You code. And code. And code. You build only to rebuild. You focus on making your site compatible with almost every browser or wireless device ever put out there. Then along comes a new device or a new browser, and you start all over again.
You can get off the merry-go-round.
It's time to stop living in the past and get away from the days of spaghetti code, insanely nested table layouts, tags, and other redundancies that double and triple the bandwidth of even the simplest sites. Instead, it's time for forward compatibility.
Isn't it high time you started designing with web standards?
Standards aren't about leaving users behind or adhering to inflexible rules. Standards are about building sophisticated, beautiful sites that will work as well tomorrow as they do today. You can't afford to design tomorrow's sites with yesterday's piecemeal methods.Jeffrey teaches you to:
Daily, Zeldman practices what he preaches, and in this book, he openly shares all he knows. In no time, youll be saving time and money by creating faster, leaner, more compatible web pages. Not longer after that, you'll find you have more free time, having been spared the endless cycle of coding and re-coding web pages for every possible browser/system scenario. You might even find you have enough free time to join Zeldman on his never-ending quest to convince others that web standards is THE ONLY WAY to go.
And now, this time, it's personal. Zeldman and the WaSP warriors are coming for you.
"Though today's browsers support standards, tens of thousands of professional designers and developers continue to use outdated methods that yoke structure to presentation".
This book is part of the campaign to educate us, the Web Professionals. It's part polemic, and part tutorial. Polemic because so many of us are yet a-standard (or even anti-standards), and tutorial because there's so much talk of why standards that a lot of us are saying "We know they're important. We know it's evil and wrong to use tables, and we know every time we use a deprecated tag a fairy dies somewhere - but how do we sew the DOM, XHTML, CSS and Accessibility all together?"
This book tells you how, and - because Zeldman is a real-life designer, just like us, he isn't pontificating from an ivory tower. This reader has read enough standards-fascists shouting "Ignore the real world!" and wonders if those authors actually do the stuff they're frothing about. Zeldman tells us that "My bias [is] toward getting work done under present conditions - a bias I believe most of this book's readers share". (page 3).
Inevitably, there's a forest of three-letter acronyms, and a lot of frankly rather dull stuff to get through, but Zeldman is (to this reader) as much a writer as he is Standards Samurai. There's a lot of jokes in the book. This reader is the first to admit that Accessibility, CSS, XHTML isn't the most fertile ground for thigh-slappin' gags, but there's enough wry smiles and flashes of personality to keep you turning the pages.
That's enough of the tone; what's the structure? Well, the first half of the book is the polemic. If you aren't a standards convert, this will make you one. If you're already a convert, but your boss/ client isn't, strategically leaving this book on the corner of their desk could result in your professional relationship with that boss suddenly becoming a whole lot easier. Like many polemic computer books, though, there's the danger of the first half of the book preaching to the choir.
The second half of the book is where the meat is. We go step-by-step through hybrid XHTML layouts, DOCTYPEs Standards Mode, Typography and Accessibility, leaning by doing it. This is not theoretical. The only depressing chapter is the one titled, "Box models, bugs and Workarounds", on how to accommodate the nasty gremlins of today's browsers. Unlike legacy browser-sniffing that we used to do, however, the Workarounds here are not wasted effort. Standards-compliance is not perfect in today's technology, but it's not going away; the WaSP have generated an unstoppable momentum.
What's bad about the book? Very little, really. It was `fast-tracked' through production, so the occasional page has a slight layout weirdness. Like many recent New Riders books, there's a typographical prissiness (the numerals `2' and `7' in the body of the text are the worst offenders). These are tiny points, from a publishing pedant, that I've only really included because the rest of the review is so glowing!