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Keywords: CSS, web design
Title: CSS In 10 Mintues
Author: Russ Weakley
Level: Intro CSS, some knowledge of HTML assumed
Verdict: A quick intro for existing web developers
On the face of it this little book looks like an ideal tutorial for those wishing to get to grips with CSS quickly. However, how much use you get from the book will very much depend on what you already know. For the tech-savvy developer well-versed in HTML and web design than this indeed might be an ideal starting place. On the other hand someone wanting to learn web design from the ground up, and who doesn't have the background in HTML then the book is probably not going to be as immediately useful.
So, despite outward appearances this isn't a book aimed at an absolute beginner wanting to learn how to build web sites from scratch. The writing is terse, code-heavy and moves forward very quickly through the 22 chapters of material.
There's an introductory chapter which does some context setting, but from there on it's straight into the use of styles. Starting with the use of basic selectors to style headings and text, the book moves on very quickly to cover a pretty wide range of topics from the CSS box model through to image positioning, data tables, navigation bars and multi-column text.
In some cases the material seems to skim over important points. For example from the beginning many of the styles mix and match measurements units: em, px, pt and % but there's not a discussion of the pros and cons of each until quite late in the day. And even then the topic doesn't warrant a separate chapter. For a beginner the topic can be a major stumbling block.
After an initial block of chapters that introduce the main elements of CSS the book adopts a cookbook-like approach. This makes it ideal for dipping into and using for examples and for reference. The short chapters make it easy to navigate, again making it a useful little volume to have around.
So, for an absolute beginner wanting to take those first faltering steps into web page development there are other books that are better geared to the task. 'Spring Into HTML and CSS' is a better starting point.
On the other hand those with more experience and just want to get to the meat then there's plenty on offer here. If you're after concrete examples and concise code then this is definitely a good source book.