Author: Chris Casciano
Publisher: Peachpit Press, 2010
Aimed at: Intermediate CSS users
Pros: Compact and to the point
Cons: Small page size
Reviewed by: David Conrad
Can a guide with a small format really provide an "all you need to know" course in CSS?
This is another in a series of pocket guides - notice that they are guides and not references. It only has 288 pages and small format pages at that. The topics covered really do provide an "all you need to know" course in CSS.
Chapter 1 starts off with the basics and Chapter 2 deals with browsers. It is not really until Chapter 3 do we get to grips with some real CSS in the form of a detailed look at selectors. Chapter 4 discusses measurements and I say "discusses" because it doesn't just give you the meaning but also suggests where you should use particular types of measurement. It also deals with how to form URLs and specify color - it is a bit of a mixture.
Chapter 5 deals with the box model and layout in general a topic which continues in Chapter 6 with a look at floats and positioning. Chapter 7 and 8 puts this all together and uses it to create multi-column layouts and work with backgrounds.
Chatper 9 outlines fonts and how to specify them Chapter 10 is on lists and tables - of course by this point no reader would think of using a table to create multicolumn layouts. Chapter 11 is on forms, 12 is on printing and media in general and 12 is on resets and frameworks.
The final chapter is a quick look at CSS 3 features that you will be able to use in the near future.
Overall the style of presentation is good but to fit into the small space it is often brief. Personally I found the space constraints to be an advantage with the result that I wasn't forced to read long presentations or examples. The book is very much to the point. Now if only the publisher would repackage it into a more standard format it would be excellent.
Recommended as an introduction and lightening overview unless you can't cope with such a small format.