CSS3 Pocket Primer

Author: Oswald Campesato
Publisher: Mercury Learning & Information
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1938549687
Print: 1938549686
Kindle: B01LXL0ZMF
Audience: JavaScript programmers
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

CSS3 is the overlooked technology by many a programmer. A pocket book might let you get up to speed. 

Most of us think about JavaScript and HTML5 as the backbone of the web, but there is another. CSS3 is incredibly powerful and yet most programmers treat it as an afterthought - something you use to set the style of the HTML element. In fact CSS3 is quite capable of taking over many of the tasks that you would normally do in JavaScript. It is important to know what lurks beneath the surface and this is where this book might be useful. A short sharp introduction to CSS3 might give the programmer a start on finding out more. 




Chapter 1 is an over view of HTML5 - to short to be of much use if you really don't know HTML5. It would have been much better to have skipped this and told the reader to go and find a pocket book on HTML5 if they needed.  Chapter 2 is where the book starts on the topic of CSS3. After a quick overview we have pseudo classes and then almost straight on to shadow effects, rounded corners, linear and radial gradients, 3D transforms  and so on. No in-depth look at selectors at all. In fact, there isn't one in the remainder of the book. OK, selectors have been in CSS since the beginning, but we just had a chapter on HTML5. Surely the basic principles of CSS deserve more explanation?



If you thought that Chapter 2 was a little bit graphics-oriented you would be correct. Chapter 3 continues with 2D graphics and animation and Chapter 4 is on 3D graphics and animation. If these are the topics you are interested in then this might well be a book you want to look at. 

Chapter 5 returns to a more central CSS topic - media queries. Here we look at detecting resolution and orientation. This would be useful to most web programmers. 

Chapter 6 returns to graphics with HTML5 Canvas and how it interacts with CSS3. The only problem is most of the chapter is on Canvas. There's the same problem with Chapter 7, which is on SVG and again we have a lot about SVG and not much on CSS3. It is not that this chapter shouldn't be in the book, it is more that it has pushed out lots of topics that are more central to CSS3. 

The penultimate chapter is on miscellaneous topics and covers advanced features, Flexbox and Grid layout in particular. It would have been more useful to have both of these covered in a chapter to themselves and more centrally in the book as they are hot topics. 

The final chapter is on mobile apps. An interesting topic but one that deserves a book to itself. CSS3 does help with mobile, but it is really the bigger picture of responsive design it helps with. 

This book is very strong on graphics and if you want to know about CSS3, canvas and SVG then you might find its small size and numerous examples helpful. It is light on any explanation of how things are organized, how to think about what CSS3 offers, or indeed about what you might consider core CSS3. For example, if you want to know about grid layout, flexbox or say creating custom controls with CSS3 you need to look for a different book. 


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Closure: The Definitive Guide

Author: Michael Bolin
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2010
Pages: 592
ISBN: 978-1449381875
Print: 1449381871
Kindle: B0046RERYI
Audience: Existing and potential users of Closure
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Mike James 

Closure is Google's very strange JavaScript compiler - does this book succeed in demystify [ ... ]

SQL Server 2019 Administration Inside Out

Author: Randolph West et al
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Pages: 992
ISBN: 978-0135561089
Print: 0135561086
Kindle: B085P1HSC2
Audience: DBAs and developers
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Ian Stirk

This book aims to update your DBA skills to cover SQL Server 2019, how does it fare?

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 May 2017 )