Book review: CSS Secrets by Lea Verou

During holidays I finished book CSS Secrets by Lea Verou. I think its the best CSS book I have encountered. It presents 47 everyday design problems with well thought out alternative solutions using latest CSS features.

First chapter gives short introduction on how CSS standards are formed and presents some best practices for writing CSS. That introduction chapter itself changed the way how I have been thinking the DRY principle regarding CSS. Before my interpretation of DRY CSS did limit in clever use of selectors etc to maximize re-usability / minimize file size. However book presents DRY as a design which could be changed with minimal number of property changes.

Rest of the chapters are actual design problems with solutions divided into several categories like typography, user experience, backgrounds, animations etc…

Pros and cons of each alternative solution are discussed and each problem is worked towards solution as DRY as possible without adding extra HTML wrappers when not absolutely needed. Solutions are also designed in a way that won’t sacrifice possibilities to extend designs with animations or other related effects. Also upcoming but yet unimplemented standards are presented if they would offer even better solution someday.

Author doesn’t waste pages on discussing browser support issues because they are in constant flux and CanIUse.com provides more accurate information anyway.

Book is aimed for people with intermediate to advanced CSS knowledge and I personally would recommend it to everyone working with Web front-end or design.

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