The Book of CSS3 (Book review)

It’s been quite a while since I read a new book on CSS. It seemed like most books on the subject had already been written. But then browsers started implementing CSS3, and developers started using it.

And that’s where this book comes in. The Book of CSS3, written by Peter Gasston, is all about CSS3 just as the title says. And it’s a book you more than likely should have, even if you think you already have a pretty good handle on everything CSS.

The Book of CSS3 is not for beginners. It’s for professionals who already know their HTML and CSS 2.1. It serves as a kind of developer’s guide to the actual CSS3 specifications, which are often written with browser vendors rather than developers in mind. And it does so really well.

Here’s what the author himself says at the beginning of the book:

What I aim to do with this book is introduce you to what you can do with CSS3 now and what you’ll be able to do with it in the future. I want to take the dense technical language of the CSS3 specification and translate it into language that’s plain and practical.

Sounds exactly like what many web professionals want. It’s also a very good description of my impressions of the book – a no-nonsense, well-written guide to the jungle of specifications that make up CSS3.

Here are just some of the things you’ll learn about from this book:

  • Media Queries
  • CSS3 selectors, pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements
  • Web fonts (@font-face)
  • 2D and 3D transformations
  • Transitions and animations
  • Text effects

There is much more – get the full table of contents at the book’s home on the No Starch Press website. There is also a companion website at thebookofcss3.com where you can find the examples used in the book to play around with them yourself.

I’ve been using parts of CSS3 more and more over the past couple of years, but like many others I’ve been held back by lousy browser support and client requirements, but times are changing. Browsers are rapidly getting better, and in my experience clients are much more open-minded about progressive enhancement these days, making it a great deal easier to take advantage of what CSS3 has to offer. And The Book of CSS3 is a great way of making you aware of what you can do, as well as a perfect reference to keep around as you start using CSS3 more.

Highly recommended.

The Book of CSS3: A Developer’s Guide to the Future of Web Design
Author: Peter Gasston
ISBN-10: 1593272863
ISBN-13: 978-1593272869

Posted on July 9, 2011 in CSS, Reviews

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