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Best Way to Learn/Come To Terms With CSS?

P: n/a
Hi,
If you consider yourself a CSS "expert" or even if you just
consider yourself a competent styler, how did you get that way? Sure,
practice makes perfect, but as I survey the many articles on ALA and
456Berea Street, read up on what Cederholm and Meyer have written, I'm
just wondering where folks turned for references, where did you begin?
Did you read the CSS standards first (or ever)? Any definitive online
or deadtree references I should be aware of? Forums, blogs, newsgroups?
To me, and at the risk of stating the obvious, CSS *STILL* involves a
lot of tinkering, trickery, and voodoo because of different browser
rendering, etc. etc. Still something of an artform, which may be okay
if you are a designer by trade, but somewhat problematic if you are
more programmatically oriented. If anyone has set a clear path to
learning CSS for themselves that has helped steer them clear of the
madness, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
-=MM=-

Jan 26 '07 #1
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In article
<11**********************@k78g2000cwa.googlegroups .com>,
"-=MM=-" <si****@gmail.comwrote:
Hi,
If you consider yourself a CSS "expert" or even if you just
consider yourself a competent styler, how did you get that way? Sure,
practice makes perfect, but as I survey the many articles on ALA and
456Berea Street, read up on what Cederholm and Meyer have written, I'm
just wondering where folks turned for references, where did you begin?
Did you read the CSS standards first (or ever)? Any definitive online
or deadtree references I should be aware of? Forums, blogs, newsgroups?
To me, and at the risk of stating the obvious, CSS *STILL* involves a
lot of tinkering, trickery, and voodoo because of different browser
rendering, etc. etc. Still something of an artform, which may be okay
if you are a designer by trade, but somewhat problematic if you are
more programmatically oriented. If anyone has set a clear path to
learning CSS for themselves that has helped steer them clear of the
madness, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
-=MM=-
People will differ greatly in how they pick up stuff.

Read a good book on it (Håkon Wium Lie & Bert Bos: Cascading
Style Sheets * designing for the Web ³written by the creators of
CSS²) and go through beginners tutes.

Try making unadorned, quite unstyled html pages that can be
described as meaningful in themselves. And adding bits of style
to little bits of it. Eg. Headings. And keep going till it keeps
looking regular and nicer still to you eye.

--
dorayme
Jan 26 '07 #2

P: n/a
Hi,

I have found following sites are very good starting points:

http://www.webstandards.org
http://alistapart.com/

Check this page for books list:
http://www.webstandards.org/learn/reference/books/

By myself whould recomend you "Designing With Web Standards, Second
Edition" book. It is not about CSS syntax, but more like about
philosophy of desing with CSS and other standards. I have found here
lot of answers. In addition to good ideas book contains lot of usefull
links... Really worth too read. Any way see better reviews on Amazon
:-)

One more book (I have *not* read, but reviews are alluring) is
"Transcending CSS".

I find CSS2.1 standard a good place to better understand things, and
clarify technical details.

- Alex.

Jan 27 '07 #3

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On 26 Jan, 16:36, "-=MM=-" <sim...@gmail.comwrote:
consider yourself a competent styler, how did you get that way?
Slowly and painfully, not because it's inherently hard, but because
it's so easy to gain a misunderstanding of how you think it ought to
work, then get sidetracked into that instead fo the real
interpretation. Experienced OO programmers seem to suffer particularly
badly (they talk about CSS selectors and "inheritance", when that's
one thing it really doesn't do).

Read "Head First HTML & CSS" (readable tutorial, encourages the right
mindset, not a good reference)

Read Lie & Bos (readable, accurate, good reference afterwards)

Read <brainjar.com (best and most readable text I know of on CSS
positioning and especially float)

Code valid HTML. Getting CSS to work is hard enough with valid code,
trying to do it without is crazy.

Validate your HTML, so that it actually _is_ valid

Write well-structured HTML. Less is more. A minimal HTML page is
usually better than one with excess taggage all over the place.

Write detailed HTML. HTML should be minimalised as much as possible,
but no further! If you _need_ that extra <divor <br>, then use it.
Don't play gymnastics with CSS selectors when a slight addition to the
HTML gives a simpler solution overall.

Don't pander to browser errors. If you can't fix it neatly in 5
minutes, either don't use that feature or just let the IE users suffer
until they learn bettter. _Don't_ write crap code just because it
works in this Tuesday's IE patch. You have to live with this stuff
long-term afterwards.

Jan 29 '07 #4

P: n/a
-=MM=- wrote:
Hi,
If you consider yourself a CSS "expert" or even if you just
consider yourself a competent styler, how did you get that way? Sure,
practice makes perfect, but as I survey the many articles on ALA and
456Berea Street, read up on what Cederholm and Meyer have written, I'm
just wondering where folks turned for references, where did you begin?
Did you read the CSS standards first (or ever)? Any definitive online
or deadtree references I should be aware of? Forums, blogs, newsgroups?
To me, and at the risk of stating the obvious, CSS *STILL* involves a
lot of tinkering, trickery, and voodoo because of different browser
rendering, etc. etc. Still something of an artform, which may be okay
if you are a designer by trade, but somewhat problematic if you are
more programmatically oriented. If anyone has set a clear path to
learning CSS for themselves that has helped steer them clear of the
madness, I'm all ears.

Thanks!
-=MM=-
Since everything on a web page is put in a box learn how to build one.
Then start adding; paragraphs, margins, padding, borders etc.

Once you master the box you can do anything.
Jan 31 '07 #5

P: n/a
On Jan 29, 7:31 am, "Andy Dingley" <ding...@codesmiths.comwrote:
Slowly and painfully,
That sentence above resumes it. I am in the early stages of that
struggle myself.
Don't pander to browser errors. If you can't fix it neatly in 5
minutes, either don't use that feature or just let the IE users suffer
until they learn bettter.
This guy would have killed me several times over when I have spent
several hours on 1 problem (But got them all fixed or figured out in
the end.)

Great advice and great thread for us the rookies.

Patrick

Feb 6 '07 #6

P: n/a
Since everything on a web page is put in a box learn how to build one.
Then start adding; paragraphs, margins, padding, borders etc.

Once you master the box you can do anything.- Hide quoted text -
Now that is another great piece of advice I think. When I started
using CSS, I had no idea what <DIV>'s where. Once I learned that
things got easier.

Thanks

Patrick

Feb 7 '07 #7

P: n/a
Rik
varois83 <va******@netzero.netwrote:
>Since everything on a web page is put in a box learn how to build one.
Then start adding; paragraphs, margins, padding, borders etc.

Once you master the box you can do anything.- Hide quoted text -

Now that is another great piece of advice I think. When I started
using CSS, I had no idea what <DIV>'s where. Once I learned that
things got easier.
Watch out for divititis. A normal paragraph should still be <p>, keep
using Hx elements etc. Use a <div(or <span>) if nothing else fits, not
just because it's low on default formatting. Using Hx elements you might
need extra rules to whip them into shape with regards to font-size,
text-decoration, margins, padding, etc, but they're there for a reason.
--
Rik Wasmus
Feb 7 '07 #8

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