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Reviewed by Major Keary
An anthology is usually associated with things literary, especially poetry, but in SitePoint's title on cascading style sheets (CSS) its use is a pleasant change from 'cookbook' and 'hacks'. The CSS Anthology, now in its third edition, has a subtitle that sums up its content: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks, and Hacks.
This is not a CSS tutorial, but "is aimed at people who need to work with CSS—web designers and developers who … don't have the time to wade through masses of theory and debate in order to create a site". However, one doesn't have to be working at a professional level to benefit from The Anthology; any informed user with a working knowledge of HTML/XHTML and CSS, and who wants easy-to-find solutions to presentational problems, will find this a treasure trove of solutions.
The format is simple: a "how-do-I …" question followed by a solution (with example code), which is then followed by a comprehensive discussion (illustrated with further example code). Of course, there is often more than one solution, but the author focuses on demonstrating one based on considerations of simplicity and practicality.
How do I display a calendar using CSS? Solution: (includes four pages of complete example code.) Discussion: (in this instance the discussion runs to almost eight pages and includes further example code, screen shots, and commentary on execution of the solution.)
The topics are collected in chapters: Text Styling and Other Basics; CSS and Images; Navigation; Tabular Data; Forms and User Interfaces; Cross-Browser Techniques; Accessibility and Alternative Devices; and CSS Positioning and Layout.
The selection of topics has been carefully thought out to cover solutions that are most likely to be of use to web designers, developers, and anyone who wants to master the latest CSS technology. Problems posed by cross-browser issues and old browsers are well represented and the solutions/discussions are a valuable asset in their own right.
If you are looking for a practical, hands-on question-and-answer book The CSS Antghology is highly recommended. It is well designed in every respect: excellent coverage, visually pleasing, content is well organised, and it is very well written.
Rachel Andrew: The CSS Anthology 3rd edition
Published by SitePoint <http://www.sitepoint.com>, 388 pp., RRP AU$ 57.95
This title can be purchased from the Australian distributor at
A discount can be redeemed by entering the following code at the checkout: