Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS (2nd Edition)

Dan Cederholm (2007)
Review date: November, 2007

The names of the chapters in this book speak best for themselves: Flexible text, scalable navigation, expandable rows, creative floating, indestructible boxes, no images/CSS, convertible tables, fluid and elastic layouts. Each chapter is dedicated to solving a particular layout problem. First a suboptimal, or plainly poor solution is presented, and then the correct (the CSS way) solution is built up in clear concise steps, illustrated with many images. Most common IE fixes are also presented. Apart from these chapters, the book doesn't contain any superfluous text. There's a final chapter that sums everything up, but that's it.


Since I'm not really a web guy I can't judge this book with respect to correctness. I can't tell whether the author uses best practices, leaves something important out, or makes plain mistakes. However, I can tell that I like this book! After having read it I got a good picture of how to apply CSS to a variety of problems, and what can be done and cannot. Initially, this book was recommended to me by a friend, who works with web publishing, and he said it was "the book". Another good thing about this book is that it doesn't contain any crap. The author focuses on the issues. Chapters start with a problem formulation, i.e., the author explains why a particular solution to a recurring design isn't good, and then shows how to do it. The chapters are short enough to remain interesting, and long enough to give enough examples. Excellent work.

Who should read this book

If you know most HTML tags and want to learn the basics of how to solve some common recurring problems using CSS, then you'll find this book extremely valuable. Another target audience would be developers that write web applications. This book will show them what to avoid when generating HTML that will be styled using CSS.


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