Reviewed by Web Teacher
★★★★ Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3 by Stephanie Sullivan and Greg Rewis (New Riders, 2008) is an excellent book, which I recommend and would be happy to teach with myself. I’m giving it four stars because it’s Dreamweaver specific, even though you could learn a great deal about CSS from this book if you’d never seen Dreamweaver in your life.
Before I get into the details about the book, I want to give you a bit of background disclaimer. I’ve been aware of co-author Stephanie Sullivan for a number of years. She participated in her early days as a web designer in some of the same lists that I do, and she was so eager to learn it was something to watch—she sucked up new information like it was manna from the gods. Back in those days she wouldn’t let anybody know what she looked like. She wanted to build a reputation based on skill. She certainly succeeded in that endeavor, and now here she is on the cover of this book, as gorgeous as a movie star, teaching others how to used Dreamweaver according the best practices in CSS.
If you are familiar with the Classroom in a Book series from Adobe, this book is rather like that. It takes you through a number of different processes in Dreamweaver in a step by step way. But it’s also more than a Classroom in a Book text. The difference is the amount of space devoted to explaining things like CSS syntax, the cascade, specificity, document flow, source order, bugs, best practices on all sorts of topics, typography, measurement and a number of CSS related topics. That’s in addition to the step by step process for applying the information in Dreamweaver CS3. Another difference is that this is not a Dreamweaver beginner book; you need to have a basic knowledge of the software already.
One chapter in the book styles a fixed-width Dreamweaver CSS layout. Another does the same with an em-based layout. There’s a chapter showing you how to take an older, table-based site and put it in CSS. One chapter uses the Adobe Spry Framework for Ajax to build an image gallery.
Standards, best practices, validation and accessibility are stressed in every chapter. That always earns stars from me.
Summary: An excellent resource