Reviewer: Virginia DeBolt
Summary: A Valuable Resource
The Ultimate CSS Reference is by Tommy Olsson and Paul O’Brien (Sitepoint, 2008). It’s a hardcover book, which is unusual. Since the book covers some of CSS3, perhaps the hard cover is justified because the publisher considers it a book that will be valuable for a longer period than usual.
The book is nicely laid out, with some color and good visual cues as to the various important bits and pieces of information about a topic. For example, the page about CSS3 Attribute Selectors has a table displaying the CSS specification and browser support set off in a small corner of the page. Immediately under the page title we see the syntax. There’s a sidebar with an example of the selector. The major page content explains what the selector is and gives some details about different operators that can be used to specify the type of attribute being targeted.
Every aspect of CSS is referenced, from syntax and nomenclature through selectors, the cascade and specificity, layout and formatting, box properties, list properties, table properties, color, backgrounds, typography, generated content, and paged media. There’s a chapter for vendor-specific properties and one for workarounds, hacks and filters. It’s all topped off with an index.
This book compares favorably with my eternal favorite CSS The Complete Guide; which is to say, it’s a very good book. Recommended.