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"Pro CSS and HTML" point of difference?

Chris Meadows

Joined: Dec 02, 2005
Posts: 3
Hi Michael,

I've got a couple of books on this/these topics and was wondering what the selling points are of this new book compared with e.g. 'Designing with Web Standards' by Jeff Zeldman.

Also, I'd be interested in where you think these technologies are heading in terms of future proofing web designs, and if you are aware of/have developed any design patterns that help with this.

Looking forward to it,

Ta, and have a spiffing day

[ October 09, 2007: Message edited by: David O'Meara ]
David O'Meara

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

welcome to the Ranch, and have a spiffing week
Mike Bowers
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2007
Posts: 42
How does "Pro CSS and HTML Design Patterns" compare with "Designing with Web Standards" by Jeffrey Zeldman?

Jeff's book sells itself as using best practices, XHTML, CSS, ECMAscript, and the DOM to create web pages. As Jeff's book editor put it, "His book includes lots of explicit and tightly focused tips (with code) that have to do with bamboozling non-compliant browsers into behaving as they should, without tripping up more compliant browsers."

My book also uses best practices, such as XTHML for structure and semantic meaning, and CSS for style and layout. All code in my book is valid XHTML and CSS; no patterns use tricks or hacks; all patterns are accessible; and all patterns promote search engine optimization (SEO).

The patterns in my book don't bamboozle browsers into working "correctly". This is a major problem with many books on CSS and XHMTL. They focus on hacks that trick a browser into working the way they think it should work. Of course, trickery is not future proof as new versions of browsers fix bugs and break people's hacks and tricks.

The reality is that all the major browsers are now compatible enough with CSS and XHTML that you don't have to bamboozle them. Instead, if you understand how XHTML and CSS are supposed to work based on the W3C specifications and you understand how they actually work in the major browsers, you can create a subset of XHTML and CSS that works reliably and that is future proof.

This is what I have done in my book. I have done extensive research to find the proper combination of XTHML and CSS that actually works in all major browsers � without using hacks or tricks! In other words, my book documents for the first time the patterns you can use to create web pages reliably in all the major browsers. You don't have to do all this research because I have done it for you and condensed the result into ready-to-use design patterns.

These are genuine patterns, not quick tricks. Each pattern follows the CSS and HTML specifications and is based on a combination of actually works in the major browsers. Thus, each pattern is a genuine best practice that actually works reliably without trickery. All my patterns are future proof because they follow the XHTML and CSS specifications to the letter. They are based on sound principles that are not subject to change as browsers fix bugs or release new versions.

Lastly, because the patterns in my book are modular, they can be combined with each other and extended. There are no practical limitations � if you can imagine a style or a layout, you can use the patterns in my book to create it.
Chris Meadows

Joined: Dec 02, 2005
Posts: 3
Thanks Mike, that's exactly what I was hoping to hear; especially the clause 'each pattern is a genuine best practice that actually works reliably without trickery'.

You've got yourself a customer!
I agree. Here's the link:
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