Mastering CSS – A Book Review
May 17, 2006
Last week, I bought CSS Mastery by Andy Budd. I have been working with CSS for page layout for about 3 years. The first year was mainly learning through tutorials from Macromedia and trial and error. I also spent time away working on fund raising for my ministry role with Campus Crusade for Christ. About a year ago I implemented my first site using CSS and XHTML for layout. Since then, I have done about 5 more designs including several for this site, now using version 2.5. I would consider my CSS knowledge and experience as intermediate. So I was excited to get this book and improve my skills.
And I have not been disappointed. I have only read a couple of chapters of the book, but it has already been very helpful. The first chapter alone was worth it for me. I went back and rewrote the code for a site that I have been working on. Because I had a better grasp of some foundational principles, I was able to implement better coding which cut down on the amount of code and needless div tags. I appreciated all the tips that Andy gave on structuring, planning, organizing and maintaining stylesheets. I learned so much from only 25 pages. And I was able to immediately implement what I learned.
This morning I read the second chapter on the visual formatting model (box model and positioning) while waiting for new tires to be installed on my car. I was restless with ideas as I gained a better grasp on these foundational concepts. I can’t wait to start using this knowledge to build better layouts and implement better solutions. I just barely got into the next chapter on background images and image replacement. My mouth is watering with anticipation of what I am going to learn next. I can’t wait to learn more and using it in practice.
This is the most practical book on CSS that I have read or looked at. I have tried to work through some others books that are mostly exercises. I gain some insights here and there. But this book has taught me so much and really filled in my foundational knowledge so that I can take my CSS to the next level. This is going to be one of the books that stays on my shelf for quick reference.