight into the art of design in each project.
Here's hoping Eric Meyer continues to produce great CSS books.
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