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The Scrooged Prophecies

Happy anniversary to us.  If you like, you can work out the anniversary number from the text of our honeymoon journal.

Ser Zeldman did me the great favor of publishing a glowing note regarding my latest book, which adds to his already incredible favor of writing a truly wonderful Foreword for the same book.  Thanks, Jeffrey.

I don’t know how many of your remember the 1988 movie Scrooged (one of my favorite holiday movies, by the way, despite the fact that much of the primary cast and the director inexplicably wishes it had never happened) but it turns out to have been disturbingly prophetic.

Project 4 Now Online

Over the weekend, InformIT published the primary text of Project 4 of my latest book as an article (registration is required to read it).  The article elicited a few reader responses, including this one, which I absolutely love:

Great article. This article presents some new things about CSS that I didnt know. It also uses a very practical example which helps grasp the material. I have never heard of Eric Meyer before. From the detail and attention shown in this article, I expect to hear his name more.

Wow, tough room.  No matter.  It’s always nice to be regarded as an up-and-comer!

Really, You Can Buy EMOC!

Okay, here’s the deal: when Eric Meyer on CSS arrived at the New Riders warehouse, it apparently wasn’t a full shipment.  This led to the book being taken off the “coming soon” list without actually landing on the “available now” list.  I guess it landed on the “incomplete shipment” list, and the New Riders Web site took that to mean “no longer available.”  Or something.  Either way, the book is now available for order from the New Riders Web site!  Let the bells ring out in celebration!

As for Amazon, Borders, etc., the Web sites still claim the book will be published on 15 August 2002.  Not true: it’s already been published.  Somehow the data feed got polluted.  In fact, the book should be available for shipping somewhere around 9 July, as the Barnes & Noble site correctly states (or did when I wrote this).  So feel free to pre-order!  You won’t have to wait six weeks, but more like one or two.

And the book really is gorgeous.  I keep flipping it open to random points just to admire its design.  This means that I have to get moving on an update of the companion Web site.  Soon to come: project files for all 13 projects, bonus material that was cut from the theatrical release, and more!

Friday, 28 June 2002

I now have in my possession two real physical paper copies of Eric Meyer on CSS.  It looks as beautiful as I could have hoped—better.  310 pages of practical CSS, divided into 13 projects, each and every page in glorious full color to really show what CSS can do.  I’m really, really, really very happy right now.

Sadly, this joy is tempered by the fact that most e-tailers think the book will become available in August; Barnes & Noble is the exception, with a fairly realistic 9 July availability date.  Even the New Riders Web site claims the book isn’t available, and encourages you to search for a newer edition(!).  Trust me, folks: this baby is revved up and ready to go.  There just seem to be a few annoying roadblocks in front of the starting gate.  If you’re interested in ordering a copy, and of course I hope you are, please try again in a few days.  I’m looking at the two copies as I type this (please excuse any typos), so I know the book actually exists.

Wednesday, 26 June 2002

The first review of my new book, Eric Meyer on CSS, is now available at Digital Web.  The reviewer seems to have liked it.  The book should be available this coming Friday, despite what Amazon says.  Better to trust the information on New Riders site—I double-checked with my editor and she says it’s on track to start shipping within the next few days.  Two words: “ya” and “hoo.”  (Yodeling not required.)

Wednesday, 29 May 2002

Now available: the pre-publication Web site for Eric Meyer on CSS, which contains information about the book and its author, a preview of some project files, and more.

I was particularly proud of this morning’s edition of “Your Father’s Oldsmobile.”  You can grab a copy to listen for yourself by going to WRUW‘s Wednesday archive.  It will be a 56kpbs copy of what I broadcast this morning, which for two hours of music still clocks in at almost 50MB—but if you like Big Band-era music, you might get a kick out of the show.

I realized just recently that I was out of my home state for 17 of the last 33 days, spread out over three trips.  Bleah.

Monday, 4 March 2002

The other day I got e-mail containing this amusing vignette:

I took my four-year-old to Borders Bookstore today because I needed three books (Dreamweaver 4 Bible, Heinle’s latest JavaScript book, and your CSS book). Because he can spend almost forever in the Children’s Section, I told him that we had to get my books first.

I find the JavaScript book, then manage to find the DW book. But I can’t find yours. (Of course, this is Borders’ computer section…loaded with books not always organized.) [My son] is getting bored…it’s not much fun for him in this section. He starts looking at different books and liking the O’Reilly ones because of the animals on the covers.

I reach his limit…he’s ready to go. So he reaches up, grabs a book, and says, “This is the one we want.”

And he was right…it was your book.

So you can honestly say that the popularity of your book extends to young and old alike.

As a result, I’ve decided that I’m going to follow Zeldman’s example and term myself “Friend of the Developers’ Children.”

Monday, 18 February 2002

A big gap in writing means a big update.  I’ll try to keep it brief.  Wait, who am I kidding?  I’ll be as long-winded as usual.

