Reader reviews for CSS Cookbook

A very useful book, in the O'Reilly tradition of course. This book gives an example of something you may want to try with a web design, and then breaks down all the ways you can do it and explains why some work better than others. Basically, it is exactly what it claims to be. Note that it helps to have a basic working knowledge of what CSS is before you start reading this book. Pairs well with the CSS pocket reference.
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I picked this up to see if I could supplement my self-taught CSS knowledge with some book-learnin', and this was the best book my library had.

The book format is very utilitarian; it arranges its information into "recipes." Each recipe contains a task that needs to be completed, followed by an explanation of how to do it with style sheets (and sometimes Javascript). I can imagine it would be a really good reference book to have around for this reason.

The actual explanations were okay, if a bit uneven. Despite the fact that the book was expressly for beginners, it sometimes assumes you can immediately intuit why something will or will not work based on the author's vague descriptions. Also, because of the format, it doesn't really teach you flexible design principles and know-how; you have to read the layout designs it offers you and extrapolate from there.

Despite my complaints, a book that talks in the abstract about something like style sheets can be pretty useless, so maybe it's better that they stayed specific. Still, I don't know how helpful this book would be for beginners.

And I am unhappy that it completely failed to address manipulating *heights* of layouts in a cross-browser compatible way, which is a very tricky problem that I wanted solved once and for all.

The book itself is already quite out of date because of IE 8, but it's good to know what the earlier browsers can and can't do because sadly some people are still using them. (Reading this book, I cannot understand how the people responsible for the earlier versions of IE could sleep at night. Example after example of how they single-handedly made web design twice as difficult!)
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Provides 'semi-canned' solutions to some of the more common attempts to use CSS, so you can start with something you want and see how it's done in CSS instead of the other way around. Not as useful as a cover-to-cover read, but great as a reference while you're attcking a web design problem.
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