I have been working on updating many of my “fundamental” skills lately. CSS and XSLT are two indispensable SharePoint skills that I find most SharePoint professionals lack. (Don’t get me started about basic HTML!) I recently picked up a book on CSS and the only good part of that book was that the author referenced HTML Dog. For all I care the other book could have only been one page stating “Go buy the HTML Dog book!”.
This is not a SharePoint book. This book is for the UI professional that actually hates that the default SharePoint master pages use tables for layout and wants to do something about it. This book is for those of you that have edited cascading stylesheets and wondered why the wrong element turned green. This book is for those of you that want to significantly reduce the weight of your pages and add granular control to your design. This book is not for those of you who are happy using tables for layout and could care less about vision impaired users of your site.
I suggest you read this book cover to reference. The initial chapters lay the foundation for the chapter on layout. Each chapter has some tidbit that will improve your skill with CSS. The chapter on layout is worth reading three times, then try your hand at using the techniques for floating divs, then read the chapter again. The reference section at the end of the book is great, though not as much fun to read as the rest of the book. Buy 2 copies so you can loan one out!
It is rare to find a book that so succinctly captures a topic and takes a user through the steps necessary to fully understand a topic. There are pages here and there that I had to read over and over because the concepts presented and the frankness of tone lead you to realize that this author (Patrick Griffiths) says in a few pages what other books spend chapters on. Don’t get me wrong…if you are the kind of person that NEEDS to read 10 chapters to understand the sweeping effect that a technology can have on a standard as misused as HTML, then by all means go read, I prefer to spend my time with my dog.
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