CSS3 by Jason Cranford Teague


CSS3: Visual Quickstart Guide

I wanted to brush up on my web design skills. I’m a fan of Peachpit Press’ “Visual Quickstart Guide” hence this book. Teague does a good job of reviewing all the selectors, classes, elements, properties, structures and features of CSS and also the new features in version 3.0. The book isn’t a beginners book, more of an intermediate level. It does start with a basic overview of HTML and CSS, which is nice as a review. Teague writes clear explanations of the: selectors, values, properties, etc – necessary to write good CSS code. There are plenty of examples of this code in action. Teague illustrates where code can go wrong, what to look out for, and what browsers support which features. The book ends with two appendixes: a list of Properties, and HTML Character encodings.
456 pages

My previous reference book was from 2001, Eric A. Meyer’s “Cascading Style Sheets 2.0“. This was getting a little long in the tooth.

Excerpt from the book:

New in CSS3

This is a particularly exciting time to be a Web designer, because we are about to get an entirely new palette of tools. A lot of new capabilities in CSS3 are ready for prime time (or will be soon) that will explode your creativity.
This slim volume covers the breadth of CSS3 much of which remains unchanged since CSS2/2.1. If you are an old hand at CSS, look for the “New in CSS3” mark, which will help you quickly find the good stuff.

Here’s a brief peak at what’s new:

  • Borders-Multiple border colors on a side, border images, and rounded corners
  • Backgrounds-Multiple backgrounds can be added to a single element, backgrounds can be more precisely positioned, backgrounds can be extended and clipped to the inside or outside of a border, and backgrounds can be resized.
  • Color-Color opacity settings, gradients in backgrounds, and HSL color values.
  • Text-Text shadows, text overflow, errand word wrapping.
  • Transformations-Scale, skew, move, and rotate an element in 2D or 3D space.
  • Transitions-Simple dynamic style transitions.
  • Box-Add Drop shadows, place user resizable boxes, set overflow separately in horizontal and vertical directions, use outline offset to set space between the outline and the border, apply box model specifications to set how width and height are applied to a box.
  • Content-Styles can add content to an element,
  • Opacity-Elements can be transparent.
  • Media-Style pages based on the viewport size, color, aspect ratio, resolution and other important design considerations.
  • Web fonts-Updates and extends the ability to link to fonts for use in a design.

Not everything in the CSS3 specification is ready to be used, though (see “CSS3 and the Promise of Internet Explorer 9”). When it would be jumping the gun to start using new features right now, I’ve added a section near the end of some chapters called “Coming Soon!” with quick overviews of what to expect in the future. [page 13-14]


About craigmaas

I do a little web design work and support a couple web sites and blogs. My primary focus is lighting and energy consulting where I use a number of computer tools to help my customer find ways of saving money and improving their work environment. See my web site for more information: www.effectiveconcepts.net
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