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Archive: 9 March 2004

Fishing For Style

As a followup to yesterday’s entry, I thought I’d share some details on what will be in Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition (now available for pre-order!).  Here’s the Table of Contents, or at least a core subset of it:

  1. CSS and Documents
  2. Selectors
  3. Structure and the Cascade
  4. Values and Units
  5. Fonts
  6. Text Properties
  7. Basic Visual Formatting
  8. Padding, Borders, and Margins
  9. Colors and Backgrounds
  10. Floating and Positioning
  11. Table Layout
  12. Lists and Generated Content
  13. User Interface Styles
  14. Non-Screen Media
  1. Property Reference
  2. Selector, Pseudo-Class, and Pseudo-Element Reference
  3. Sample HTML 4 Style Sheet

Owners of the first edition will notice that the chapters have been rearranged a bit.  Thanks to the expansion of selectors in CSS2, it made sense to rearrange things so that they got their own chapter (which you can read in beta form from O’Reilly), and the parts about how CSS relates to document structure were folded into the chapter about specificity and the cascade.  The consolidation of floating and positioning into one chapter really helped cut down on redundancies, although that is the longest and most-enfigured chapter in the book.  (In second place, “Basic Visual Formatting.”)  “Table Layout” talks about how tables are laid out and styled, not how to do layout with tables.  The last two chapters are basically overviews with some detail, since user interface styles are almost certainly going to change radically in CSS3 and non-screen media support is limited or largely theoretical at this stage.  There’s still enough detail to satisfy, I think.

As for the other chapters, they’re largely the same as in the first edition in terms of topical coverage.  They’ve just been updated and expanded to match what’s in CSS2.1.  As an example, “Text Properties” covers everything that it did in the first edition, now updated for 2004; plus it adds information on text-shadow, direction, and unicode-bidi.

The technical reviewers for the second edition were Tantek Çelik and Ian Hickson, who were just as tough and thorough as I’d hoped.  Ian’s one of the people who pounded the inline layout model into my head until I got it when writing the first edition, actually.  I got similar treatment from both reviewers over the interaction of generated content with non-generated elements this time around, not to mention when I tried to figure out the value syntax for text-decoration.  It used to be simple, but oh no… they had to go makin’ it all fancy.

Anyway, I hope that will give some idea of what lies ahead for those of you who do me the honor of purchasing the book.

I occasionally toy with the idea of setting up a Cafépress store with CSS-related merchandise.  If anyone out there has bought stuff (particularly T-shirts and other articles of clothing) from Cafépress, kindly let me know what you thought of it in terms of quality and durability.

March 2004
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