Web Standards Creativity is a fascinating look at how some of the best designers in the business use web standard compliant markup and CSS to take web design to new heights of style and function. Based on actual "case studies," it's also an intriguing look inside these designers heads. The decision-making process they reveal teaches us as much about good design as the methods they're describing.
Have you been feeling lately that CSS and web standards are a little gray and fussy? Too much analytical-looking code and not enough va-vavoom? Well, get ready to have your hair blown back and the wind whistle in your ears. Andy Clarke is about to take you on rollickin' good ride.
It's hard to believe that a history of the early days of computing and (pre-Internet) networks could be exciting. You'd think a book about engineers would be about as thrilling as reading a calculus text. Yet in Where Wizards Stay Up Late, Hafner and Lyon have breathed life into a story about early computer geeks and their vision of a nationwide network. At times the book reads almost like a novel. Hafner is particularly good at characterization, and by the end you feel you almost know the major players, such as Paul Baran, Larry Roberts (the director and midwife of ARPANET), and the BBN engineers who created the first network.
- Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of using this book as bedtime reading material.
The other night I couldn't get to sleep, so I thought, I'll start Zeldman's book on web standards, that ought'a knock me out. Wrong. At 4:30 a.m., I looked up and realized dawn wasn't too far off. I didn't care. I finished the chapter I was reading and barely kept myself from starting another.
The title of this book is particularly apt because solutions for designing with web standards is exactly what it's about. Beyond that, the book is difficult to define. It's not a sermon on web standards, although almost every example shows the benefits of doing so. On the other hand, it's not just a manual on CSS, although Cederholm shows how to markup and style everything from lists to forms to layouts.