5.0 out of 5 stars
A readable state-of-art instructive CSS/HTML styling and layout reference
Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2020
This third edition is the first edition I’ve read. The copy-editing is good. The material is fresh. The presentation is informal - almost conversational - with light humor. The author warns of confusing terms (e.g. auto-fill vs auto-fit, cover vs contain) in an “I, too, was confused at first” tone.
I’m an aged senior software engineer. I’m re-styling my homely React application to render professionally and aesthetically. I will use this book as a state-of-art responsive layout / style reference. Grid concepts (e.g. explicit, implicit, and tracks) along with FlexBox material are particularly timely, as well as the parts dealing with responsive menus and sidebars.
The public download examples operate easily. A click of an index.html does it. The first example motivated me to seek out a bakery. You can test a given responsive example like it's a sponge -- give it a good squeeze. The animation, clipping, and transformation examples are innovative. The chapter nine “front” “back” animations are creative (I think somebody should produce one of the author's plays).
Want CSS to render slashed zeros … or not? Want to know more about CSS conditionals, typography, feature queries, font fallbacks, and variable fonts? How about colors? Translucent areas? Multiple gradients that repeat? Instances of shadows, spreads and blurs? Clipping to a path? CSS filters? All are covered. They present in easily executable examples. Right-click “Inspect element” in your browser to see the source of magic that you can tweak dynamically to alter the effect.
The author quotes performance: “Architecture is inside the braces, performance is inside. -Ben Frain”. He goes on to discuss path clipping, image masking, animations, and mix-blend-mode. Those are cool inside-the-braces capabilities illustrated in the clickable examples. Wow-factor positively. Cycle-cost negatively.
The final four chapters ice the book:
Chapter eight surveys practical timely SVG material that serves as a useful reference that stands-in for another full book purchase. A sidebar mentions embedding a literal SVG image in CSS via a base 64 data URI, versus using data sprites. SVG background images as well as SVG font-like icons are in vogue. The chapter mentions expected exceptions from Internet Explorer.
Chapter nine covers a need to know about 2-D and 3-D transformations. I may use the presented progressive enhancement of 3-D to make a left menu collapse into an off-canvas menu. Read it to see what I mean.
Chapter ten is a super-practical treatment of HTML forms. The first example is a "before" boring request form that looks like something from a federal government. The chapter migrates it to a better "after" rendition, adding placeholders, auto-complete, dynamic list association, and a plethora of HTML5-specific input types, while making it squish from a web page to an iPhone at-will. The added background fill effect is gravy.
The final chapter, eleven, is a valued compendium of helpful hints, closing a useful and readable book. The author recommends avoiding CSS frameworks, which surprised me. I see that I could live without them, given the rationale and information from this book.
I obtained this book from the publisher in return for a fair and unbiased review. I recommend the book. I intend to click "Purchase" for the print edition.
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