CSS - References II

 
Featuring: CSS-Cascading Style Sheets - Some References
Credit: Imagenation

Cascading stylesheets are the best way to do styling and formatting of both static and dynamic pages on the web. It also packs a lot of useful tricks for doing tabs, menus, and nifty highlighting with no JavaScripting required. But you would hardly know it by the coverage that CSS gets in the press and Web books. Danny Goodman's otherwise excellent Definitive Guide to DHTML has several pages on CSS but primarily its as CSS properties and methods in the DOM reference. Likewise, HTML & XHTML Definitive Guide has 75 pages out of nearly 700 on CSS -and you get a good basic grounding - but not the tips on how to really exploit CSS.

And this lite treatment of CSS is partially due to the browser wars - Microsoft added non-standard CSS elements while both Microsoft and Netscape only partly implemented the CSS standards. So only starting with the IE 5 and Netscape6 and Opera 4 browsers are you getting close to the CSS1 standard. But with IE6, Netscape 7 and Opera 5 improvement is quite marked with about 92% of the CSS1 standard and 80% of the CSS2 standard being implemented. Mozilla 1.1 deserves top prize for the most comprehensive implementation of CSS 1 & 2 nearly 95%(see www.meyerweb.com for details). Unfortunately coverage of these events has been quite mixed in web development magazines and adoption of the new browsers has also been mixed despite the fact that the newer browser generally deliver decidedly faster, more reliable, more secure and a richer browser experience with the worst price being an update or download and install.

And on the Web, sites devoted to CSS are are easily outnumbered by those covering JavaSCript or PHP. Many more are mixed HTML and other Web tool coverage ... yeah right, just like this one. However there are good sites centered on CSS to be found and here is a list:
CSS Shark Answers -and indeed they are; very good set of tutorials and examples and links
CSS Tutorial - good tutorial with quiz at the end to check what you missed
Glish - CSS Layout Techniques is the heading; and there is a gold mine of ideas, examples
House of Style - amidst hard software sell there is great CSS material and tutorials
HTML - StyleSheets - another good basic CSS drill but within a broader HTML help site
Meyerweb - covers sophisticated CSS topics very well, especially the bleeding edge
W3C CSS1 Recommendation Summary - from the standards body, a good summary


There are also a few quite excellent books on CSS as well and for the first time we find ourselves recommending two books by the same author. Eric Meyer has done a superb covering copiously CSS
The Reference
The Design Inspiration
e New Riders - 2002,
and all the advantages it brings to Web design. The two books are practicality and elegance matched well together. They also bring to the foreground, the need to get Web users to update their browsers to the latest editions:


  1)the newer editions of IE, Mozilla and Opera are much faster and more reliable;
  2)new browsers offer much enhanced CSS, DOM, JavaScript, XML support;
  3)this in turn offers faster and more elegant Web pages plus;
  4)much enhanced convenience features for bookmarks, history, searching, sidebars    and,in the case of Mozilla and Opera, very nifty tabbed or MDI access to web pages.
All the vendors have made updating or downloading very convenient, Mozilla and Opera, by their compact size have also made it very fast. So surfers should update and CSS styled websites will help to provide powerful but elegant and fast web pages.
 
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