Book Review: The Book of CSS3

One of the things that I really liked about The Modern Web was the way Peter Gasston was able to take his obvious passion and depth of knowledge for the subject matter and explain it so clearly.

That stays true in The Book of CSS3, in which Gasston carefully explains tons of the new features and functionality that are included with CSS3. While many of these subjects can get quite complex, Gasston masterfully explains everything with a clarity I’ve rarely seen in technical writing.

Book Review: The Book of CSS3

Who is The Book of CSS3 for?

Anyone who is excited by the web and all the new things designers and front-end developers can accomplish with CSS3. It’s an exciting time to work on the web, and this book encompasses many of the reasons for that.

At the time it was originally published, a lot of this material was on the bleeding edge. It’s been a couple years since then, which benefits readers since a lot more of the content of the book is well supported in browsers.

What does The Book of CSS3 Cover?

One thing that I really like about how The Book of CSS3 is arranged is that the subjects are covered in order of how far along they are in the implementation process, so that the stuff at the beginning of the book is very safe to use, while the things are the end are extremely experimental and poorly supported, if they’re supported at all.

As to what is covered, all the usual suspects are present: media queries, web fonts, exciting new layout techniques, animations, rounded borders, gradients, et cetera, et cetera.

Animations were particularly interesting to me, if for no other reason than marveling at how well the author was able to illustrate these concept in print. CSS animation is pretty tricky, with a lot of moving parts, but I never felt over my head.

What Works?

  • The book is extremely well organized. As I mentioned above, it’s in order of how well supported each element is, but each section also builds upon that last, and the author is very efficient about reusing the previous concept to help understand the new one.
  • Code samples are kept as short and sweet as possible, which makes reading through them painless.

What Doesn’t?

  • I’m very hesitant to say that certainly things don’t work in The Book of CSS3. It’s an incredibly well researched and presented book by someone who is exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate on the subject matter. However, time stands still for no man; much has changed since the book was originally published in 2011. Two years doesn’t seem like much, but this is already ripe for a second edition.

The Verdict

If you’re excited about all the shiny new stuff in CSS3, then check out The Book of CSS3.

Buy a copy of The Book of CSS3 today.

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