Sitepoint’s CSS and DHTML Books

I’ve recently become a fan of Sitepoint’s books on programming. They’re very cleanly put together, and generally speaking seem to be quite up to date. Here are a couple of titles I went ahead and took the plunge on:

HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS
I like this book quite a bit. The CSS reference in the back is almost worth the price of admission… there are references online (duh) but I guess I’m just still a sucker for paper. There’s a lot of useful info on styling text, which turns out to have more tricks available than I’d ever heard of. One thing about this book that annoyed me intensely was in chapter 6, “Putting Things in Their Place,” when he gives a Javascript solution to the problem of getting columns to flow to equal heights. Admittedly, he gives an alternative, but there are a lot of pure CSS solutions to this problem out there, and one would think that if there’s a reliable one out there, that this would be the book to find it. So yeah, that bit rubbed me the wrong way.
DHTML Utopia: Modern Web Design Using JavaScript & DOM
I’ve been looking forward to this one for quite a while. At that link you can get the first four chapters for free. To be honest, I debated whether to buy the book, because judging from the table of contents, it seems that most of the stuff that I had doubts about was in the free sample chapters. But I’m a big fan of the author and editor: Stuart Langridge through the ridiculously awesome LugRadio (or listen on Odeo) and Javascript/Python guru Simon Willison. So in the end I felt pretty good about picking up a copy. Haven’t started digging in yet. One nit to pick: forty smackers is a lot to ask for a book that’s just 300 pages. Not saying it won’t turn out to be worth it in the end, but dag.
update… The sample chapters are available as HTML now: DHTML Utopia: Modern Web Design Using JavaScript & DOM. I can’t seem to get the example from this chapter to work, though, can you?

All this DHTML stuff is surprisingly fun. And I’ve mentioned before that Javascript has the right policy on Unicode, which makes me pretty happy.

Like this ☞ ☺

Especially considering the headache that is dealing with multibyte stuff in just about every other scripting language. Which makes me kind of sad.

☹ ☜ Like that.

Leave a Comment

Please wrap code snippets in <code> tags, thanks!