Travel: Kat and I just spent a weekend together in New York City, after I met with various people within Time-Warner to introduce the Netscape Evangelism teamJeff’s head cold prevented us from seeing him and his gal for dinner (although I’d seen him earlier in the week), but we did get time to hang out with a variety of Kat’s friends.  On Saturday, we fought our way through packed masses of people to see the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown.  It was there that I found a new definition of “pathetic.”  The parade turned out to be two very short dragons, a guy hitting a cymbal, and some local businessmen in suits.  Front to back, the entire parade was about twenty feet long.  Seriously.

We also got to see Kat’s parents for brunch on Sunday morning, which is always nice.  The Inn at Great Neck has a great buffet-style brunch, including oysters on the half-shell and some really amazing jumbo shrimp.

While coming in for a landing at Hopkins, I composed a blank-verse poem.  I’m not sure why.  It was as wretched as my other poetry, so I let it go, but what is it about recent months that has made me more poetic?  Or at least made me think I am?

The Written Word: People have been asking about my writing, and there are quite a few rumors floating around, so here’s the latest scoop straight from me.  (I’d just like to pause a moment to reflect on the fundamental oddity of there being rumors about me and my work.  Okay.  Let’s move on.)

The biggest news is that I’m writing a CSS book for New Riders; if you want to waste a few minutes for no good reason you can check out my author profile on their site.  This book will not, as some have speculated, be called “CSS Magic.”  This is entirely because I couldn’t live with the format restrictions that series places on its authors.  Instead, the book will preserve the spirit of the Magic books but be presented more like a narrative text that walks the reader through the creation of a design, or an important aspect of one.  The feeling the reader should (hopefully) get is of sitting next to me while I work through a project, seeing how the styles are built up and, when necessary, changed.  Every chapter will be a project, and labeled as such.  Code fragments will show what’s added or changed at every step.  The entire book will be in full color, and I’m aiming for an average of about one screenshot per page.  Code fragments will show what’s added or changed at every step.  Sidebar notes and warnings will point out other things to try, or certain caveats, and so on.  So in many ways, it will be very much like a Magic book.  But it won’t be called “CSS Magic.”

We’re aiming to have it on shelves this summer, with writing projected to be finished by the end of March.  It’s about two-thirds done already.  As a bit of a teaser, the book will incorporate at least three of the demos found in css/edge, in whole or in part.  I’ll leave you to guess which ones made it in.

As for Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, there will not be a second edition before 2003 at the earliest.  The problem is that expanding the book to cover CSS2, as I would pretty obviously have to do, means I’d have to write a lot of “this is how things should work, but no browser gets this right yet” or “only one browser will handle this, the rest will gack up a hairball.”  Even in a book like CSS:TDG, which is concerned as much with theory as practice, I vastly prefer to cover theory that can actually be put into practice.  Who wants to read a 20-page chapter on generated content when it isn’t fully supported by any known browser?

So that’s a big factor in when the writing starts and when a second edition might hit the shelves.  The release of IE6/Win actually delayed this process, because it added so little in the way of new and correct CSS support.

There you have it: the latest writing information.  I should probably restructure my “Books” page so it has room for this sort of thing, and allow me to keep interested parties more up-to-date on what I’m doing.  Maybe when the New Riders book is done…

On a related note, Owen Briggs (thenoodleincident.com) and Eric Costello (glish.com) are also finishing up a practical CSS book, and I believe it’s due out in April.  I don’t know much more about it, except that given the uniformly excellent work the both of them have published, I’m confident it will be a worthwhile addition to anyone’s library.

On another related note, Meryl K. Evans has posted a new article, Blast Sites with User CSS Sheets, which was written with some input from me and was apparently inspired in part by my presentation “User Stylesheets: A Tool for Design (and Destruction!)” last November at Web Design World 2001.  You can find the original Powerpoint files for that presentation on my Talks page, but read Meryl’s article for a much more friendly and thorough look at how user stylesheets can be a useful too in the hands of a savvy designer.

css-discuss:  Although the pace has slowed quite a bit, we’re still adding members; the count is now over 1500 subscribers to the list.  The ebb and flow of the list has been fascinating, and I think we’re starting to evolve the kind of community I’d hoped to create.  It will still take some shepherding, but I think people have caught on to what I’m about.  Word.

On yet another related note, Al Sparber, founder of Project VII and a highly respected Dreamweaver guru and real-world standards advocate, recently started up a CSS discussion newsgroup on the PVII NNTP server.  I presume the group will be primarily focused on using CSS in a Dreamweaver environment, and certainly in conjunction with Al’s DW extensions and design packs, but I bet it will also be a good place to get information about using CSS in general.  You can find it at news://forums.projectseven.com/css. (Thanks to Shirley K. for reminding me, by dint of her blog entry, that I’d forgotten to post this before my trip to NYC.)

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