Today I had the pleasure of receiving one of the latest books from Wiley, HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites. The bottom line, quite simply, is that this book breaks the mold for technology books and is stunningly beautiful and engaging.
The book is a hair under 500 pages long and is printed in full color. From the front cover through to the last page, HTML & CSS is expertly designed and incessantly attractive. If you’re a hardcore software engineer who hasn’t left the terminal in decades and claim not to care about things like design… well, this book will prove you wrong. The color coding throughout the book helpfully differentiates between various types of code, and makes it easy to tell what you’re looking at.
The approach to language in the book is refreshing. Too many technology manuals, guides and textbooks take a stuffy, academic tone as if to assure the reader the authors are serious programmers. HTML & CSS certainly wasn’t written in an unprofessional voice, but it is easy to read, simple, concise and errs on the side of warmth.
The content is up to date, covering a range of HTML5 and CSS3 features. The book is quite appropriate for beginners, starting with the simplest of HTML and CSS markup — and even a primer on how the Internet works — all the way up to new toys like box-shadow. There’s also some good discussion of design process.
Speaking of the primer on how the Internet works, the book is full of full-spread infographics like the one in the image below. Not only do they look great, but they break up the experience so you’re always looking at something new.
I don’t consider myself too shabby at HTML and CSS, but I’ll certainly be giving this book a more thorough read, even if it is just as a refresher and to admire the fantastic design work within its pages.
You can find out where to acquire HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites in your country on the book’s website.