The book is still useful if you know CSS "a little" -- you may have to read parts a few times. In particular, there are a few places were terms are defined after they are used. It's a bit of a catch 22, for the author as introducing those terms relies on the initial sections. There aren't many of these and all becomes clear by reading the patterns twice.
Some of the design patterns are teaching patterns to understand concepts and terminology. The rest are techniques you could want to use when designing a web page. Some techniques are self-contained, like styling text. The end of the book builds more complex patterns out of those that came before. The box model and layout ones are quite valuable.
The companion website lets you play with each pattern. In summary: buy this book!
<pre>Author/s : Michael Bowers Publisher : Apress Review :Link Reviewed by : Katrina Owen Rating : 9 horseshoes</pre> I absolutely love this book. I have two copies of it - one at work, one at home.
Most CSS/HTML code I see employs the "programming by coincidence" model. Add a rule here to fix something that doesn't quite work there, use a negative margin here, maybe a browser-specific hack there. In the end, it works. It might even look pretty good, but invariably, the result is unnecessarily bloated.
Pro CSS and HTML Design Patterns makes it possible to code deliberately. It provides a solid fundamental understanding of how elements and rules interact, and especially how the same element or attribute will behave differently in different environments.
In several cases, it has saved me hours of trying to achieve something which simply cannot be done in the current specification. At the same time, it has provided enough information to find a different approach that does work.
The book is very systematic, and while it is a great read cover-to-cover, it functions very well as a reference volume. The 'patterns' format (name/problem/solution/pattern) makes it very easy to locate the exact information you are looking for.
Summary: Buy this book. Read this book. I mean it.